Setting foot into The Troc on Friday night for Texas pop group The Polyphonic Spree
’s Holiday Extravaganza, it was immediately clear that this was not your typical rock concert. A man with an accordion stood in the lobby, churning out Christmas carols; behind him, Mike Gold’s Ballooniac
crafted inflatable candy canes and hats for eager children. Men in Rudolph and Frosty costumes waved and posed for photos. The stage was framed by dozens of colorfully wrapped gifts, with holiday lights strung about festively. Was this a rock venue, or had I been magically transported to Santa’s workshop in the North Pole?
A bit of both. The appropriately named “Extravaganza” is described by Spree band leader Tim DeLaughter as “kind of like Laugh-In with the Polyphonic Spree as the soundtrack.” The stunning 4-hour show featured 2 sets from the Spree, as well as performances from children’s singer and cartoonist Gustafer Yellowgold, vaudeville artist Keith Nelson, the Franklin Institute’s Traveling Science Show, and the Philadelphia Zoo on Wheels. An impressive spectacle for sure—but not surprising given the Spree’s affinity for grand, over-the-top theatrics. Continue reading →