The Polyphonic Spree | 08.04.07

 poly-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping in line with the band's latest album, the songs were positive, but politically charged with an overall message of, "Everything sucks, but our happiness will change the world."

 

 

w/ Videology
The Pageant, St. Louis
Photos: Todd Owyoung

I took notes at this show. I wrote down information about the setup and the audience and the set list, but afterwards, one word on my paper was written over everything: "BIG." Everything about this show-except the audience-was gigantic.

After openers Videology played a pleasant mix of music videos, the Polyphonic Spree took the stage, hidden behind a red curtain. Eventually, a pair of scissors cut a heart-shaped hole in the cloth and out popped front man Tim DeLaughter.

DeLaughter stood on a pedestal overlooking the audience. Behind him was the band. Twenty musicians: two drummers, two guitarists, a bassist, a horn section, bells, violin, cello, two keyboards, a harp, a flautist and a choir, all wearing black jumpsuits and all ready to rock.

The band's set started with "Running Away," and mostly other songs from their new album. The group kept things energetic and upbeat, except for a few breaks for "It's the Sun" and-as if the choir wasn't enough-an audience sing-along. Keeping in line with the band's latest album, the songs were positive, but politically charged with an overall message of, "Everything sucks, but our happiness will change the world."

After about an hour, DeLaughter announced the last song, and as it ended, the members filed off the stage one by one. It was an adequate set, but the small audience had danced, sung along, and encouraged DeLaughter enough to deserve an encore. Five minutes into the standing ovation, the exterior doors of the Pageant opened and in walked the band, this time dressed in their signature white robes. The group made their way, single file, through the audience and once again took the stage.

"It's Saturday night, we got all the time in the world!" shouted DeLaughter.

poly-2

The band played another song, which faded into a vaguely familiar riff. As DeLaughter told the audience, they'd have to participate in the next number, the riff got louder and more familiar. By the time it became recognizable, the words had already begun. The 21-member Polyphonic Spree, with their robes, flutes and flugelhorns were playing Nirvana's "Lithium." Never before has a Kurt Cobain composition sounded so happy and so right. During the choruses, the cellist ran across the stage while playing and the flautist kicked, stomped and waved her piccolo in the air.

But the insane energy wasn't enough for DeLaughter. He brought his young son onstage with a drum and jumpsuit of his own to join the party. He took requests for anything, and the band wound up playing hits like "Light and Day" and more obscure songs like "Sonic Bloom," by DeLaughter's previous band, Tripping Daisies.

Eventually, the encore had gone on longer than the main set and it was time to go home. DeLaughter and company had put on a tight, fun and overall amazing show. The group lined up, took a final bow and left the stage.

Even though the show lasted over two hours, and even though the last 60 minutes were completely over the top, exhilarating and exhausting, I still wanted more. I wanted to put on a robe and go party with the Polyphonic Spree, because they are clearly the most fun people in the universe. | Gabe Bullard

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply