Polyphonic Spree and Peter, Bjorn and John

 Win Tickets to see the Polyphonic Spree and Peter, Bjorn and John from PLAYBACK:stl. 


Two great bands roll through the Pageant the first week of August. On August 4 the scene gets a little groovier with the Polyphonic Spree. On the 7th we get all twee with Peter, Bjorn and John. PLAYBACK:stl is pleased to offer you, our favorite readers, the opportunity to win tickets to all three. Read on and respond appropriately.

Win Tickets to Polyphonic Spree at The Pageant – August 4
The Pageant in the U-City Loop

The Polyphonic Spree
(8.4.07) is a gigantic band of people who wear colorful robes and play big, happy songs. Or, at least they were; not anymore. The band is a few members smaller and they now wear black jumpsuits. As for the big, happy songs, well, some things never change—or in the case of their new album The Fragile Army, they change just a little.

On The Fragile Army, the still 20-plus member Polyphonic Spree take occasional steps away from sounding like a glee club conducted by Wayne Coyne. The songs (or "sections," as the band calls them) get sadder and angrier than those on previous albums, and the instrumentation varies beyond drums, guitar, and chorus.

The sound is still big but this time the songs are tighter and more diverse. The tracks are (thankfully) too short to be divided into rock opera-type movements, but they aren't just choruses and verses. On the bridge of the title track, all instruments drop out except for one vocal and piano. On other songs the band's choral section use their voices like strings in an orchestra, strengthening changes in moods and bringing out the full potential of the melodies. [from Gabe Bullard's review]

PLAYBACK:stl is pleased to help bring the Spree to town and we are offering free tickets. All you need to do is send an e-mail to contest@playbackstl.com with your username in the subject line and the name of the band's lead singer. Make sure you include your full name in there too!

The Peter Björn and John (8.7.07) show at the 9:30 Club held the anticipation of the climax of a heartwarming adolescent romantic comedy lost somewhere in the John Hughes vault. It was as though the awkward exchange student shunned by the cool kids at some everywhere American high school got up at the school talent show and rocked everyone's socks off. Not to be unfair to the distinct cool of the trio of melodic Swedes who performed in front of an enormous black backdrop with the wonderfully ironic title in simple white font of "Peter Björn and John Backdrop," but one can only imagine the scarring tales of middle school traumas that generated the nostalgic sensitivity of "Young Folks," let alone the remainder of offerings from their latest album, Writer's Block.

"This is going to be fun…a proper start to an American tour," announced Peter Morén, lead vocalist and whistler extraordinaire, early in to the set. As the start of their tour, there were indeed some kinks to work out, with the occasional uneven vocals creeping in. Luckily, a good-spirited sense of humor was on hand to overcome the few glitches, with John banging away on his "Peter Björn and John Bass Drum," and Björn finding himself unable to control his laughter while singing an acoustic version of "Amsterdam." Unafraid to multitask, the song "Big Black Coffin," which Peter explained for the uninitiated was a song about death, also managed to include a very happy audience sing-along. This sing-along was especially welcome following Fujiya and Miyagi's somewhat lackluster set, which for all its minimalist Kraftwerkian overtones, proved too cold and lyrically flat in anticipation of the melodic warmth of Peter, Björn and John. [from Leslie Wilson's review of the April show in DC]

PLAYBACK:stl is pleased to help bring Peter, Bjorn and John to town and we are offering free tickets. All you need to do is send an e-mail to contest@playbackstl.com with your username in the subject line and tell us where the band comes from. Make sure you include your full name in there too!


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