The Polyphonic Spree at Fitzgerald's, 8/29/13
The Polyphonic Spree
Photos by Jim Bricker.
August 29th, 2013
Some moments in life are just better than others. Having a laugh while your kid, armed with floaties, thinks he's drowning, despite moments ago assuring the instructor he had it. Turning so red from embarrassing laughter moments after realizing you ruined the final outcome of an amazing day, but having the greatest friends in the world that only find it endearing and funny rather than getting upset. Giving back your whole weeks' worth of energy by bounding around the dance floor, clapping, singing and jumping with your friends and neighbors to a band that is giving their all on the final stop of their tour.
The Polyphonic Spree were said band. While the other stuff assuredly means more to me than it does you, what really matters is that you should've been in attendance for one of the most heart-warming, life-affirming sets of music Rocks Off has seen in quite some time.
The Polyphonic Spree, upon first glance, come off as a major gimmick. They pack as many performers and instruments as they can on stage which gives an almost orchestral feel to their initial image. They're ever-changing fashion sense is also part of their gimmicky feel, coming of as an almost cult-like group, adorned in matching robes and dresses on most occasions. This time was no different, with their costume design taking a page right out of the stereotypical Woodstock-era hippie culture.
After numerous experiences with The Polyphonic Spree under my belt over the past decade, one thing I've definitely come to realize is that they are no gimmick. Far from it. Yeah, you might not be able to hear the harpist which was firmly situated stage left, but I bet you most people in attendance last night spent many moments watching her strum away on that giant thing. Yeah, the back-up singers seemed to be there more for their looks rather than their abilities in the vocal department, but their energy was addictive. Yeah, the band could be a bit more focused musically if there was less for them to deal with onstage, but their hugs and high-fives wouldn't have been there. None of it would be the same if every single one of those band members weren't giving it their all during the entire 2-plus hour set that they performed last night.
The Polyphonic Spree bring an almost religious feel to their live show. Their songs are both inspirational and uplifting, making it hard not to have a giant grin on your face from start to finish. Tim DeLaughter is best described as a preacher, sending his message of love and unity through his unbridled passion for music - something that is rarely seen these days. For me, an evening with the Spree and DeLaughter is what I guess an evening with Joel Osteen would be to a hardcore Christian. He has the ability to make you feel better about yourself and the whole world around you with only a few choice words and some powerful fist pumping.