PHOTOS / RECAP: The Polyphonic Spree @ El Rey, Los Angeles, CA 8/22/13

Though the venue was far from packed Thursday, LA’s famed El Rey Theatre was absolutely bursting at the seams with pure joy. The night began with the heavenly sound of Seryn, a 6-piece band hailing from Denton, TX. The way they blend their vast array of instruments and their soaring harmonies was refreshing and dynamic in a visceral way. Check out the full recap and photo gallery.

This was the last stop on the tour for Harper Simon and the emotion was palpable. Mixing the rock-driven sound of his new record with the comfortable alt-country we’ve come to expect, Simon wrapped his time with The Polyphonic Spree with a heart-warming set that left the audience primed for the main event.
As their overture swelled, frontman Tim DeLaughter reminded the crowd via a spray-painted banner that “We Go Way Back”—and that was certainly the sentiment permeating the entire room. Most of the crowd sang every word along with DeLaughter as this choral symph-pop band reminded us how good it feels to just let go and have a dance party!

With 15-20 members (depending on the show) and countless instruments (including a chick rocking out on the harp), their performance was both whimsical and powerful in the same moment. Donned in their signature rainbow robes, they came out swinging with the fan-favorite “Hold Me Now”. The group presented a well-rounded mix of their new album “Yes, It’s True” and older tracks reaching as far back as the days of Tripping Daisies (the group that preceded The Polyphonic Spree). For their grand finale, they left the crowded beaming with the stirring anthem “Light and Day”. But the crowded wanted more…
For the encore, The Spree shared their rousing rendition of Nirvana’s “Lithium”. This was, without a doubt, my favorite moment of the show. DeLaughter had the entire crowd (including bartenders and security) crouch down on the floor until the explosive chorus, when everybody catapulted off the ground and gave it all they had. After the song, DeLaughter thanked the crowd for sharing that moment with them—reminding us that if we hadn’t all done it together, it would have never been as special. This statement encompasses the entire Polyphonic Spree experience. It’s better when we all do it together.