The Polyphonic Spree attempt to transcend technology at The Chapel

Polyphonic-SpreePhotos by Marc Fong // Written by Nikki de Martini

The size of the audience swelled after opening acts Harper Simon and Seryn Monday evening (August 19) at The Chapel, as show-goers eagerly waited to absorb The Polyphonic Spree in all of it’s glory.
Are they gypsies?
Are they hippies?
What will they be wearing?!
“There are 12 of them, yeah?” my friend asked, “No.” I replied. “I think there are more.”
Excitement was in the air, most notably from the two guys I found myself sandwiched between — one sported a foot-high mohawk and hugged the stage, guarding a poster tube while the other, a 50 something-year old construction worker lookin’ type firmly stood his ground. This eclectic variety of fans alone drummed up more anticipation and exemplified the headlining collective’s wide range of supporters.

Polyphonic-SpreeUnobtrusively they entered. The band wore matching citrus colored paisley choir robes, the 5 piece female back-up singers were adorned in matching white lace dresses and front man Tim DeLaughter rocked a citrus colored paisley man tunic. 

There were 18 members of the Spree in total, all of them squeezed into the frame of The Chapel’s alter-less stage when a warm, fuzzy feeling transcended throughout the picturesque venue. Tucked behind the wide array of instruments and musicians, the ladies’ angelic voices and happy faces stood out.  All eyes were transfixed on the 5 piece back-up singers for show opener “Section 12 (Hold Me Now)”, but quickly the ensemble projected exuberant optimism as a cohesive unit. The whole thing is a sight to be seen.  

Polyphonic-SpreeWhile teetering on top of a speaker joyously singing “Younger Yesterday”, DeLaughter fleetingly told an audience member to “put that (camera phone) away.” The Polyphonic Spree frontman didn’t harp on the issue as the group started “Popular by Design” amidst multi-colored swirling disco lights that turned the venue into one big happy kaleidoscope — but even more camera phones popped up as a consequence. In a year where Savages & Yeah Yeah Yeahs have scorned camera phones in favor of ‘being in the moment’, this artist trend seems to be on the rise.

The choral-symphonic-pop-rock-gospel band played cuts from their entire collection, including their fourth live performance of “Carefully Try”. DeLaughter thanked everyone for making it out the show, expressing his cheerful excitement that this performance at The Chapel was the group’s first sold out show in San Francisco. The announcement was met with an equally enthusiastic reaction.

Set List
1: Section 12 (Hold Me Now)
2: Younger Yesterday
3: Popular by Design
4: Light to Follow
5: 2000 Places
6: Carefully Try
7: I’m Calling
8: You Don’t Know Me
9: Hold Yourself Up
10: Soldier Girl
11: The Best Part
12: We Sound Amazed
13: Lithium
14: My Umbrella
15: Light and Day


  1. […] Polyphonic Spree // Marc Fong The Chapel // 8.19.13 […]

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