It took Tim DeLaughter 14 years to bring his Polyphonic Spree to Sacramento, but it was worth the wait.
Thirteen of 20 current members of the Spree packed the Ace of Spades stage to deliver their unique brand of uplifting psychedelia to a small but enthusiastic audience. Comparisons to an old time tent revival are easy but appropriate, provided Pink Floyd was the house band at your church.
A large white sheet blocked the stage prior to showtime. The houselights dimmed, the stage lights rose, and the crowd watched the band perform in silhouette for a few measures before (presumably) DeLaughter spray painted “I Feel A Miracle” on the curtain in reverse. He sliced the curtain down the middle and revealed a stage packed with instruments: harp, cello, violin, horns, guitars, drums, keyboards. The band launched into fan favorite “Hold Me Now,” and the crowd complied for the rest of the night.
DeLaughter proved an engaging front man, bantering with the audience and offering clever stage patter. He introduced a killer cover of McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” with “This is a song I wrote with a friend when I was 12 years old. He’s done pretty well with it.”
The set was light on material from new album Yes It’s True, but what they played went over well. “Hold Yourself Up” in particular got the crowd bouncing.
Count me among your converts, Tim, and do me a favor: Don’t wait another 14 years to come back.
You can follow The Polyphonic Spree and find tour dates near you at their website.
—all photos courtesy of the author