Polyphonic Spree pt. 2 - Fillmore SF

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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Lance Newberry (Heathentom) on Friday, November 02, 2007 - 10:43 pm: Edit Post

Ok, so I RAVED about the PS show I saw & reviewed about 6 months ago at the Great American Music Hall; that one really took me by surprise because I was expecting something contrived and silly, and possibly a little creepy, but it totally blew me away.

That show still stands as the best I've seen this year (68 to date) so I was looking forward to seeing them again to find out if I just caught them on a great night or if they actually HAVE something.

The Fillmore is a much bigger room than the GAMH and it was not sold out on Holloween night so it did not have the bursting-at-the-seams feeling the first show did, but there were over 1,000 excited, costumed fans there and while the show wasn't as good as the earlier one, the Spree definitely proved to me that I want to see this band whenever I can.

If you see them live (and I don't mean at a festival somewhere, IMO not a good way to hear music at it's best) all their foolishness seems a very small thing, and what stands up BIG TIME is the overall SOUND the 23 musicians & singers make.

Even though it seemed to me this time that alot of the songs sounded kind of the same, they were still all excellent, uplifting, ROUSING Beatlesque anthems, and the over-the-top enthusiasm that is the hallmark of this group quickly becomes infectious, NOT overly annoying.

The music is orchestral, very complex and POWERFUL! There are two or three guitars, drums, percussion, an EXCELLENT bass player (really good!) many horns, two violins, cello, flute, full harp & two keyboards, on top of the 8 person female vocal choir.

They're all good and really have their sound together, it's full and powerful and sonically & visually they create a great live environment.

Of course ultimately it's all really about the singer, and he will make sure you know it. He's very good; part Perry Ferrell, part Jon Andersen, part himself but ALL "rock star"; he pulls it off well though.

The fact that most of the band is different from tour to tour and is REALLY young (most look like college age or right out of college) makes the musical quality of it all more impressive and the stage antics less annoying because they are actually having a great time onstage.

For this particular show they did not wear any type of costume or uniform; it was Holloween so they went as themselves (they said this was the first show ever that they didn't wear a "uniform"). This made it seem less contrived, and I must say that there was less overt thrashing around then I've seen before.

Of course they came back for the encore in their traditional white robes, but none of that really made much difference; this is simply a really good, really psychedelic band.

As for the crowd, once again there was almost no one smoking, and overall they looked more straight laced than I would expect, because again this is very trippy, BIG, complex STONER music with great lights and a great visual look.

But don't get me wrong; their fans are INTO this band big-time! Huge roars for every song and very robust, sometimes awesome sing-alongs through-out the show; it's just the derelict element that the music and show seem to be perfect for is missing (present company excluded! I was representing!!)

My last review got quite a few negative replies, but I'm not sure any of those came from folks who had actually seen the band live. If they come to your town I suggest you check them out. They are doing their own thing and they are doing it really well.

A side note: It is very rare that I catch an opening act (I'm easily bored) but I got to the show early and saw about half of Rooney's set........ and BIG surprise, they were really GOOD!!! Very rock/pop but they could PLAY their instuments, they used their guitars hard and well and sang VERY well, using excellent three part harmonies. Snappy, well written tunes that were well played; I will be checking this band out again.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Deacon (Redneck) on Sunday, November 04, 2007 - 07:51 pm: Edit Post

thx for the review, one of my fave bands out there...