The Polyphonic Spree’s 23rd anniversary party at Longhorn Ballroom

A large crowd in front of a large stage

There was a full house at Longhorn Ballroom for The Polyphonic Spree’s 23 year anniversary. Photo: Jessica Waffles

The Polyphonic Spree celebrated its anniversary at Longhorn Ballroom on Saturday, exactly 23 years after their debut show on July 15, 2000 when they performed for the first time opening for Grandaddy & Bright Eyes.

The band was founded by Tim DeLaughter, who was previously a member of the alternative rock band Tripping Daisy. DeLaughter aimed to create a musical collective that emphasized positivity, joy, and the celebration of life.

Ian Chang opened the show with sonic soundscapes, with a style you may recognize from his work on Everything Everywhere All at Once. His band Son Lux (founded by Ryan Lott) wrote and recorded nearly the entire soundtrack for the award-winning film.

A musician on stage playing a drum set

Ian Chang of Son Lux opened the show at Longhorn Ballroom. Son Lux wrote and recorded nearly the entire soundtrack for award-winning film Everything Everywhere All at Once. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A full band on stage

The Polyphonic Spree opened up the show with their song “Hanging Around the Day.” Photo: Jessica Waffles

A full band on stage

The energy from the Polyphonic Spree radiated from the stage at Longhorn Ballroom. Photo: Jessica Waffles

One of The Polyphonic Spree’s defining features is their matching ensembles – a visual element that adds to their theatrical stage presence.

With over 20 members on stage, The Polyphonic Spree’s music features rich harmonies, orchestral arrangements, and a wide variety of instruments. The immersive sound carries themes of love, unity and spirituality.

A group of people standing together for a photo

KXT members in a booth at Longhorn Ballroom with KXT on-air DJs La Bell and Lesley James. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Balloons spell out "23"

“23” balloons on stage for the 23rd anniversary of Polyphonic Spree. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A neon sign that says Longhorn Ballroom

Upcoming events at Longhorn Ballroom include Randall King, Yo La Tengo, Snarky Puppy, John Waters, Los Lonely Boys, Shakey Graves and more. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Die-hard fans at Longhorn Ballroom sang their favorite songs at the top of their lungs, as well as enjoying new material from the group’s upcoming album Salvage Enterprise.

The band crowdfunded the album back in 2019, raising over $100,000 in donations.

A full band on stage

The full Polyphonic Spree band on stage features over 20 members. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A singer on stage

The Polyphonic Spree was founded by Tim DeLaughter, who was a member of Tripping Daisy. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Leoncarlo on stage as part of Polyphonic Spree. Photo: Jessica Waffles

The band has been hosting the “Salvage Enterprise Listening Experience” in places with bonfires and a seat under the stars. On their website, the message reads:

“In the sorrow of the times, evacuation causes light to breathe. Resting thoughts provide the food we need. Plow the fields; we’ve got some truth to seek. Swinging ladders on the ship, counting millions on the cliffs, decide if calculations make the news exist. Find the wind, stretch the linens quick.”

DeLaughter seeks to give fans a unique and contemplative experience to digest Salvage Enterprise, as the full release of the album has yet to be announced.

A cake with "23" on it

Polyphonic Spree offered free cake to attendees at the 23rd anniversary party. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A full band on stage

Fans in the crowd sang back the band’s lyrics at he top of their lungs. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A crowd in music venue

The event brought out all kinds of people, even tiny ones. Photo: Jessica Waffles

“Everybody’s basically got a jukebox in their pocket and I’d like people to hear this record as a whole, as an album,” DeLaughter says. “So we can have a captive audience and play the record from start to finish. To have the availability of introducing the record in that way, I thought it was interesting and serves its purpose.” [excerpt from an interview with Dallas Observer]

The Polyphonic Spree’s next listed shows are December 15 and 16 at Majestic Theatre in Dallas.

Kids singing on stage behind a frontman

A children’s choir came up on stage to sing with the band on a song, including students from William B Travis, Jesus Moroles, Bishop Dunne and Richardson West schools. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A full band on stage

The Polyphonic Spree’s new album Salvage Enterprise is expected to be released this Summer. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Jessica Waffles is a freelance photographer/videographer and regular contributor to KXT. 

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