Music » Critics' Picks

The Polyphonic Spree

8 p.m. Saturday, August 4. The Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard)

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Somewhere between Jesus Christ Superstar and Children of the Corn sits the current incarnation of the Polyphonic Spree — the Texas cult-cum-symphonic-rock outfit which manages to be creepy and joyous at the same time. Led by charismatic ex-Tripping Daisy singer Tim DeLaughter, the two-dozen-strong Spree has of late ditched the white robes in favor of military-style black get-ups emblazoned with red crosses and hearts — kinda like a gothic M*A*S*H unit. The group's new album, The Fragile Army, is a bit darker as well, but all of the strings, horns, harps, flutes, guitars and that heavenly choir ultimately renders it uplifting. The Spree's show is a spectacle that nearly reaches Flaming Lips' heights; without ruining any surprises, expect a dramatic entrance, songs old and new, lots of confetti and smoke, and perhaps even costume changes.

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