- I was a big Fraggle Rock fan as a kid.
- My friend Maha and I composed intricate dance routines to my Cats and Michael Jackson records.
- I was in my high-school production of Godspell.
- I saw Rent five times in three cities in 2000.
So perhaps I'm predisposed to love musicians who perform with unabashed glee. Last night's Polyphonic Spree show catered to my proclivity for passionate cheesiness quite nicely. The twenty-person ensemble belted cheery pop, each number a grand finale for a lesser band, complete with slide show, xylophone, and choral choreography. The audience grew hoarse in a communal sing-along that culminated in an enrapturing Wig in a Box. An indie-pop cult in floor-length white robes, the Polyphonic Spree gave a dizzying performance stripped of pretention.
Openers included the accordion-wielding Corn Mo, perhaps the love child of Meatloaf and Elvis, who in addition to obliterating all of the technique my accordion teacher has strived to convey, played the longest life-motivational vamp the Aladdin Theater has likely ever seen. With hamfisted chording, his ridiculously captivating songs covered such topics as being mistaken for Gary Busey (wasn't that you in Silver Bullet? No!), making out with girls at the better podunk mall (the one with the food court), and junior high bus rides. The mediocre and painfully loud Sleepy Jackson followed, but then local throat singer Enrique Ugalde more than compensated, astonishing us with one-man harmonics, a feat few get to see live.