The Polyphonic Spree Do Lennon For Leno.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of their annual holiday blowouts, the Polyphonic Spree are taking their “holiday extravaganza” show on the road this year.
Officially, that tour gets underway with a performance this Thursday night at The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. Unofficially, though, their performance of John Lennon's “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” last night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno not only served a sort of tour kickoff, but a signal to the rest of America that the Spree is still very much alive and kicking.
Clad in red and green holiday-themed robes, Tim DeLaughter led an 11-person orchestra and six-person choir in an especially stirring rendition of the classic Lennon tune. It's apparent from the onset of the performance that the song resonated deeply with DeLaughter, too.
That much was confirmed this morning when the band released an official video for the song directed by the Seattle-based water color artist Gala Bent via NPR's All Songs Considered blog. According to the accompanying interview with NPR's Robin Hilton, DeLaughter has had a longtime connection with the song.
“I remember hearing it as a kid, but it really resonated with me after John's passing,” he told NPR. “It's a protest song that has taken on a whole other life as a holiday song. It always seems we're in some sort of conflict. We chose to do this song as a message of hope as we ask ourselves if we are capable, as a race, to find solutions and stop the hate.”
Unfortunately, we can't find a direct embed to the band's performance anywhere online at the moment. But you can still check out the band's impressive Tonight Show display below by skipping ahead to the 37:39 mark.
The Polyphonic Spree performs December 12 at Lakewood Theatre. Photo via the band's Instagram feed.