As a somewhat-new member of the adult world, the magic of Christmastime seems to dwindle every passing year. The pressures that come with being in my early twenties have made December just another month on the calendar. Luckily, all of my Scrooge-like sentiments toward the holidays were whisked away this weekend by a five-hour fusion of symphonic pop-rock and Christmas cheer.
Dallas-based band The Polyphonic Spree turned The Majestic Theatre into a winter wonderland on Saturday for their 17th annual Holiday Extravaganza–and yes, it was as magical as one would imagine.
Girls dressed in elf costumes and toy soldier stilt-walkers ushered the concertgoers through the theater doors and into a psychedelic circus. In one corner of the foyer, a woman dressed in a milkmaid ensemble played old time Christmas tunes on her accordion, while a balloon artist stood across the way, twisting fun creations for the kids. A bar was stationed between the two acts, providing liquid cheer for adult attendees.
The instant I entered the main stage area, I realized I was underdressed. My plastic holly earrings were no match for the festive apparel worn by my peers. Children and adults alike were decked in red and green getups, gilded in glitter and sequins, tacky Christmas sweaters, and light-up Santa hats.
Hordes of reindeer and snowman inflatables crowded the back of the stage. Any and all surfaces were wrapped in garland and tinsel. Two big confetti machines on either side of the stage released frequent flurries of white paper bits, mimicking a snowstorm. For one night, North Texas looked a lot like the North Pole.
I couldn’t help but chuckle when I saw Santa and Mrs. Claus waving to the audience from their seats in the balcony.
The show commenced with a parade of exotic animals from the Dallas Zoo, including an African black penguin and a particularly enchanting sloth named Lola, prompting oohs and aahs from the crowd.
Following the animals, two family-friendly musical acts, The Que Pastas and Gustafer Yellowgold, got the audience up on their feet as they played pun-filled acoustic jingles that resulted in roars of laughter among the kids in the audience.
The Polyphonic Spree’s front man, Tim DeLaughter, who looked like he walked straight out of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, acted as MC for the night until his band took the stage for the main event.
Each member of The Polyphonic Spree was robed in their iconic white gowns and laurel wreaths, giving off a similar appearance to the cult-members in the 2019 horror film, Midsommar, but in a nice, Christmasy-way. The band played holiday classics, including rock-inspired-takes on “Christmastime Is Here” and “Let It Snow,” with the lyrics being projected on a large screen so the audience could sing along. Halfway through the set, DeLaughter invited all of the children to the stage to sing “Silent Night” to an audience of gushing adults, as if the show couldn’t get any more heartwarming.
After inducing several flashes of childlike euphoria, the holiday set finished, and following a brief interlude of side-performances, including the Dallas Tap Dazzlers, it was time for the rock set.
Sleepy children were escorted out and eager adults drew closer to the stage. The lights dimmed and the band re-entered, this time dressed in colorful choral robes. I could feel the sweet sound of wind instruments and the reverberations of percussion vibrate through my body as DeLaughter led the band through popular Polyphonic Spree hits, singing about the sun and the power of love.
As the clock struck midnight, confetti and balloons fell from the ceiling, closing out the extravaganza. As I exited the theatre after being handed a chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk from the “volunteer elves,” I couldn’t help but smile. The Polyphonic Spree helped me, a stressed-out twenty-two-year-old, experience holiday magic like a kid again.