Upstream Music Fest + Summit, Day 2: Polyrhythmics

Upstream Music Fest + Summit
Cierra Fraser
all photos by Bebe Labree Besch (view set)

With eight members, it's no surprise that the afro-funk of Seattle's own Polyrhythmics packs a mean punch of energy. Beyond the vibrant wall of sound that struck audience members of our Occidental Park at Upstream, festival-goers were also hit with a massive dose of sheer joy. The highly-danceable sounds of this energetic collection of musicians was met with an even more contagious spirit of positivity. Each member had a beaming smile plastered upon their face as they locked into the groove of their instruments. Families danced, we all smiled, and the energy of their intricately layered excitement flowed straight through to those fortunate enough to experience their performance.

As their name indicates, Polyrhythmics are experts at weaving in tantalizing layers of sound. With a three-horn section, an auxiliary percussionist, drummer, guitar, bass AND keys, they truly maximize their potential for high-spirited jamming. What really drove the dynamic element to their performance was the range in guitar tone. From blues, reggae, to classic rock and roll-- the drive of rhythm and bursts of horns were carried right alongside the evolving vibe of guitar. This progressive display of sound was spotlighted by a set list loaded with unreleased material (like the track 'Spiderwolf') off their upcoming album, expected to release this Fall.

With the funkiest of drum breaks, incendiary horn solos, smooth organ sounds and highly infectious energy, Polyrythmics will go down in Seattle history as one of the most delightful live performances to catch. If you were able to take them in at Upstream, you can surely attest to their undeniable aptitude for fun!

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