While on tour for their recent release, Shulamith, Polica returned to Denver’s Bluebird Theater to a nearly sold out crowd. I have been waiting eagerly since their performance at Snowball last March to see Channy Leaneagh & company deliver another set of beautiful synth R&B/Pop that doubles as a modern day Siren’s call for hipsters. Say what you will about hipsters, but they usually have a great taste in music.
As I walked inside the venue several things caught my attention immediately – The Bluebird was the perfect theater for surreal ambiance Polica’s music creates, the floor was absolutely PACKED for a show that didn’t quite sell out, & I have never seen this many couples making out at a concert before. Once Polica hit the stage, the whole venue turned their attention to Leaneagh & her encapsulating performance.
After the first song, Chris Bierden’s bass threw a string & Leaneagh was forced to improvise & talk with the crowd – a spot she clearly does not enjoy. Her awkward, yet charmingly shy, ramblings at the audience revealed her as something of a simple, reserved, & downright normal person (she was born in Boulder, ate a cupcake earlier in the day, & was short of breath due to the altitude). After replacing Bierden’s bass string the Minneapolis quartet flew into a brief and powerful hour-and-ten-minute set.
Although Leaneagh stole the show with her amazing voice & ultra-seductive dancing, Bierden was the rock that holds the band together & his bass lines are quite possibly what makes Polica’s music so dynamic. The band sounded better live than they do on their albums & I’m not sure they can pull that off without Bierden. It’s also quite obvious that Leaneagh & Bierden have a strong onstage chemistry – I can only hope it keeps growing into longer and more comprehensive performances by one of my favorite new bands.
Highlights: Dark Star, Very Cruel, Chain My Name, I See My Mother