Poliça – Webster Hall – November 8, 2013
With the release of their debut album, Give You the Ghost, last year, Minnesota electro-pop outfit Poliça quickly gained success, leading to opening slots for Bon Iver and the xx. The quartet, helmed by frontwoman Channy Leaneagh, manipulates vocals through loops and Auto-Tune to create a whirlpool of sound that sucks you in. At a nearly sold-out Webster Hall on Friday night, Poliça played before a backdrop depicting the cover of their latest full-length, Shulamith, and its material served as the meat of the evening’s set. With drummers Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu (yes, there were two drummers with full kits) getting it started, Leaneagh’s gloved hands gesticulated for the opening song, “Spilling Lines.” The gloves were promptly removed for “Lay Your Cards Out,” off their previous album, Give You the Ghost.
Bassist Chris Bierden revved his strings on “Very Cruel” as Leaneagh slithered across the stage. Although there was little banter throughout the night, the singer simply offered, “I hope you all have a good time” to a roared response. As the house lights came on to the crash of cymbals during “Vegas,” it was clear that the fine folks at Webster Hall were having a ball. Before she introduced “Chain My Name,” Leaneagh disclosed that her mother gave her such a unique name in the hopes that she’d become a country singer. The first single from Shulamith would be the pixie songstress’s “country song.” Although the set closed, appropriately, with “So Leave,” the band came back onstage for a three-song encore. Bierden was the first to return, followed shortly thereafter by Leaneagh, who sang a slowed-down, yet shortened version of “Wandering Star.” With the pair of drummers joining them, the full band treated the crowd to a cover of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” before finishing the night with “Matty.” —Sharlene Chiu