Review: Poliça and Spank Rock at First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN. February 11, 2017

Published 2/12/2017 by Jeff Becker

Channy Leaneagh’s 5-year anniversary, one-off hometown show with her Minneapolis-based alternative pop/rock band Poliça felt like the acceptance of the torch as the best band in town.  That’s saying a lot for a city that thrives on night life during six months of cold weather.  The real question would be, who handed Poliça the torch?   The Replacements were long gone a couple decades ago and their comeback was nothing more than a Gen X revival.   Prince’s passing doesn’t relinquish his ownership of the city – but the days had long passed us by since he dominated the downtown Minneapolis scene with annual excitement.

Poliça’s best music is happening right now.  Polica is a band in its prime, and better than it was three years ago at this same venue.  Leaneagh brought out at least one new stellar new Poliça track (title unknown and her brief chats with the audience were inaudible from my vantage point).   They also knocked out a great rendition of the ever popular Lesley Gore track, ‘You Don’t Own Me’.  While this cover is a little predictible (how many commercials has it been on?), Leaneagh pulled it off like few could.

Their most recent LP, 2016’s United Crushers was showcased.   The evening highlight was an extended, riveting, jaw-dropping rock down of the powerful ‘Wedding’ with Leaneagh blasting away in a girl power style similar to the Savages.   It was epic and one of the more thrilling ten minutes of live music I’ve ever seen.

Leaneagh opened the first three songs wearing a lace headband, hiding her face from photographers.The one curious aspect of her stage presence was that she never really came closer than 5-6 feet from the edge of the stage.   It seemed odd, but unintentional.    First Avenue’s stage and ample security pit usually tempt all performers to push the boundary, but Leaneagh remained back for most of the night, almost behind an invisible line between her and the audience.   Maybe she knew she now had the torch, and just didn’t want to risk losing it in front of the 1600 faithful that packed the place.

Poliça setlist

Wandering Star
Someway
Lime Habit
Wedding
Trippin
Lately
New song
Vegas
You Don’t Own Me (Lesley Gore cover)
Spank Rock & Poliça song
Melting Block
Lose You
Unknown new song
Warrior Lord
Lay Your Cards Out
So Leave
Very Cruel
Leading To Death

Encore:
Chain My Name

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