Poliça celebrates 5 Years as a Band with a Sold-Out First Avenue


It’s no secret that Minneapolis is home to some pretty great bands. The local music scene in the Twin Cities is one of the most vibrant and diverse (ok, we might be a little biased). This city is a breeding ground for great music with new bands always popping up. And it’s especially a treat to watch a band come up in the Twin Cities and then go on to gain exposure beyond the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. And of course one of these bands is Poliça. And when bands like Poliça do go on to experience the success they have, the Twin Cities music fans are always quick to cheer on their hometown heros when they swing back through town.

Since getting their start in the Twin Cities around 2011, Poliça has gone on to sign with the renowned Mom + Pop Records, play a slew of both national and international tours and release a handful of incredibly well received albums. And on Saturday night Poliça made their triumphant return to a sold out First Ave mainroom to celebrate their 5th Anniversary as a band.

Poliça is a band that has constantly pushed the envelope, mixing elements from many genres, and defying the typical boundaries or constraints of synth pop music. Poliça has collaborated with a myriad of artists throughout the years and always seem to have a pulse on what the next sound or trend is. With that also comes an astute awareness of up-and-coming artists to collaborate with, highlight, etc. Last night’s openers showed this read that Poliça has on the music scene in general. They brought along Baltimore based rapper Spank Rock to warm up the stage. Last night was a bit of preview of the Eaux Claires festival (full lineup was announced this week). Both Spank Rock and Poliça will be playing Justin Vernon’s Eaux Claires festival in July.

Spank Rock put the subwoofers in the mainroom to work with his heavy bass and rhythmic raps. Spank Rock had a bit of an early Childish Gambino vibe, noted our photographer Andrew Dobin. Spank Rock commanded the stage solo and blended elements of hip hop, electronic and synth. His performance, paired with trippy lighting and backdrop, made for a psychedelic set, no drugs necessary. Although from some wafts of smokes from the crowd it seemed that some had chosen to partake in something other than PBR tallboys last night.

Taking to the stage shortly after 10 PM to an energetic crowd was Poliça. It was a completely packed house, from the front to the back, by the time Poliça took the stage. Minneapolis packed out the mainroom to dance (and attempt to sing) along to Poliça. It was a definitely a mixed crowd last night, including the typical Current fans, as well as fans young and old alike. Looking around First Ave and seeing such a diverse crowd really spoke to the reach that Poliça has generated in their five years as a band. There were definitely the die-heart fans, as well as newer fans. But that again speaks to what is so special about Poliça as band – their music has a way of always finding people and turning them into fans. And last night’s set was a reminder of why so many of us fell in love with this band, whether five years ago or five days ago. Frontwoman Channy Leaneagh is absolutely a force to be reckoned with, but not in a in-your-face way, but simply carries herself on stage with poise and a quiet confidence. Her hard to understand lyrics make for songs that aren’t exactly easy to sing along with, but you can’t take your eyes off her during Poliça’s performance. As always Poliça had the crowd absolutely captivated – playing songs off all of their albums, the greatest hits of Poliça’s five years as a band. Last night’s performance was a celebration of where Poliça started, where they are now and where they are headed. It was much of a celebration of what’s to come from Poliça in the future as it was an anniversary of their five years as a band. From last performance there are no signs of slowing down from Poliça anytime soon. So here’s to the past five years of Poliça and here’s to the next five too.