As an underage obedient to the Seattle music scene, Showbox at the Market is on the top of my list of favorite all ages venues. The underage can rage in front of the stage while boozers can sit down and enjoy their drinks in the back.
When Poliça, the Minneapolis producer/singer duo offshoot of the Gayngs collective, played there on Saturday, somehow, in the midst of the set, I ended up front row center. Like everyone else it seemed, I too became a follower of lead singer Channy Leaneagh. Her effortlessly cool vibe, all black attire (which included a Sonic Boom Records shirt, where the group performed an in-shop show earlier that afternoon), and ethereal, trance-y vocals had the crowd more than ready to sway along.
With the addition of Chris Bierden’s bass and the drums of Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu, the result was a trippy, synth-heavy performance. The combined effect sounded less like a indie rock band, and more like a psychedelic group from across the universe. Notable highlights included “Tiff,” “Warrior Lord,” and “Dark Star,” though most of its songs sound and feel the same: love songs with spacey vocal effects set to trance beats.
The display, however, was a bit lacking in energy. During the show I observed almost robotic movements from the two drummers, and the only smile I could make out—from anyone—was on Leaneagh’s face while she swayed in a stationary-running dance move, her eyes lighting up as she belted her words into the packed room. The crowd tuned in to Leaneagh the most, and rightfully so, she commanded the audience with radiance and it wasn’t until halfway through the set that she addressed the crowd and introduced the group. Though, it should be said, Bierden’s fine harmonizing added an eerie vibe alongside Leanagh’s vocals that partially made up for the band’s lack of spirit. (When I spoke with Bierden about it after the show, he let on that the tour has been exhausting and told me “everyone is ready to get home.”)
Even so, it ended all too soon. Given the group’s energy, an encore seemed unlikely, but after about four minutes of applause, the quartet hurried back on stage, all business, and cranked out Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” and another beat from their album Shulamith, “Matty.” When the encore was done, the group once again scurried off stage, but not before Ivascu flashed a smile on the crowd, a nice gesture for someone who seemed so tired—or was it bored?—during the show.
One question though: Why was the man beside me kneading his jacket like it was bread dough? He got very into it and that dance will never be the new twerk. Just sayin’, dude.