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MusicUnderFire | February 6, 2016

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Show Review: Polica @ Johnny Brenda’s 5/16/12

Show Review: Polica @ Johnny Brenda’s 5/16/12

Polica (still don’t know how the eff to pronounce that) came to Johnny Brenda’s on a hot night. The venue sold out and Polica stole hearts.

I have never been to a show at Johnny Brenda’s that sold out and frankly I was surprised. I assumed this would be like most other JB shows with a small but devoted audience. You know, the type of audience that likes being on the cutting edge of the music scene. I got tipped off to this band by a friend who is well-versed in indie music, but isn’t trolling blogs nonstop. So somehow people are finding out about this band. Sure, they’ve had mentions on NPR and Rolling Stone, but that’s hardly enough to propel a band to the on-the-verge edge. This seems to be a truly word of mouth band. The gospel is spreading because people are falling in love and telling everyone they can about it — as people in love often do.

The audience reaction at the Polica show was the type that is generally reserved for . While listening to the band’s studio album, I wouldn’t have guessed that the songs are swoon-worthy, but they proved to be that way when performed live. The show began with arguably the band’s best song “Wandering Star” and people became immediately enraptured. The entire audience was dancing and did not stop the entire time. During “Lay Your Cards Out”, everyone in the crowd swayed and bobbed in ecstasy.

A word about the use of autotune during the performance. First of all, it is obvious that vocal effects are used on the album. They are not thinly veiled and the effects add to the otherworldly feel of each song. Obviously, these same effects would be used live. So I was surprised at the self-conscious mention of autotune that Channy Leaneagh made in between songs. In this case, autotune is adding to the songs rather than making it sound processed and fake. Tools can be used for good or for evil and, in this case, they are used for good.

Two drummers. Shhh. Yes. TWO drummers. Why can’t every band have two drummers? The only thing I can compare it to is that you’ve only ever eaten one dessert your whole life. Because everybody else only ever ate one dessert. Then one day a beautiful French waitress comes to your table and says, “No, today you have two desserts.” And you think to yourself, why was I always only having one? Why?! Now it must be this way forever…

So, yes. Eat two desserts. Have two drummers. Eat at restaurants with beautiful French waitresses. And for God’s sake, go see Polica. All of these things are on the same level of heaven.



  1. [...] up: Polica. I won’t spend too much time here because I very recently reviewed their show at Johnny Brenda’s. I was very happy to hear Polica sound just as crisp and epic in a massive outdoor space as they [...]