The atmosphere in the Poliça show, at The Paradise, is up beat. The crowd chats to each other as the opener leaves the stage. The lights stay down, a blue and pink glow comes from the stage, and everyone continues their conversations.
Then, with no warning, the canned music stops and a petite girl with a tight pixie hair cut saunters onto the stage as though she were in a field of wildflowers. The bassist, and two drummers follow her. The entire band dresses in black.
“Is this supposed to be a girl?” A 20something in a denim vest and miniskirt asks her friend.
Channy Leaneagh, the lead singer, starts off with a long, belting, opening song. She could easily be the love child of Audrey Hepburn and Kirsten Dunst. She dances around the stage as she sings and taps her keyboard.
Her dance moves vary between flowing with the music and a popping/locking of salsa dancing. A hip pop with a shoulder sway.
The entire crowd bobs along as though afloat on an inflatable pool raft, soaking up the long forgotten sun. Some bob along excitedly. There’s a group of friends dressed alike, flannel plaid shirts, tight denim pants, and dark toned Doc Martens.
A pair of men in their forties hold Rolling Rock beer’s, and shout to each other over the pulse of the music. “You’ve got to give her credit. It’s an 80s vibe but it’s hot off the presses. She’s really innovative.”
He would know better than the kids in flannel and beanies. But the crowd is divided among age ranges. Some are in their twenties, there to enjoy the fusion of dance music and folk singer vocals. Some are in their thirties and forties, reliving sounds of their youth. Some are in their 70s, standing by the bar, a safe distance from the crowd.
Channy barely interacts with the crowd, but when she does she explains how they just arrived from Montreal.
“Unfortunately I don’t feel very good. I think I may have been poisoned by Canada.” Channy jokes.
Time rolled by at its own pace, an hour long set passing in what felt like seconds. The crowd remains mostly silent between songs, cheering enthusiastically at the end of each one.
It was a mellow show, the crowd staying in place instead of shoving to the front. The atmosphere relaxed. But from the stage Channy sang, and played, and swayed making it a dynamic experience.