Review: New Politics play DePaul’s Polarpalooza

Pop punk band New Politics performed at Lincoln Hall last Thursday for Polarpalooza. The band said they are grateful to have gained mainstream popularity over the past few years. (Photo courtesy of Josue A. Ortiz)
Pop punk band New Politics performed at Lincoln Hall last Thursday for Polarpalooza. The band said they are grateful to have gained mainstream popularity over the past few years. (Photo courtesy of Josue A. Ortiz)

Polarpalooza, the DePaul Activity Board’s winter concert at Lincoln hall, took place last Thursday at Lincoln Hall. Milwaukee’s Vinyl Theater opened the show for the pop punk band New Politics, and around 250 DePaul students attended. Tickets, which were distributed through out the week, were free with a student ID.

Doug Jackson, head of security at Lincoln Hall, said students were a little too excited. Four people were kicked out for underage drinking before New Politics even took the stage. This was not unexpected however, according to Jackson.

“Last year Chance the Rapper got pretty gnarly. I’d expect to pull about 10 or 15 fake IDs tonight,” Jackson said.

While an energetic crowd was eager to see the popular group, it seemed to be just a quick stop on New Politics’ agenda. New Politics have had multiple songs featured in commercials, toured with bands Fall Out Boy and Paramore, and also recently signed to Warner Brothers Records, a step up from their last label.

Members David Boyd, Louis Vecchio and Søren Hansen could not help but think of their future of private jets and sold out arenas. The group said they are thankful for their growing status, and every time they hear one of their hit singles on the radio they grow more confident in reaching their goals.

“Where I am hoping to be in a year is playing 5,000 person rooms,” Hansen said.

“I’d just be happy if we had a private jet,” Vecchio, the drummer of the group, said

Vecchio continued, slightly self-consciously, as he examined a beer bottle and said that it is easier to denounce “selling out” as a younger artist. “To have a career for the long term is the better decision,” he said.

With the release of their new album, “Vikings,” the group has seen their hard work come to fruition and is excited to begin promoting their latest release. In a transitioning industry, New Politics is conscious of Internet piracy and free streaming resources such as Spotify. “I do think it’s wrong, but at the same time I’ve done it,” Hansen said.

“I have mixed feeling on it because I’m just as guilty as anyone else who downloads illegally,” Boyd said.

The pair noted that while these methods are free, bands still receive payments through advertising and gain recognition through the spreading of hit songs. Although they are artists, the group never shook the looming shadow of financial growth. They acknowledged that they are artists just as much as they are professionals.

The balance of art and business is always present in band discussions. The struggle to produce new sounds while still pleasing their label is one New Politics is accustomed to. They admit that their label and manager often know best, and they find themselves listening to their business partners more than their own musical tendencies.

This may boost radio plays and tour deals, but its effects are felt in their music. Their performance lacked emotion Thursday, and some even felt the group had showed up for a paycheck.

The event ran smoothly thanks to the help of 20 DePaul Activity Board volunteers, however, next year DAB may be looking for a band more satisfied with the intimacy of Lincoln Hall.