Reviewed by Jesse Nathaniel Jenkins
You can’t be led astray whenever the music is led by absolute freedom and an intention to have a good time. I couldn’t think of a better place to be than to see Tank and The Bangas in downtown Minneapolis!
I went to their show with little to no expectations of what to expect. To my pleasant surprise, I came to discover that Big Freedia was her opening act. I had first come to the attention of Big Freedia after listening to Beyonce’s Latest album released in 2016 ‘Lemonade’. Big Freedia sways in confidence on ‘formation’ providing the confidence and attitude to remind you she came to slay.
She came to slay while also leaving you with more energy afterward! The entire club was a sea of varying faces. Some knew what to expect when they came to a Big Freedia show. Others were not so privy to the amount of booty shaking and vibrating bodies from on top, to the bare bones of the ground. Big Freedia commanded everyone to repeat after her and had the audience in the palm of her hand. The heat had returned to MPLS just briefly in the energy of Southern Musicianship. It helped that the Vikings went up against The Saints yesterday in Minneapolis, only this time the Saint’s scored the victory!
The energy that led the path to Tank and The Bangas was one of freedom and clarity. It was amazing to see the crowd all dance at a moments notice in varying degrees. At one point she wanted volunteers to see who’d be willing to come on stage to shake something. If Big Freedia had unwrapped everyone’s box of curiosity – Tank and The Bangas only added to bring more suspense and performance!
If you’re looking for a mix of funk, r&b, spoken word and/or fusion of various genres, you wouldn’t want to miss a show like Tank and The Bangas. The show started with guitars, drums, and music nirvana which took your mind and ears on a journey of ebb and flow through destinations. Tarriona “Tank” Ball came on stage (along with her background singers) with large Panda masks on the top of their heads. The energy at this point had collapsed into excitement and syncopated screams exchanged with the audience and with the musicians.
Each song that was performed felt like a theme from a movie. Many combinations of sounds, feelings, and emotions run through while seeing them live. Each one engaged in their instrument while also ensuring the crowd was willing to ride the waves with them. While I could enjoy the different places they went with the music, I appreciated I could see some inspirations of funk and hip-hop sprinkled in their inspiration pallet.
At one point the band went into ‘Untitled 07’ (Levitate) by Kendrick Lamar which really spun the crowd into joy!
Even to those who weren’t aware where the music would flow next, could be taken to the places the band would lead next with full trust.
Tank & the Bangas are a New Orleans, Louisiana-based R&B band fronted by Tarriona Ball, aka Tank, a singer, and poet. They won 2017 Tiny Desk show for NPR. Be sure to follow Tank and The Bangas!! https://www.tankandthebangas.com/
Follow Jesse at jesterbuttontherapy.com and on twitter https://twitter.com/Jestereye7x. Thank you to @CajunLife for catering the after-show meet and greet.
Check out Tank and the Bangas at the Minnesota State Fair 2017.
About Tank and the Bangas:
Tank & the Bangas are a New Orleans, Louisiana-based R&B band fronted by Tarriona Ball, aka Tank, a singer and poet. The band’s instrumental core, capable of shifting from classic soul and funk to hip-hop, reggae, and rock, consists of musical director and drummer Joshua Johnson, keyboardist Merell Burkett, keyboardist and bassist Norman Spence, and saxophonist and flutist Albert Allenback, Etienne Stoufflet -Sax, Joe Johnson – Keys, Danny Abel – Guitar and background vocalists Angelika “Jelly” Joseph and Kayla Jasmine. Think Tank, their debut studio album, was released independently in 2013. It was followed by a pair of recordings that documented hometown gigs: The Big Bang: Live at Gasa Gasa in 2014 and Jazzfest in 2015. In 2017, Tank & the Bangas reached a new audience when they prevailed over 6,000 fellow aspiring acts to win NPR’s third Tiny Desk Contest. The vote, from a panel of musicians and experts, was unanimous.
Photo Credit: OMG Media Solutions