Ottawa, Ontario (June 11th, 2019 ) – Adrienne Row – Smith
On a bright sunny evening, The Bronson Centre in Ottawa was filled with a crowd that was eager to truly begin enjoying the summer and opted for a night with great music by enjoying one of the few Canadian stop on Tank & The Bangas Green Balloon Tour. Eager to bring the summer funk party vibes to Canada, New Orleans based Tank & The Bangas and Alfred Banks treated fans to a captivating and memorable performance.
Prior to Alfred Banks taking the stage, touring DJ Novi started the pre – party spinning popular hits from various with a calm and experience demeanour as he effortlessly transitioned between songs. As an enticing started, he got the crowd hyped – up for Alfred Banks.
For his first time in Ottawa, Alfred Banks came out itching to make an impression. Opening with a Mister Rogers homage skit – he sat down in front of the crowd and changes from a pair of white shoes into a pair of Air Jordan’s with a sample of “Won’t You Be My Neighbour” playing in the background. The move enticed folks in the crowd to leave their seats and get a better standing view of Banks, unsure of what to expect from the rapper. With only himself and Dj Novi in the back to captivate the crowd, Banks pulled out all the stops to impress. With his impeccable lyrical skills and charisma, Banks made it clear as to why he had earned the position for opening for Kendrick Lamar at Voodoo Fest, and with continuous performances like this it can only take him higher. Taking the time to blend his set with musical prowess and campy engaging banter, Banks also made time to relate to the crowd and close the distance between himself and them. Banks’ prowess on the microphone blended with his charisma and solidified his performance during “Underdog Central”, as he sectioned off the crowd and got them to join him and shout out the title track wording when it was. With his final song, the crowd was truly feeling Banks as a performer and he was able to get them to dance and move. They were feeling him so much so that a few folks in the crowd were trying to Shazam his final song to make sure they could it add him to their musical rotation later. As Banks said himself, music was clearly his love and passion and it was a powerful note to end on for his first time in Ottawa.
When it was time for Tank & The Bangas to take the stage, the band opted to create a more layered atmosphere featuring ethereal tones and vibes before the band would physically take to the stage. Reminiscent of the big grand jazz band era – of which New Orleans is the birthplace of – the band were proud of where they came from and wanted to spice up the North with it. However, the approach the band took was very different than their last performance in Ottawa (Cityfolk 2017). The difference in energy manifestation reflected a more mature and refined band of which the Green Balloon (their latest release) era represents. The main namesake of the band, Tarriona “Tank”Ball was a force to be reckoned with, as during “Ants” her vocals soared high and her sensational lyrics seeping into the crowd enticed them to connect and move their bodies in any way that they could. Despite starting off on a more mature foot, the band still engaged in some humours entertainment, pulling out a more campy approach with songs like “Quick”, and “Nice Things”. The band is a must see, as great as all their albums are they are only a small portion of the Tank & The Bangas experience. It is a true sign of musicianship when a band will use their album material as the skeleton for their live performances and then freestyle musically to help create a unique and engaging performance for the crowd. When the band left the stage, the crowd continued cheering and chanting “Encore” before DJ RQ Away came out and encourage them to change their chant to “We Want Tank.” With the change in phrase, the crowd got their wish and were treated to an intimate performance of a medley of the band’s first songs taken from 2013’s Think Tank. With this, Tank & The Bangas solidified the evening as a masterclass in musical performance, don’t hesitate in seeing them when they play a city near you!