Tank And The Bangas are hands down the most charismatic, joyful, innovative bunch buzzing in the music industry right now. Last Wednesday, the New Orleans band touched down in Berlin to treat an excited (though hot) crowd to an unforgettable night in Berlin’s renowned jazz club Quasimodo.
Their contagious happiness becomes clear immediately when Tarriona “Tank” Ball enters the stage with her wing woman Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph, musical director and drummer Joshua Johnson, his brother and bass player Jonathan Johnson, saxophone and flute wizard Albert Allenbeck and Norman Spence on synth keys.
Three songs in, I found myself not only being captured by the music but also their strong stage presence and flawless dynamic. The concert itself felt like an hour-long jam session, with the crowd acting as an energetic support fam as opposed to merely voyeurs. Their set switches from heartfelt ballads to upbeat poetry slam in a matter of minutes, without ever losing control of the rhythm. Both Tank and Jelly do an excellent job at entertaining the public by making them twerk, stretch, go low, jump high and sing along.
Their set switches from heartfelt ballads to upbeat poetry slam in a matter of minutes, without ever losing control of the rhythm.
Their own catchy tunes, as well as Anderson Paak’s Come Down were performed – always slightly different from the original version. Which is the real magic of Tank And The Bangas. Their music contains so many layers, inside jokes, variations, and surprising elements, that you will never get bored listening to it. Heck, the chances you even get to hear the same version of a song are rather slim.
That creativity, plus Tank’s undeniably impressive poetry skills, characteristic voice and church-like singing is exactly why this band has taken the world by storm.
In between the songs, Tank interacts with the public by sharing food-for-thought stories. Real-life memories and lessons that make you feel motivated to change up your own life. Meanwhile, Jelly spots a girl with vintage-looking glasses in the audience and compliments her on the frame.
The two powerful, genuine women are backed up by a band sizzling with talent. What makes the ensemble so great to watch is that, throughout the entire performance, their faces were either full of joy or lost in the music – a sign they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but on that stage.
The night ended with a massive, well-deserved applause, after which the band returned for their final song; Rollercoasters. A song that is close to my heart because of the emotional moment in that NPR Tiny Desk concert. In the video, Tank tears up from the lyrics and what I imagine, the overwhelm, gratitude and realization of what a bright, sparkling future they have ahead of them.
[Swipe right for video]
Header picture from here.