Before making their 2018 appearance at Coachella, Tank and the Bangas made a boisterous stop at Santa Fe Brewing Co., just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Tank and the Bangas, led by the ever fascinating Tarriona “Tank” Ball, gained a huge fan base due to their recent appearance on an episode of NPR Tiny Desk Concert as a result of winning the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest.
Tank and the Bangas’ appearance on the NPR Tiny Desk has over 4.4 million views as of April 14, placing them in the top 10 most viewed Tiny Desk concerts on NPR’s YouTube channel, just under the likes of Hozier, Adele and T-Pain.
On their NPR performance Ball and her band were dressed in bright pastel colors, with their performance moving many audience members in the NPR office to tears.
During the Tank and the Bangas sold-out April 10 concert in Santa Fe, they brought the same emotion from their NPR performance, but drastically switched up their presentation.
Ball and her band took to the stage wearing dark clothing and an attitude that wouldn’t quit, a complete 180 from what was expected. Ball herself wore a 90s-esque Selena Quintanilla concert shirt, appropriate because from the first step onto the stage Ball radiated confidence — she knew she was in charge for the rest of the night.
Days after Tank and the Bangas’ performance, it’s still hard to place exactly what genre of music they fall under. During their hour-and-a-half show, Ball and her merry band of ever-talented companions hopped from spoken word poetry, to R&B to hip-hop to jazz to funk and even rock’n’roll when they performed a flawless, show-stopping rendition of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
With only one true album from 2013, “Think Tank,” it’s hard to believe how fresh and current Tank and the Bangas’ songs felt.
One second Ball was belting out a smooth gospel-like tune and in a blink of an eye she’s spewing a hundred words a second. Then, just as easily, she switches her voice to mimic a child singing an innocent melody.
As versatile and captivating as Ball’s performance was, the rest of the band shined equally as bright.
Each member of Tank and the Bangas was at the top of their game, switching genres and instruments as easily as Ball was switching up her own style.
Albert Allenback, who played alto saxophone and flute was by far one of the most attention-grabbing members of Ball’s collection. Allenback made his alto saxophone sing for an hour straight. He proceeded to make the flute cool when he seamlessly incorporated it into jazz, hip-hop and rock songs.
The audience that jam-packed the Santa Fe Brewing Co.’s venue was as diverse as the music being performed. It’s clear that Tank and the Bangas’ appeal is spread far and wide.
Audience participation seemed to be expected by Tank and the Bangas as the band split the audience into three groups and would every so often call out the number of a group and encourage them to cheer.
Along with cheers and support from the audience, many members of the front row were given the chance to belt out a lyric or two into the microphone, and toward the end of the night a particularly excitable audience member was invited to join Tank and the Bangas on stage to have a mini dance party.
As the night drew to a close, Tank and the Bangas pulled out one of their most beloved songs, “Rollercoasters.”
“Rollercoasters” is a five-minute-long look at the rush people get when riding a rollercoaster and comparing that lack of thrill to a person’s lack of love. With half spoken-word poetry and half goosebump raising vocal melodies, there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience.
It’s clear that Tank and the Bangas is a talented bunch with more than enough musical capabilities to move an audience.With their fan base growing by the day, it’s only a matter of time before non-fans run into their music and fall in love with the multitalented group.
Colton Newman is the photo editor and a music writer for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or on Twitter @Coltonperson.