Didn’t grab a ticket to BANKS’ Sydney show on the weekend? You definitely should have. From a bumping crowd to emotional vocals, if you weren’t a fan of her before, you will be now.
A cold Newtown night saw my hungry self-looking to kill some time before BANKS took to the stage at the Enmore Theatre on Sunday night. As anticipation for a night of killer music was building up, I was also feeling slightly under prepared having not listened to BANKS latest album, The Altar nearly as much as her previous effort, Goddess. Yet, after taking to the queue and convincing the bouncer to let me in after queuing at the wrong gate, I was just in time.
An artists’ performance can encompass a lot of things, like dancing, great vocals and a killer light-show. But what turns the performance into a real form of art comes down to the artist and how they choose to express their work. BANKS had chosen to express her art in a way that will keep you up all night. From awesome crowd interaction to an insane band, beat producer and magical dancers, BANKS turned her performance into a journey we were all invited to.
BANKS is known for her ability to combine her dreamy vocals with delicate, electronic beats that will have you crying for more. Her most recent album, The Altar, which features known tracks like ‘Gemini Feed’ and ‘Fuck With Myself’, was beautifully performed on the night with the crowd going nuts for songs like ‘Trainwreck’ and ‘Lovesick’.
Yet, it was her previous album Goddess and some solo singles that were shown the most love. ‘This Is What It Feels Like’ was one of many songs that had the crowd screaming every word at the top of their lungs while songs like ‘Better’ which was a single released in 2015, had the crowd putting away their phones and being in the moment with BANKS as she requested. The crowd was in awe as she so gracefully nailed every single note of the song and told a story that had her shedding a tear on stage.
BANKS has an ability that not many artists have – to be able to communicate so much emotion in her voice with her lyrics. It gave the crowd goosebumps and more than a few tears were shed in the crowd as well.
The most powerful thing about BANKS is her creative outlet. She is able to do some crazy things on stage that only add to the experience and the story she is telling. There was even a brief moment in the show where she stood alone on stage and communicated to the crowd in sign language. It was about a dream that she had about a girl named Rainwater who was unable to leave the house as she was so pure. She later (in reality) spoke to a lady who was deaf and only communicated through sign language and BANKS asked about her connection to music. After the lady signed back that she feels the music in her body, BANKS was inspired to write a poem about her dream in sign language and now shares this with the world on her tour. Her poem is below:
“Once was a girl named rain water, her feet were soft as snow, her mumma said no ground was soft enough for her to go, you see her feet prettier than the prettiest of all, would bruise and bleed with every step and so she had to crawl. One day she said inside her head she didn’t want to hide, she didn’t care about how bad the cuts would be outside. And so she walked and walked and walked until her feet cut up by rocks, would bleed until her red in socks were useless in the night. Be like rainwater who ran until her soft feet turned to calluses, she was able to run on any surface, branches or rocks, red ants or spiders her feet were impenetrable, forever.”
If you have seen BANKS’ music videos, you would know that they are quite abstract yet they are weirdly wonderful. With reference to specific videos like ‘Fuck With Myself’ and ‘Gemini Feed’, she is seen exposing her true, crazy self which you can’t help but love. She gives off such a badass vibe in that she does not seem to care about what others may think of her. She ventures through life with nothing but her own experiences to learn from and she uses music as her way of expressing those thoughts that some of us choose to keep inside. We can only respect her for that.
Overall, BANKS is one of those artists that you can really connect to in live performances. She has a way of reeling you in and getting you hooked on that smooth, pitch-perfect voice as well as getting the crowd involved in preaching her lyrics back to her which she says she absolutely loves. She doesn’t just perform, she takes you on a journey.
To see more of BANKS’s tour dates, see her website here. Otherwise, check out her music below.