Naughty, Sparkly, and Otherworldly: Tank and The Bangas Recap

The Regent Theater was bursting at the seams with the music of New Orleans.

On November 10th, Tank and the Bangas traveled out to California with Big Freedia on their co-headlining tour. The night was a glorious compilation of so many New Orleans sounds: sweet, salty, and sour.

Naughty Professor, a six piece ensemble also from New Orleans, graced the stage as the opening act and accompanists on some of Tank and Big Freedia’s numbers. They got the West Coast crowd moving and grooving to some true NoLa jazz, funk, soul, and a little bit of rock.

Big Freedia, in neon pink, green, sparkly fingernails and all, showed that she was truly the “Queen Diva.” She rocked the crowd with her hip-hop bounce music and even invited audience members on stage for a twerk contest.

Tank and the Bangas made an entrance as they donned futuristic space wear, metallic pants, and masks. While her background singers, The Grenades, came out wearing panda heads and long black capes, Tank emerged in a blue and green patterned wrap; the entrance felt almost like some sort of musical procession. Then, in the blink of an eye, they threw off their masks, scarves, and capes and revealed their faces, smiling like they knew the kind of wild rollercoaster ride the crowd was in for.

Tank and the Bangas had unquestionable swag. In full character, at times quirky and charismatic, Tank gave an outstanding and eccentric performance. The group has said that they draw on Disney and even anime as influences giving a magical and mystical quality to their music and their performances. The show was an otherworldly experience as Tank and the Bangas transported the audience to another place. She asked the crowd in her sultry, soulful voice, “Does anybody want to come to New Orleans with me?”

This was more than just a show, it was a party on stage. She drew on her past as a slam poet and she showed off her immense range as she sang, rapped, and performed spoken word pieces throughout the night. It was as simple as flipping a switch, she moved so fluidly between all these forms of performance. She was sassy, solemn, and honest with her music and her heart as she performed “Walmart”.

With airy high notes, a few excited and high pitched screams, deep rumbling notes, and soulful runs, Tank really showed the crowd what New Orleans sounds like. She spoke and sang with a strong southern cadence and urgency. Tank showed that she, her music, and life, really is “broken and beautiful.”