On Wednesday, May 10, Tiny Desk Contest winners Tank and The Bangas were joined by three local acts (Family Mansion, Lola Buzzkill and Haley Heynderickx) for an incredible showcase of up-and-coming bands. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen was in attendance and, before welcoming Tank and The Bangas to the stage, he noted that out of more than 6,000 entries the band had unanimously won. Boilen spoke of Tank and The Bangas' sonically distinct sound, the likes of which he’d never heard before. As fortunate attendees of the show, we wholly agree!
Part fun-filled funk and soul, part laid-back jazz with elements of White Stripes rock, trap-induced rap and spoken word, as the NOLA-based group took the stage, conversations drew down, attention turned upon the artists, and people rose from their seats. Halfway into the first song, hundreds of hands were enthusiastically being thrown about in the air as the group transmuted songs I had heard in one form into entirely different forms. The “oh my god, I can’t believe we are experiencing this” feeling was palpable throughout the crowd as members of the audience compulsively shared glances punctuated by faces consisting of sheer glee. On this night, as Tank and the Bangas masterfully enticed the crowd, you were either glancing or you were dancing.