House of Vans is one of my favorite venues in Chicago. It’s easy to get to, the staff are always awesome, and everything is FREE: free beer, free Vans giveaways, and free incredible music. Banks‘ show was another level, however. I’ve seen over a dozen bands at HOV and I have never heard a crowd scream the way they did for this incredible songstress.
Playing songs from both her EPs and her debut album, III, Banks opened the night with “Waiting Game”, a slow, melodic tune that feels like a perfect homage to FKA Twigs. She was joined onstage by two dancers in sheer black suits that doubled as veils. Despite being on a small stage in a relatively modest venue, Banks made the night feel like she had filled a stadium. One of my favorite songs, “F*ck with Myself”, was performed so beautifully and on key, I had to stop photographing and just take it in.
It was clear from Banks’ reaction that she was a little overwhelmed by her fans’ reaction to the show. She told the crowd how she took time before the show to really process that her first studio album was about to come out. “It’ll be here in just a few hours, I’m so grateful”, she said to ear-splitting applause. She played her new single, “Look What You’re Doing To Me”, on which she collaborated with one of my favorite artists, Francis and the Lights. From what I’ve heard so far, III is an incredible album that really shows the evolution of Banks’ style. I am so happy I was there for her album release show.
Banks is heading out on tour in August and will be making a stop in Chicago on September 16th. Tickets and more info can be found HERE.