Thursday, August 9, 2018

The 360-degree video that turned me on to Tank and The Bangas

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 8:17 PM

click to enlarge The band's Ogden Theatre show goes on sale Aug. 10. - STERLING MUNKSGARD / SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Sterling Munksgard / Shutterstock
  • The band's Ogden Theatre show goes on sale Aug. 10.

I have to confess that the first time I stumbled upon Tank and The Bangas — who open for Nathaniel Rateliff at Red Rocks Aug. 22 and then return to Colorado to headline the Ogden with Big Freedia on Nov. 2 — I kind of hated them.

But that would be the case with any number of bands who get ushered out onto the tiny makeshift stage during half-time at a New Orleans Pelicans game. This thankless arena gig is typically given to Eastern European acrobats and plate spinners, and with good reason: The Smoothie King Center's sound system is third-rate, the echoes incurable, the audience inattentive. Also, the speaker on my TV isn’t all that good and — bottom line — their whole act went right over my head.

Today, I’m happy to report that I’ve seen the light, and I owe my 180-degree turn to the 360-degree video released by Hard Road Pictures that you'll find embedded below. Forget virtual reality, this is a headache-free, wonderfully immersive experience that’ll make you feel like you’re actually in New Orleans at their hometown Gasa Gasa. Have fun zooming in and around the club, watching anyone and everyone, onstage or off, as this totally unique band — arguably among the most interesting since Janelle Monae came on the scene —  works its fans into a frenzy.

Mostly, though, you’ll want to focus on the two women at centerstage: Tank is an endearingly weird and remarkably talented singer, rapper and spoken word artist. Her hype-woman Anjelika "Jelly" Joseph, meanwhile, is a soulful backing vocalist with an ability to work a crowd that’s nothing short of enthralling. If you go far enough down the internet rabbit hole, you’ll discover that she was also a contestant on American Idol’s 2015 season, and that Jennifer Lopez broke into tears when she was given the boot. No matter. The shallow pop world’s loss is our gain.

Colorado fans should also note that tickets for the Ogden show go on sale Friday, Aug. 10, at 10 a.m. The Red Rocks gig sold out, and this one will, too.

Meanwhile, here’s the video. Be sure to watch it fullscreen:

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