Getting a photo has never been as challenging as it was at (Jillian) BANKS'
Pre-Governors Ball show at Irving Plaza Wednesday night. LA's soulful songstress packed in a crowd where there was barely one centimeter of room from one shoulder to the next. Although BANKS had only played NYC once before — opening for The Weeknd in a not so shabby first NYC performance — it seemed like a homecoming of sorts. BANKS looked like an angel on stage — maybe it was her giant bell sleeves, or the aura of light surrounding her head, or the fact that I just have a total crush on her voice, but everything she did last night was flawless.
With nearly every song, the audience members sang along. The way that BANKS has spaced out releasing her music has probably added to this making sure to steadily ease her into the hierarchy of female crooners. When she played one of her first tracks of the night "Change," everyone in the room was singing in unison as she poured her heart into every word of the hopeful track. Singing "Brain" brought out powerful, emotive vocals showing how personal the song really is to the artist.
After discussing her stage fright a bit with the audience, she said that the one thing that comforted her was coming back to the covers that she loved to sing the most. In '90s R&B fashion, this meant Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody," which BANKS did a number on with all of the '80s and '90s babies dancing right along. Her upcoming debut album's title track "Goddess" reflected her ability to captivate a room — and it could be totally understood if you were about to worship her post-performance.
BANKS' performance made me even more excited to see her again at Governors Ball — and judging by her most recent NYC show, it's doubtful she'll disappoint this weekend.
Watch BANKS' "Brain" music video and pre-order Goddess
, due September 19th via Harvest, on iTunes
Photo: Barnaby Roper