Banks' Goddess Tour
Grand Central, Miami
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Better Than: Hiring an elf to tell your ex to "go fuck yourself."
Did you know bitches loooooove Banks?
Like ... We knew she is an extremely talented, passionate singer and songwriter. And we knew she is softspoken in person, though superpowerful on stage. And we knew she released her debut album, Goddess, to great critical reception.
But we had no idea just how many girls are completely and totally obsessed.
Last night, the tiny R&B tour de force performed for a sold-out audience at downtown Miami's Grand Central.
And if she gets the same love from the rest of the tour's cities as she did from us, we'd bet a week's salary that she makes an appearance as the hottest new artist on whatever MTV awards show is up next.
When Banks' opener, Australian three-piece Movement, took the stage, something magical happened. We've never seen a crowd respond so positively to a largely unknown introductory act.
Made up of a vocalist on keys, a brooding bass player, and one feisty electronic drummer, Movement has that sad-boy sexuality of hipster faves like Nicolas Jaar and James Blake. About three songs in, the trio let loose a cover of Mario's 2004 chart-topper "Let Me Love You." The singer didn't even have to keep up with the chorus, the crowd had that part covered.
After about 45 minutes of might have been the most magical opening set of all time, Movement cleared the stage to thunderous applause and a million heartthrob squeals.
And then it was back to waiting for Banks.
But at 10:30 p.m. sharp, smoke billowed and the lights dimmed as Banks' backup band slipped behind a drum set and a pair of stacked keys. The lady of the hour appeared in a glittering black cloak. She stalked her way to the mic and dug deep into "Before I Ever Met You," her words echoed by the electrified crowd.
With all that smoke and minimal lighting, Banks was glowing like the Goddess she is. Between tracks, she'd profess her love for the fans, who responded with manic shouts.
"Miami, I'm so happy to be back tonight," she whispered. "I love you guy so much."
Cue the insanity.
As she worked her way through tracks from Goddess, Banks became more and more comfortable on stage.
She threw the cloak off, revealing a lovely lacy number. Then what started as simple wrist-rolling exercises turned into full-blown awkward dance moves. The lady is a bad bitch, but she's all the more endearing for not being some world-weary creature writhing around and twerking on her guitarist.
By the time she segued into the album's title track, the crowd was completely hypnotized.
"I love playing acoustic shows, but I wanted to spice it up a little bit," Banks cooed. "When we did this cover, it was the juiciest."
And with that, she went into Trey Songz "Na Na," which means we must be literally the only people on the planet who are still offended by what Songz did to the Fugees classic, but whatever. Everyone else was loving it, so we're only judging slightly.
Watching her embody the dichotomy of strength and frailty, it struck us that this full range of personality is what makes Banks so appealing. If this thin, soft-spoken woman can get on stage and conjure her inner gangster in front of a packed house of screaming fans, anyone can be the person they feel like on the inside. Every woman can relate to that hidden strength.
"I've been in a crowd before," she said. "I know it feels like your little heart beat can't matter, but every one of those little heart beats makes a difference. I love you."
She made a strong finish with the hit "Waiting Game," followed by the even bigger crowd favorite "Beggin for Thread."
"Miami, you're the spiciest fuckin' crowd ever. Thank you," she said. They waited as long as it took to get a "Banks" cheer going before she and her backing duo reappeared.
"We have to do one more," she said. "Last time I was here, I was opening for the Weeknd. Everyone knows Abel writes the sexiest songs ever, and I wanted to do the same. So I wrote 'Stick.'"
It was one last burst, the strongest yet from the witchy woman. She sang as she clasped hands with the front row, blowing kisses between her lyrics, and professing her love, one more time, before finally returning to the shadows for good.
For fucking sure, Banks and her buddies will be back soon. But next time, we anticipate a 3,000-person mob, at the very least. This girl is blowing up, hard.
-"Before I Ever Met You"
-"This Is What It Feels Like"
-"Fuck Em, Only We Know"
-"Na Na" (Trey Songz Cover)
-"You Should Know Where I'm Coming From"
-"And I Drove You Crazy"
-"Beggin for Thread"
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