BANKS: is she all hype and all substance? The hype certainly drove a sold out crowd to gather at The Hoxton Tuesday evening to partake in the Jillian Banks experience on the final night of her North American tour.
Jerome Potter, aka Jerome LOL didn’t do much to get the ‘too busy on their smartphones’ crowd moving and grooving. The LA-based DJ’s earlier portion of the set created more of an ambient vibe with distorted vocals and flute loops to keep things interesting. The stoic crowd didn’t show much life until the set shifted to hard R&B beats ending with an EDM number. Jerome’s understated demeanour didn’t assist in the ‘crowd pumping’ department either. His YouTube videos are a worthy watch, especially for songs ‘Deleted’ & ‘Changes’.
Blinding white light, shrilling screams and then came the silhouette, the voice, and the star that is BANKS. In a short span, the LA-based songstress has gained accelerated notoriety with songs in Victoria Secret commercials and hailed as ‘Artist to Watch’ in 2014 by every music media outlet. All this hype, and yet, donned in all black BANKS was genuinely surprised from the crowd’s roaring response to first notes of ‘This is What It Feels Like’. The roars and screams continued throughout the set, as the packed house, thankfully, opted to soak in the live experience instead of through the screens of their phones. The set, short of an hour, featured tracks from her upcoming fall debut release Goddess including the title track, ‘Change’ and unreleased ‘Stick’. A child of 90’s hip-hop, she also threw in a stellar cover of Aaliyah’s ‘Are you That Somebody?’.
BANKS is one of those rarities who is imperfectly perfect. Nothing seems rehearsed, yet she is flawless. Based on the show, there is enough substance here to sustain the hype. Her last Toronto visit was opening for The Weeknd at the Massey Hall. The next visit might be headlining the same venue.
Follow updates from BANKS on her website here.