Banks w/ MOVEMENT – Concert Review

Crystal Ballroom

IMG_1527This is one show I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I was super stoked when it finally hit, and it seemed like the rest of Portland was as well. Up-and-coming vocalist Banks gave her first all-ages show in Portland at the Crystal Ballroom last week. After being guest listed for her Doug Fir Lounge show, denied entry, then listed for this, it was a long journey getting to this show, but it was all well worth it in the end.

Banks has been featured on indie/alt before, when we reviewed her debut album, Goddess (read it here), and also on our sister blog, Rad Foxes (here). Even though I’ve said it before, I cannot stress this enough: Banks IS a goddess! She is hands down one of the best artists to rise in recent history, and it’s crazy to see how fast she’s making it on the scene. Like I mentioned, she recently played Doug Fir Lounge, and that was only back in May. In the course of only 5 months, Banks has risen from playing small 21+ venues, to one of the larger general admission venues in Portland.

The crowd was excited, and though one opener for the night, Lil Silva, had to drop out of the tour, we were still treated to the power of MOVEMENT, an ethereal electronica band hailing from Sydney, Australia. MOVEMENT really blew me away from the first song. The lead singer has a silky smooth voice that just carries through the air, into your ears, and through your body. This beautiful thing combined with the haunting electronic drones and beats made for tracks that were very pleasing to the ears.

MOVEMENT also had a great use of lighting in their set, keeping colors minimal throughout, but instead relying on a heavy dose of straight light and lots of strobes that blended perfectly with the music. The crowd couldn’t get enough of it, and I have so say that the pair up of MOVEMENT on Banks’ tour was one of the best I’ve seen. Their sounds went really well together, and catered to the right audience that was present. Sometimes the style of an opening band doesn’t go too well with the headliner, and this can cause the crowd to not like the opening act quite as muhc, but with MOVEMENT, it fit like a puzzle piece.

Of course, the crowd wasn’t too sad when MOVEMENT played their final song, because it meant we were one step closer to finally seeing the Goddess herself. Like I said, I’ve been looking forward to this show for quite some time. Following Banks since just starting out with Soundcloud postings, it’s been really cool to see how far she’s come in such a short amount of time. Lucky for me, being in contact with Jillian, she kindly listed me for the show, and honor that I will always cherish. It was truly surreal to just think about.

Banks came on strong with “Alibi”, the first track off of Goddess. Immediately, the crowd was enamored by her presence. Banks walks the stage like a true queen, and stays connected with the fans, while also teasing them a little bit at times.

More than once, she would begin inching closer to the front row, everyone reaching out, then slide back into the shadows, before coming out again. Though it was obvious a lot of people in the front wanted to touch her, this added to an element of her stage presence that was very captivating for me. And it was only a matter of time before everyone up front had the chance to hold her hand.

This show was really cool in the sense, like I’ve said before, that she has grown so much, so fast. It blew me away when I saw so many people singing along to these songs, and I know that she deserves all of this.

During tracks like “Fall Over” and “Goddess”, you could see everyone hanging on every syllable, and singing the words from the bottoms of their heart. I know Jillian appreciated the fans too, as she called Portland, “A bunch of fucking fairies. I love you so much!”

Though Banks is able to go full on Goddess during more upbeat tracks like “Beggin For Thread”, she’s also able to slow things down to the perfect pace for songs like “Change” (one of my favorites!) and, of course, “Fall Over”, which opened up with her on piano, how she started her whole career in music.

It was quite a beautiful thing, as was the whole rest 0f the night. Banks IS a goddess! There is no question there. And I hope that it is a very short amount of time until we see her return to Portland once again.


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