LIVE REVIEW: BANKS' THE III TOUR PRODUCED A EUPHORIC EXPERIENCE ON OPENING NIGHT IN TORONTO


Banks (Jillian Banks), is a one-of-a-kind alternative artist whose music is hard to classify into a singular genre. She introduced herself with the ballad "Before I Ever Met You" through SoundCloud back in 2013 and started turning heads once the track was played by BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. Her succeeding EP Fall Over garnered immediate accolade, award nominations and a rapidly-expanding fan base. Following two EPs and two albums (Goddess, The Altar), Banks is back with another impeccable addition to her collection.

Her third album IIIis a representation of the "beginning, middle, and end of a part of [her] life." In her latest chapter, Banks' lyricism digs deeper on personal experiences – shedding light on topics of change, growth and relationships. Production-wise, she takes listeners on a wild ride with an extra dose of grunge – delivering her signature sound with an added element of depth and distortion. Banks continues to evolve emotionally, spiritually and artistically while consistently defining her own unique craft with every album and live show.

In support of her latest release, Banks kicked off The III Tour in Toronto, Ontario. Her 23-date tour continues to Montreal before heading across North America from Boston to Miami.

Toronto was treated to the sounds of local pop songstress lemin, followed by Pittsburgh musician Kevin Garrett who will continue to be the tour's opening act on select dates.

Banks – the girl whose shyness once forced her to perform with her back towards the audience, has flourished into a warrior of a performer – taking full control of the stage while captivating her crowd. The concert at Rebel was more defined as an act of performance art rather than your average set. It was an immaculate combination of her heart-wrenching vocals, paired with chilling choreography that flowed with the movement of the stunning strobe lights and kaleidoscopic graphics on screen. Banks' dancers – Nadine Olmo and Allison Fletcher, took on the role of her ghosts, shadowing her moves that represented her emotions, while drummer Derek G. Taylor maintained the pulsing beat throughout. The carefully-curated colourful lights and haunting movements perfectly embodied the aura of each song.

The show opened up with the first track from III "Till Now" and moved into "Underdog." Banks connected a few times with her fans, before getting personal about her recent obstacle, proclaiming that she nearly had to cancel the tour due to a back injury:

"This is an insane feeling. I haven't had a show in two years and I'm fucking rusty! Six weeks ago, I fractured my spine. I felt so mad at my body that this happened to me and I thought I was going to have to cancel this tour – I learned a lot from that experience and I'm just soaking in every one of you!"


Her performance of "Poltergeist" stood out as one of the most astonishing moments of the evening – with complimentary green strobe lights and dual microphones that created an eerily breathtaking demonic soundscape. Other highlights included the self-love anthem "Fuck With Myself" – to which fans sang loudly to, the waving scarfs for "Stroke" and an intricately hued performance of "Gimme."

Overall, the first night of The III Tour was a euphoric out-of-body experience for event-goers. She authenticates the fact that her vocal abilities are arguably unmatched within the current landscape of the music industry. With a flawless vibrato, undeniable stage presence, a new-found confidence and an outstanding stage production, Banks masters the art of bringing her poetry to life.

Buy tickets to the The III Tour here.


THE III TOUR SETLIST:

Till Now
Underdog
Stroke
Drowning
Waiting Game
Contaminated
Hawaiian Mazes
Alaska
Propaganda
Poltergeist
Fuck With Myself
Sawzall
Better
Gemini Feed
Godless
The Fall
Gimme

ENCORE:

Look What You're Doing to Me
Beggin for Thread

Connect: