I am notoriously known for going to too many concerts (sorry, wallet). Because of that, shows tend to blur into one another and I need sort of a “wow” factor to leave me remembering the show nights or sometimes weeks after. Also, with our extreme attachment to technology, it’s common to go to a concert and see dozens, of smartphones, held up in the air, recording the concert. We forget how immersive a concert can be.
But as I observed the show from the balcony of The Independent in San Francisco and noticed the crowded room of people, I was already overwhelmingly impressed by the passionate fanbase that Banks clearly has. Though you saw a smartphone shoot up from time-to-time, I knew it was because his fans wanted to capture this beautiful night where Banks sang soulful, emotional tunes that completely mesmerized our earbuds.
The only things that filled the stage during Banks’ set beside (obviously) himself were his small band and a small neon light sign that lite up his name which hung in the back. That was it. It was simplistic; there were no flashy lights or the sort because his voice stole the show.
He opened up the show with his song “Worthy” which was from his album, The Monologue, that was released in 2013. The song has the perfect blend of edgy beats, soothing piano, and soul that immediately sucks the listener in and engages their earbuds. As the song slowly picks up, I saw the crowd nod their heads and sway to the tune and with that, I knew that Banks’ voice already captivated the audience and he didn’t even finish the first song in his set.
As his show continued, there were songs that immediately caught my attention and basically, I wanted to add them to my Spotify playlist and play them on repeat. One of my favorite songs of the night was “Part Time Love.” The song is actually one of his newer songs that’s from his album, The Boy who Cried Freedom, that released this year. I completely adore songs that remind me of 1940 jukebox swoons and this song is just that. It’s a slow ballad where Banks’ soulful, edgy vocals are layered with light electric guitar notes, backup vocals and claps.
Another standout song of the night (even though all his songs are solid choices) is his recently released single, “Unknown (To You).” There is just so much heartbreak and vulnerability that is heard in the lyrics of his song and his vocals bring those words to life. As the song progresses and as his voice meets the strings’ and piano’s gradual crescendo, I couldn’t help but feel that same emotion he was singing out. You can tell that the crowd resonated with this song. And even though Banks gives his all in each song he sang, you could feel the air of unspoken feelings and raw emotion that hung in the air once this song was over.
Overall, Banks’ set was incredible and his show left me smiling throughout the whole night. His 15 song setlist only gave me a glimpse as to what an incredible live performer he is specially equipped with such a powerful, edgy voice that cannot be compared. Though I was unfamiliar with his music prior to his show, he quickly converted me to a new fan and this was before he sang the final note of the first song in his set. Though I included a couple videos throughout this concert review so you could listen to his voice, the videos do not do his talent justice. It only gives you a glimpse into his voice, talent, and music. Go see his show and witness the talented musician that is Jacob Banks.
For more information on Jacob Banks and his music, you can visit his website here.