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BANKS @ The Theatre At Ace Hotel 9/28/17. The Altar Tour. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
BANKS @ The Theatre At Ace Hotel 9/28/17. The Altar Tour. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

Los Angeles, CA- If Los Angeles is the City of Angels, then Banks is their Goddess.

After tickets for the final stop of her “The Altar Tour” went on sale, tickets sold out almost instantaneously. A second date was added … which also quickly sold out. Then, in an almost unprecedented move, the venue added a third date to satiate all of angels in L.A. desire to see their goddess in action. Even with the two added dates, there were still those looking for admittance into their heaven the evening I was able to attend.

Having already watched Banks perform live this year several times, you would think that my interest would have waned a bit. This was not at all the case. I was still amazed by the simple yet effective stage production and intensely deep and dark emotional outpouring that this songstress gave in every moment.

Dressed in all black, shrouded in a long black veil and accompanied by her two amazingly talented dancers, Banks took the stage and dove into the brooding “Poltergeist”. The performance had almost a wake like vibe, as if she was starting the performance from a dark and deathly place as she sang of ghosts and wars.

BANKS @ The Theatre At Ace Hotel 9/28/17. The Altar Tour. Setlist.But those dark sentiments were immediately cast aside- along with long black veil- and the mood immediately shifted to a sense of self affirmation and rebellion with “Fuck With Myself”. It felt like an immediate rebirth, and that feeling continued throughout the evening, especially with her fans … her ardent fans … singing along with every note and dancing in the seated venue’s aisle ways.

And when the audience wasn’t joining Banks in song with every open-armed prompt she gave, they were mesmerized by the hypnotically dramatic choreography that Banks and her two stalwart dancers executed during instrumental accentuations. As their lithe bodies contorted seamlessly with the music and one another, heavily saturated red lighting drenched their bodies, often times giving their movements visual ghost like qualities.

Banks’ performance had an eerily mischievous- bordering on devilish- air about it. Despite my initial thoughts of rebirth, the mood established through stage production, physicality and music gave her Goddess-like performance a subtle sense of irony in that perhaps this venue which contained a promised land of infinite desires for the residents of the City of Angels was actually more hell than heaven.

But if hell overflows with sensuality and desire, and its occupants can withstand the heat in order to revel in all of its pleasures, not one soul would complain about being there. I certainly didn’t. And I prayed at the altar all night to my goddess: BANKS.

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