Words and Photos by Russ Ramos
Not just another singer/songwriter/producer. From Los Angeles, Ms. Jillian Banks (better known to the industry as “Banks”) detaches herself from typical genre associations. Her sold out homecoming show at the iconic El Rey on Thursday night, May 29th, was something of a statement from this proclaimed “Goddess”. For an artist whose album hasn’t even been released yet, you already get the sense that this is the last time Banks will play a venue limited to 700 attendees. It’d be a safe bet that her next Los Angeles show would easily bring The Wiltern (1800 attendees) to capacity.
Prior to the show, I’d heard a bit of skepticism from people her previous performances. People saying things like, “She’s boring, she doesn’t move, she hides behind the mic”. After hearing all of that (whilst being a fan myself), I had to check her out. To my delight, they were as wrong as I’d hoped. Banks’ seductive moves, and exponential passion tore down away any doubt. The capacity filled venue sung along, track after track. It’s incredible evidence that Banks’ exotic music, her writing, and her voice are clearly a more engaging representation of the “singer-songwriter” genre. I saw more hands in the air then I did on iPhones. That, in Los Angeles, IS A BIG DEAL.
Banks is currently on a small US tour, and will also be touring Europe for the first half of the summer. Her debut album Goddess is expected to release September 9th, and we can only hope that she’ll grace us with another tour to promote the new album.
Reviewed by b3