BANKS Leaves Us Breathless at the TLA with CRUISR

Photography by Samantha Sweeney

There was a real sense of unity at the TLA on Monday night. The crowd piled into the theater and patiently awaited Philly’s very own CRUISR and the lovely goddess, more formally known as BANKS. While BANKS hails from the West Coast, however, both artists created an atmosphere within the TLA that fostered Philly pride.

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BANKS performs at the Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia

The night began with CRUISR opening with “Moving To Neptune,” as lead singer, Andy States, danced and shouted, looking like he was having a complete blast alongside guitarist Bruno Catrambone. The four-piece band had just finished up their full US tour with MisterWives (literally– Monday was their first day home!), but the boys could not turn down the opportunity to play a show at home. Their bassist was on vacation and therefore, their friend, Mike, had to learn the entire set in two days. CRUISR got the crowd pumped, as they clapped alongside drummer, Jonathan Van Dine. The band’s energy and love for Philly was contagious. CRUISR closed their set with “Kidnap Me,” but not before playing their most recent single, “Throw Shade” and exclaiming how happy they were to be home to be playing a last-minute show.

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CRUISR performs at Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia

Then, it was finally time for the woman of the hour: BANKS. The stage was set with fog and juxtaposing low-and-bright lights as BANKS emerged with grace and beauty, commanding everyone’s attention as she sultrily stomped and powerfully sung her opening song, “Alibi.” The Cali native is currently touring with The Weeknd on The Madness Tour, and Monday night was technically supposed to be one of her days off.  However, BANKS shared with the crowd that she had to play a Philly show as she feels the Philadelphia music scene was one of the first places to accept her unique, dark, moody sound.

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BANKS performs at the Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia

With every song, BANKS sung and danced her little heart out. The backing, pre-recorded BANKS that crooned in the background had a beautiful, echoing, harmonizing effect with her live voice. BANKS talked to the crowd throughout the night and imparted that her biggest goal for her songs is make her fans feel empowered. She especially expressed this when she sang her track, “Goddess,” the title of her debut full-length.

Later in the night, came the most emotional part in her setlist with “Bedroom Wall.” BANKS delivered each line with vulnerability, highlighted with pauses in the music and blackouts before, during, and after the song. BANKS ended the song with telling the crowd, “I love you guys,” and in that exact moment, there was an undeniable feeling of love filling the theater.

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BANKS performs at the Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia

Unfortunately, the love fest could not go on forever and BANKS warned the crowd that the last song was coming. She ended with her most popular track to date, “Beggin’ For Thread,” with the crowd singing along, not missing a single beat. 

BANKS walked off the stage for only moment, then floated back on with her encore of “Better” and “Stick.” Philly was in for a treat with this encore as this was her first time ever performing her newest track “Better” live. There seemed to be some technical issues, but that did not stop the magic that took place. BANKS said it felt like a “release” and she looked very proud to finally perform “Better” live. The night ended with “Stick” and BANKS saying “I love you Philly. You are my favorite.”

BANKS, you are our favorite! See all the photos from the show below.

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Were you guys at the TLA Monday night? Tell us in the comments after the jump!

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