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Tank and the Bangas will perform at Stuart's Opera House on Friday. (Provided via the Performing Arts and Concert Series)

Tank and the Bangas to bring versatility and funk to Athens

NPR Music is presenting Tank and the Bangas, a band based in New Orleans that combines fiery-soul, hip-hop, deep groove R&B and a little jazz, at Stuart’s Opera House on Friday. 

Tank and the Bangas will return to Nelsonville after its performance in the 2018 Nelsonville Music Festival, where it was one of the crowd favorites. 

The band will not only be performing at Stuart’s Opera House, but it will also be speaking in the Scripps Visiting Artists Series, also taking place Friday. The series brings notable artists to campus to talk to students, and three years ago, the series added a live performance at Stuart’s Opera House to round-off the event.

Josh Antonuccio, a lecturer in the School of Media Arts and Studies, is in charge of the Scripps Visiting Artists Series and is excited for people to see the band perform. 

“Their shows are incredibly high energy, a super fun and kind of explosive funk,” Antonuccio said. “It’s really an incredible thing to see.”

The band will do an interview in Glidden Recital Hall for students interested in its music, or music-related careers. After the group’s talk, Bob Boilen of NPR Music will speak to journalism students about the music journalism path. 

Though the band began and first became known in New Orleans, the group really claimed fame during NPR’s 2017 Tiny Desk Concert Contest, where it beat out more than 6,000 other entries to perform. Boilen said what set the group apart was its depth in lyricism and versatility within its players.  

Tank and the Bangas is known for its high energy performances, but the group also does a stripped-down performance eliminating theatrics and simply performing the music. Antonuccio has seen the group perform three times and, like Boilen, is impressed with the versatility of the group’s performances, especially its stripped-down adaptations.

“Musically they’re amazing, but they also do a stripped-down performance as well and really focus on breaking down the elements of their music while creating these vibal connections with the audience,” Antonuccio said. “It’s amazing to watch.”

Students are excited to see the group return to Nelsonville and bring an expansive style of music to audiences. 

Julia Messinger, a senior studying marketing, is interested to hear Tank and the Bangas’ style of music.

“I’m super excited to hear how they will combine so many different types of music,” Messinger said. “I’m sure it’s going to be a super unique and interesting performance, and I hope other people go out and show support, not just at the concert, but at the talks as well.”

Caitlin Banick, a freshman studying business, is excited to go to the group’s talk and listen to what they have to say about the music industry.

“The music industry is so intriguing to me,” Banick said. “It’ll be so cool to hear from a group who is actively touring and performing in the industry now, and get an idea of what it’s like to be in their shoes.”

Tank and the Bangas recently announced an album deal with Universal Music Group, and is also in the middle of an extensive tour. Though the show is close to being sold out, Antonuccio encourages people to take advantage of the opportunity to see the group perform live. 

“Here’s a band that’s really blowing up in the industry right now and has a really passionate fanbase, and the fact that we could get them to come to the Athens area is so significant,” Antonuccio said. “If you can get tickets, you definitely should.”

Antonuccio also encourages people to come to the interview and learn something about the music industry and get to see the band up close. 

“People will learn first-hand from one of the best music journalists in the country, and also get to talk to the artists and learn from them,” Antonuccio said. “They’ll get a lot of insight.”


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