Banks Isn’t Ready For The Big Time At Montreux

Banks Montreux Jazz FestBacked by a drummer, guitarist and a huge array of tarp-draped instruments destined for Massive Attack’s performance, Banks came out to sing an adequate but mostly insipid set.
A relentless, particularly annoying strobe light show ensured that the audience never got a good look at the singer, but instead went home with a sore eyes and possible retinal damage. I was in the front row and the only reason I could now pick her out in a lineup is because I glanced at the Jumbotron from time to time, mostly to give my eyelids a break.
Banks seemed to warm up a bit as the night went on, but it was a long haul for this attendee. At one point, she announced an acoustic version of one of her tunes but was accompanied by the same electric guitar player as on every other number. The singer’s stage demeanor is unique: she walks around the stage lifting her legs high, in the manner of someone walking  through two feet of snow, while her hands are in constant motion, clicking maginary castinets.
Banks drew a young, large crowd that was, until the last third of her act, unmoved by her performance. Finally, towards the end, people began to dance.
– Suzanne Cadgene

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