As part of the unofficially termed “Localchella,” in which artists book sets in Los Angeles sandwiched between their appearances for both weekends at Coachella, lineup mates Django Django and Tank and The Bangas performed a double-bill Wednesday night at the Fonda Theatre to rapturous fanbases. Though starting late due to technical difficulties, both acts showcased their musical strengths with musicianship unparalleled by other acts I’ve seen of late.
British-band Django Django were supporting their most recent release Marble Skies, whose eccentric and hyperactive psych rock was met with equally tantalizing lighting and set design. The foursome explored weird sights with cool sounds and textures from vocoder effects to multiple drumming and different shaker instruments. Hearing the phasing “In Your Beat” and thumping “Surface To Air” and euphoric rock of “Shake and Tremble” was right for the venue, flowing through the room of adoring fans who crowded toward the front and followed along as each member multitasked in a way that felt refreshingly natural.
Before Django Django, New Orleans’ Tank and The Bangas almost literally blew the roof off of The Fonda with the get-down of their incredibly entertaining set of funk, soul, and spoken word. The stage was full of musicians – her Bangas – with all kinds of deadly skillsets, following Tarriona “Tank” Bell’s lead in performing the sick “Quick” and recent release “Smoke.Netflix.Chill.” With an impressive and captivating medley and phenomenal cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to close out the show, it was everything one could have hoped to see from the band that won NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest and has gained tremendous hype in the preceding year.
Words & Photos: David Fisch