Video: Tank and the Bangas triumph with emotional Tiny Desk Concert

“Out of over 6,000 entries — more submissions than we’ve ever received — Tank and The Bangas won, unanimously, this year’s Tiny Desk Concert,” writes NPR’s Bob Boilen. “I fully expected their victory performance here at NPR headquarters in D.C. to be celebratory. I didn’t know we’d all end up in tears.”

A little over a week after taking the music world by storm with their masterfully executed (and victorious) Tiny Desk Contest submission, New Orleans’ own Tank and the Bangas got their chance to pull off the real deal. Led by Tarriona “Tank” Ball, the gloriously off-kilter group—whose music defies any straightforward genre designations—made their way to NPR’s iconic office space for the series’ standard three-song set.

Well, the number of songs they played might be the only thing “standard” about it. The 24-minute video showcases a continuous burst of music that spans the emotional spectrum, from the joyous sounds of “Quick”—the tune that won them the contest—to the somber, poetic beauty of “Roller Coasters” (the latter is dedicated to Jazz Land, the New Orleans amusement park that continues to stand in disrepair as a relic of the city’s pre-Katrina landscape). Even the band introductions and Ball’s numerous ad-libs are delivered with more than a hint of musicality.

You can see it all for yourself below.


“Boxes and Squares”


“Roller Coasters”