Fort Worth was filled with R&B and funk last week as Tulips hosted McKinley Dixon and Tank and The Bangas. Dixon, an Annapolis native, began with a few songs from his 2021 album For My Mama and Anyone Who Look Like Her and performed an unreleased track. Dixon had a great connection with the audience from the beginning of his set. His fusion of jazz and rap was fresh and exciting to hear.
When Dixon performed “Chain Sooo Heavy,” it was impossible not to join him. Even those that were hearing it for the first time caught on quickly. This experimental track translated well when played live and allowed the audience to see what truly makes him a unique artist. Dixon was a wonderful choice to open for Tank and The Bangas; their music blended so well, allowing for the concert to come together nicely.
Before the beginning of Tank and The Bangas set, I was testing out my camera with the various lights on stage when the keyboard player and backup singer started chatting with me. This gave me a chance to see a glimpse into their personality before the show. The two bandmates were goofing around, laughing along and mimicking some of the jokes made from the audience.
Tarriona “Tank” Ball went on stage with a mission. She immediately got the crowd jumping and dancing as she ran out with a beach ball in her hands. As the band played, she threw the ball out into the audience and it began to bounce around the venue. Tank and the Bangas moved around the stage like it was a dance hall. Their music was just as lively as they were; the mix of funk, soul, and spoken word created an energetic crowd. They played various tracks from their latest album Red Balloon. Everyone on stage was a natural performer, and Albert Allenback often stole the spotlight from Tank with his impressive saxophone playing.