By Payton Wilson
RedBull’s traveling SoundClash concert series made its way to Houston recently and put on an incredibly energetic and fun-filled show. The concept of the show is innovative and fresh, and by utilizing two stages attendees were privy to a back-and-forth “battle” between New Orleans’ funky and soulful Tank and the Bangas, and Houston’s very own The Suffers.
The show consisted of four rounds. The first round called for both bands to play their own version of the same cover song, and the second round called for each band to play an original song, and then halfway through, the other band would take over and play the rest of the song in their own unique style. Round three highlighted each band’s signature style as they were tasked with performing songs in three different styles. The final round allowed each act to bring on a slew of special guests for their final performance.
To kick things off, The Suffers covered the Nirvana classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with energy that still made the audience jump even twenty years after its original release. The Suffers brought some bounce to the track, but still kept the track’s original heavy rock influence. To follow The Suffers’ energetic performance, Tank and the Bangas covered “Turn Around” by Dick and Dee Dee and kept true to the song’s original stripped-back instrumental before implementing a soulful rhythm and flavor.
Rounds two and three highlighted each of the band’s versatility and personality. From the clear Left Eye inspiration in the lead from The Suffers and a heavy rock influence that became clear in their performance style and vocal range and infractions to the soulful powerhouse vocals from Tank and the Bangas, there was an effortless and natural back-and-forth between the two bands.
Round four allowed each band to perform with surprise guests, and The Suffers kicked things off by bringing out Paul Wall (who was also one of the two hosts), Trae Tha Truth, Lil KeKe, and Johnny Dang- all Houston-natives. Tank and the Bangas followed up by bringing out Big Freedia (the other host) and the funky band the Soul Rebels. One of the last (and best) performances of the night was a joint performance between the two bands that turned into a crowd-fueled sing-a-long of Kirk Franklin’s “Melodies From Heaven.”
RedBull’s SoundClash concert series certainly made its mark during its stop in Houston. The concept of the show was so refreshing and the crowd loved every second of it. Both acts played their hearts out and it’s clear that RedBull has something truly incredible on their hands with this concert series.