Banks & Steelz (Paul Banks of Interpol and the RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan) brought their mix of rock and hip-hop to the Fox Theatre on Sep. 27 to a disappointingly empty venue. Their 2016 release Anything but Words was met with some very negative reviews, but in their set at the Fox there was some freshness to their otherwise stale tracks.
Throughout the performance, there was an intense need to get RZA away from his keyboard and onto center stage where his skills of straight rapping gave the audience a taste of the best part of the album. To say the least, the performance was lacking and didn’t bring the energy that would be expected from a hip-hop show.
The concert needed more diversity in tracks, as they mostly played songs from their collaboration as Banks & Steelz rather than throwing in some Wu-Tang or Interpol material. At least RZA threw in the hook from the Wu-Tang classic “C.R.E.A.M” in the last few minutes of the show. The collaboration of two musical icons with such a long discography of previous work raised the question of whether any other songs from their past musical history would be performed. They closed with their lead single “Giant,” and RZA gave an explanation of the song’s meaning based on the story of David and Goliath. After this, we received one more encore track, but it only left me wanting more from either Wu-Tang’s or Interpol’s discography. Sadly not.
Despite some flaws with the night’s performance, the energy that came from the blaring drums and keys that the three-piece group had going for the duration of the show was not diminished. The dapper feel of the band’s suits was a nice touch, and the light show was incredible. It was easy to tell that there was a lot of planning involved with their performance. I’d very much like to see this collaboration go into different directions sonically, and also introduce something new to the rap-rock collaboration genre.
Contact CU Independent Arts Staff Writer Gabriel Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.