Free Tank and the Bangas concert Sept. 13 at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center

The free, outdoor concert will kick off the Alys Stephens Center’s new 2019-2020 season of performances.

Tank2New Orleans’ own Tank and the Bangas will perform a free, outdoor concert Friday, Sept. 13, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The concert is the season kickoff party for a new season of artists and performances presented by UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. The evening is also the kickoff to the Center’s EMERGE FEST, a free, two-day festival Sept. 13-14, featuring visual and performing artists in every venue available at the Alys Stephens Center and UAB’s Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, directly across 10th Avenue.

The fun will begin at 6 p.m. with food trucks, cash bar and more. The performance starts at 7 p.m. For more information, call the ASC Box Office at 205-975-2787 or visit

Winner of the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest, Tank and the Bangas have quilted a unique sound that singles them out as one of the most distinctive groups to come out of New Orleans. Tank and the Bangas was formed in 2011 at an open mic set, “centered at a shot gun house, Jerk Chicken Sam’iches and a drum set,” according to the band’s bio. Instantaneously, the group knew they had something that stirred crowds, who cried out for the band’s original music. The band’s performances range from being “One of the most energetic shows you’ll ever see” to “A gospel tent in Mississippi.” Rummaging through their sound like a thrift store hippie, the Bangas provoke a musical reference of rhythmic soul and spoken word, among other genres including rock, gospel, funk and folk. 

Founder and lead vocalist Tarriona “Tank” Ball first gained attention as a slam poet. Other members include Joshua Johnson on drums and as musical director, Norman Spence on bass and synth keys, Jonathan Johnson on bass, Merell Burkett on keyboard, Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph and Kayla Jasmine on background vocals, Albert Allenback on alto saxophone and flute, and Etienne Stoufflet on tenor saxophone.