by DJ Maybe
A Thursday night in the midst of week 5 and my mind is everywhere. I’m thinking about midterms, work, how I got called into jury duty, my dirty laundry pile that multiplies at a rate I can’t control, you know, the reckless balance between adulthood and childhood that is college. Everything tends to feel out of hand, for a lot of students, at this point in the quarter.
Bane’s World came to Santa Cruz at the perfect time. Just when we all needed to drop out and fall in love with something. The boys of Bane’s World know what they’re doing, coming to cities near you and calling your audiences “lovelies”, wreaking havoc on our hearts and soloing into oblivion. Their performance filled me with nostalgia for some place I can’t remember. Maybe someplace I haven’t yet been?
Some highlights for me were Still Lovely, which included an extended jazz intro and then unfolded into the energy boosting guitar riff. Watching the crowd activate and respond to these songs was special. And It’s not often that each member of a band gets a solo, and each member gets equally appreciated for their solos, the reception by the crowd makes me excited for Banes World, and certain that they will be around for a long while.
Bane’s World doesn’t possess a wide discography—with the 2016 release Drowsy coming in at 22 minutes—but the show they put on was dynamic and full. Right off the bat, the audience is locked into, frontman, Shane’s every move, and it becomes evident very quickly how locked in each member of the band is with each other. They stay in the pocket, and constantly communicate through their arrangements. I was impressed. Every song was an exploration and meditation, with extended intros, outros and hefty solo sections that valued each member’s individual skill and groove.
The set ended with an encore where Shane asked the crowd, “do you want something to like, jump around to?” And the instant jam that is Bobby Caldwell’s What You Won’t Do For Love began. Shane is sweetly perched at the edge of the stage while everyone instantly gets into the groove. Maybe I took it too much to heart, maybe I was under some Bane’s World spell, but the song choice couldn’t have been better to punctuate the set.
Each member of this band is a talented musician, and it shows. But they instantly make you comfortable, you aren’t afraid to enjoy their music. They’re humble and show up with the intention to provide and share what they love to do. Streaming Banes World is wonderful, and they constantly fill my headphones when I walk through campus, but with an ensemble like that, seeing them live is must. I highly recommend going to one of their shows to swoon, sway, and smile wide. But until next time, my headphones will have to do.