R&B singer Tank turned up Wednesday night at New York City’s B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill, part of the singer/songwriter’s first headlining tour in 16 years. With his very own label in full swing and artists such as “boy” group 12Til (who opened up for Tank) in development, Tank aka “The General” just might be watching how that R&B money comes in and goes out more closely than ever. Noticeably different from Tank’s August 2015 B.B. King show was the presence of a live band, which I prefer to a tracked performance any day. In place of the band were several white screens, on which the audience could view snippets of Tank’s music videos as he performed. Wednesday night’s Tank seemed different from the Tank of this summer past – there was no “love counseling” in between songs, no schooling the guys on how to treat their women with gestures like giving out money to get the nails and hair done. As entertaining as that was, this performance seemed more anchored in a place of grace and gratitude, taking attendees on a journey that showcased where he came from and celebrated where he is right now.
Tank started out the night by taking us back to 2000 with his hit songs, “Maybe I Deserve”, followed by “One Man” and “Please Don’t Go”. Pushing through minor sound hiccups, Tank got the crowd into a good groove by the time he performed a string of my personal favorites, “Celebration”, “Emergency” and “Compliments.” My horoscope said March 16 was going to be a remarkable day for me, but I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to get one of the red roses the sexy crooner gave out. After a quick wardrobe change from an all-white to all-black outfit, Tank started to sing songs from his new album, Sex, Love & Pain II. For the ladies, an evening highlight came when Tank took off his shirt and allowed several eager women to place dollar bills into the waist of his pants. Several other lucky audience members were actually served a signature drink by the crooner, a mix of Tanqueray and pineapple juice called “The General.” After toasting and thanking his fans for all of their love and support, Tank got comfortable behind a keyboard and gave the best sung songs of the night that really displayed what a true musical talent he is, “I Need” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”
Tank has indeed come a long way from singing background vocals for his TGT group member Ginuwine, and although he teased the audience with comments that the night, and the tour, were all about him, and all his you know he meant it. Tank has accomplished so much in his musical career thus far, but unquestionably there’s a lot of music in this man still to be made and shared with the world, and this general is far from giving up his quest to bless us with soulful R&B music. For more on Tank and his SLP2 tour dates, go to therealtank.com.