Jacob Banks Unleashes His Talent During Perfect Set at The Varsity


I hope you all had an absolutely amazing Halloween! It felt a bit weird this year to me. Not only am I still trying to get over whatever sickness I brought back from Las Vegas (it’s not covid– don’t worry), but something just felt a bit off yesterday and it just didn’t feel like Halloween. Blame it on the sickness, blame it on the weather, whatever you want to blame it on, but it just didn’t feel real to me but that had no effect on the amazing show I attended on Monday night. A small group of people in the audience were dressed up whereas others, like myself, didn’t even try but that didn’t stop the night from feeling like a party.

Thirty-two-year-old Australian Meg Mac was the sole opener on the stage. She came out in a witch’s hat which, after just a couple of seconds, she threw to the back of the stage. Joined on stage by a drummer and a keyboardist (who stole the spotlight throughout the night with the way he was dancing behind the keyboard while being dressed as a mummy), Meg Mac jumped into a set that had the entire audience captivated by her beauty and undeniable talent. She was part Lorde and part, well, Meg Mac. There was a sense of darkness in her pop-drenched songs with emotion-filled lyrics. Just watching her power through her set was stunning. There was something graceful about her presence while not leaving any false sense of brightness. I mean, her words are dark and I loved the way that her vocal styling really conveyed that.

Although absolutely gorgeous, Meg Macs’ music just wasn’t quite my thing. It was nothing she did wrong but, on a Halloween that didn’t quite feel like Halloween, I think I wanted something a little more upbeat than what she was giving me. Again, nothing on her, it was more my head space and, within a few songs and after getting her overall vibe kind of pegged, I was a bit over it but there was something about her that kept me engaged. It was a weird thing that I am struggling to put into words but what I’m trying to say is Meg Mac is absolutely worth your time. Even if this doesn’t sound like something you would be into, there’s something about this woman, her voice, and her words that I found completely addicting and think you will too.

Something crazy happened back on March 6th, 2019. I found myself lost for words after seeing Jacob Banks perform. Literally, lost for words. I don’t remember a lot from that night now that a few years (that have felt like decades due to the pandemic) have passed but I do remember just being completely awe-struck by Jacob and his talent so I was super anxious to redeem myself as he took the stage after it was turned over from Meg Mac. After just a couple of minutes of Jacob being on stage, I realized I was losing myself again and, again, at a loss for words but tried to snap out of it.

One listen to Jacob Banks’ music and you’ll understand my loss for words. This Nigerian-born English singer has one of the most stunning voices of our generation. Bold statement, I know, but I stand by what I say. It’s dark, smooth, and undeniably full of a sense of soul that I feel like vocalists just don’t have these days. Just hearing it will make you forget any worry in your mind but seeing it being performed in front of your eyes changes everything and has a much more powerful impact. Standing there and listening to Jacob Banks as he performed through his eighteen-song set had me feeling things I didn’t know were inside of myself at the time. It’s crazy how just his voice can make you shake any hidden emotions that may have been bottled up in yourself. It’s almost shocking and scary but, at the same time, super relieving and magical.

There were no smoke and mirrors for Jacob’s set on Monday which just added to the music. He needs nothing more than his voice and his amazing band to pull off a completely stunning show. Although it would have been fun to have some more nods to Halloween scattered throughout the night, I loved how perfectly understated everything felt.

Although I adore Jacob Banks, he’s not one of my go-to’s when it comes to the daily playlist of my life. Much like Meg Mac’s music, it’s just not my normal cup of tea and lacks that sense of aggression and angst that I crave when moving through my daily life but I think it’s time I reevaluate that. I just felt so lost throughout Jacob’s set in the best way possible and, although super light compared to what I typically listen to, there’s a depth that I feel like most music these days just doesn’t have. I was completely lost in Jacob’s world yet again on Monday night and I knew that was going to happen but I hope I have convinced you that, like Meg Mac, Jacob Banks is absolutely worth your time and attention.