Devendra Banhart graced Emo’s last night as part of his tour for his new album, “Ape in Pink Marble.” As expected, he brought his quirkiness, charm and beauty to the stage.
Story by Emily Nash
Photos by Jesus Acosta
The night began with opener Saakred, a local queer and transgender artist from San Antonio. Saakred’s music varied between techno, disco and electronic, all while giving off spiritual vibes, as they dedicated one song to an Aztec god. Saakred’s performance gave off so much energy, and got the audience pumped for Banhart.
As soon as Banhart stepped on stage, I clutched my best friend's arm—at last, our eyes gazed upon the man of our dreams in the flesh. He opened with “Saturday Night” from his latest album, curating a soothing and tranquil start to the show.
Following “Saturday Night,” Banhart performed a few other favorites from “Ape in Pink Marble” including, “Jon Lends a Hand,” “Fancy Man” and “Fig in Leather.” Of course, he performed some older favorites as well, like “Never Seen Such Good Things,” and “Baby,” which were obviously among the most memorable.
In the middle of the show, Banhart asked the audience for song requests. As if my heart hadn’t melted enough when Banhart performed “Mi Negrita” (part of my personal top 5), my heart turned to goo when he took a request and sang “Brindo” to us. His voice is just as smooth and gentle on stage as it is on Spotify.
Banhart also did something I had never witnessed at a concert before—he brought an audience member on stage who is also a singer/songwriter, but had never performed before. Obviously ecstatic, Cameron Goldenberg climbed over the barricades and onto the stage, taking Banhart’s shiny guitar into his hands. He performed his own song, which I assumed he titled off the top of his head after he said, “This song is called… ‘Euphoria?’ It definitely felt like it.”
Banhart did not shy away from talking about politics at his show. He told the audience that he was in full support of the immigration strike. However, he advised artists to never go on strike and continue making art, no matter what. Before continuing with the show, he stated something unforgettable: “Fuck Trump—let’s disco.”
By the end of the concert, I began to worry that I wasn’t going to have the chance to dance to my favorite Banhart bop. As the crowd chanted, “Otra! Otra!” I started praying.
Either the music gods heard my pleas, or I executed my energy on to Banhart, because he ended the night with my all-time favorite, “Carmensita.” The high-energy pop song got the crowd predictably excited, and I certainly felt electrified. It was my perfect ending to a perfect night.