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Gorillaz at Rough Trade NYC (April 25, 2017)

By Will Oliver, May 1st 2017

Last Tuesday, April 25, Gorillaz made their return to New York City for their first U.S. show in seven years. One would think they’d return to one of venues that they previously visited: MSG, The Apollo, or anything with the the capacity to house a band of their size. This was not the case, as they surprised us all with an impossibly intimate show at Rough Trade NYC last Tuesday, April 25. As per usual with special shows at Rough Trade, you had to buy their new album Humanz the morning of the show at 11am – in theory paying about $30 to see the band at such a small venue (the show may be their smallest to date?). Not a bad deal.

With so much advance warning, this meant that Gorillaz diehards were going to literally lineup and camp out in the rain (because of course it was raining) in order to guarantee themselves a shot at gaining entry to one of the hottest shows of the year. This meant that arriving the night before was not an option, but a requirement in order to gain entry. I was one of the fans crazy enough to wait out for a whole 12 hours, arriving at 11pm along with a few dedicated friends, in order to make sure we got that golden ticket. Even arriving when we did placed us only at numbers 52-55. While waiting on line, word began to spread that the capacity for this show was truly 200 instead of the normal 250, as the stage had to be extended in order to fit all of the band. Then when you factored in 50 guestlist spots, it meant that only 150 diehard fans were really getting in. By 3am the line well eclipsed the 150-person mark, and by morning, it stretched past a hopeless 500. A lot of people unfortunately were turned away, but for those who got in, it meant seeing Damon Albarn and friends in a couple of hours – after we caught up on some well needed and deserved sleep.

Before the show, Albarn greeted us with an explanation that they couldn’t deliver the full spectacle of a show with projections or the enormous production that you’d come to expect from an act of their size, but considering where they were playing, it was a part of the charm to see them play in such a barebones manner with just the normal Rough Trade black cloth hanging behind them. They played Humanz from front to back (except the polarizing “Hallelujah Money”), and even brought out a few guests from the album, including Paven Evertt for “Strobelite,” Posdnuos of De La Soul for “Momentz,” Jamie Principle for “Sex Murder Party,” and Kali Uchis for “She’s My Collar.”

Albarn and the rest of the band were in great spirits, enjoying the intimacy of the evening, which allowed them to stare into the eyes of their fans (Albarn even took a hit from a blunt a fan was smoking in the middle of a song) as they ripped through the party anthems of the new album. They really seemed to enjoy playing these new songs, which made for a great disparity in the encore, which featured old staples, “Last Living Souls,” “Kids With Guns,” and of course, “Clint Eastwood.” There were some issues and stop starts with them, but once they got going, the crowd properly lost their mind. For “Clint Eastwood” Albarn asked for a fan who knew Del The Funky Homosapien’s verse to come up and join them, and picked a young lady who actually did resemble Noodle – one of the bands animated characters- and even put on red sunglasses almost recreating the Humanz album art. She apparently was tripping, and tried to deliver the goods as promised, but she really wasn’t heard, but thankfully the crowd did their duty and took over the song, turning the somewhat awkward situation into something memorable.

It was quite a wild 24 hours waiting in the cold to see the band, and who can say a wait like that is ever truly worth it, but I guess the best way to measure that is asking if I’d do it again: Yes, in a heartbeat.

Enjoy some more subpar iPhone shots posted below, along with the setlist:

Gorillaz Setlist:

1. Ascension
2. Strobelite (with Peven Everett)
3. Saturnz Barz
4. Momentz (with Posdnuos of De La Soul)
5. Submission
6. Charger
7. Andromeda
8. Busted and Blue
9. Carnival
10. Let Me Out
11. Sex Murder Party (with Jamie Principle)
12. She’s My Collar (with Kali Uchis)
13. We Got the Power

Encore:

14. Last Living Souls
15. Kids With Guns
16. Clint Eastwood

[new]: Gorillaz – Whirlwind

By Will Oliver, October 7th 2013 — with 1 comment

Gorillaz

Over the weekend Damon Albarn was a guest DJ on Dermot O’Leary’s BBC Radio 2 show. During his set he played a previously unshared Gorillaz song called “Whirlwind” from the Plastic Beach sessions.

It’s an instrumental just shy of 2-minutes featuring the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra who help create a track that sounds like an epic quest through a sandy desert.

Take a listen below. Read the rest of this entry »

Gorillaz Will Release Another Album

By Will Oliver, June 25th 2013

Damon:Jamie

According to Gorillaz fansite Gorillaz-Unofficial the future will eventually bring a new Gorillaz album. Jamie Hewlett, the visual mastermind behind the Gorillaz gave us some juicy information during about the Gorillaz future during an interview while promoting his and Damon Albarn’s new show Monkey: Journey to the West

He said:

There’s also a five years gap between the albums because they take a long time to do and- and they’re very exhausting and when you’re finished you feel like you need to go do other stuff. So Damon’s touring with Blur- hes doing a world tour with Blur at the moment and then they’re working on a new album so there isn’t really time for him, and I’m doing other stuff as well. So I think it’s, um, we’ll come back to it when the time’s right. But also the music industry’s changed so much since we started doing Gorillaz. There’s no money- in the industry so you know you get these amazing new bands, like the Stripes from Ireland, kind of fourteen years old, you know, the best rhythm blues guitarist you’ve ever seen. Age fourteen, make songs and film it in their bedroom. It doesn’t cost anything, and so Gorillaz is kind of expensive. It’s expensive to do because it’s animated. …(the interviewer mentions how they cant age, they can reunite whenever)… So there’s plenty of time basically.”

Obviously that answer is very ambiguous in terms of when, but it’s good to know that they do plan to return with a new album at some point. Until then, let’s keep our fingers crossed that Blur finish their new one.

Gorillaz – DoYaThing (Feat. Andre 3000 and James Murphy)

By Will Oliver, February 22nd 2012 — with 3 comments

A little while ago Zane Lowe premiered “DoYaThing”, the Converse collaboration between Gorillaz, Outkast’s Andre 3000 and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. I think the real star of the track is Andre 3000, who has a killer verse. Time for some new Outkast. Please.

The song will be given away for free tomorrow, but ListenBeforeYouBuy was quick enough to record it. Check out a stream below.

Just came across this really incredible cover/mashup by a band called Out Side Room who come from East Sussex, England. They start by covering “Feel Good Inc” by Gorillaz, and then transition smoothly into Arctic Monkeys’ “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair”.

The title of the cover works just as well as this mix does. These guys do spotless renditions of both songs, and somehow create an amazing medley that becomes their own incredible fusion.

Well done fellas.

Take a listen to the incredible cover/mashup below. It will make your day that much better.
Read the rest of this entry »

Snoop Dogg – Sumthin Like This Night (Feat. Gorillaz)

By Will Oliver, March 23rd 2011 — with 2 comments

Two Snoop Dogg posts in one day, that’s certainly unlike this blog, right? Fuck it, this is a blog for music I like, and Snoop Dogg has got my attention right now with two solid new songs. I shared “Eyez Closed” with you earlier today. Now I got “Sumthin Like This Night” which features Gorillaz main man Damon Albarn.

“Sumthin Like This Night” definitely has a Plastic Beach vibe. One could have easily mistaken this for a new Gorillaz track.

Snoop’s voice is a perfect fit for the music that Gorillaz make, and this song’s a prime example. Snoop has delivered a winner here. Rap heads and indie fans can both enjoy the hell out of this. This song is actually a perfect spring time jam.

Stream it below:

Listen To The Gorillaz’s New Album: The Fall

By Will Oliver, December 25th 2010

The Gorillaz new album, The Fall, which was recorded on an ipad while the band was touring, is now available to listen for free. It’s streaming at their site. Members of their fan club received it as a download.

It’s amazing that Damon delivered another album, just months after releasing the great Plastic Beach.





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