October 28, 2010 | 8:02am
October 27, 2010
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After playing a solid headlining slot at Coachella, Gorillaz brought their full stage production and a slew of guest all-stars for a blistering performance last night at the Gibson Amphitheater. The first all-star cameo came in the video form of Snoop Dogg who introduced "Welcome To My World." Backed by an orchestra and assisted occasionally by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Gorillaz sounded gigantic.
Band leader and creative guru Damon Albarn was a madman all evening jumping on top of the speakers at the front of the stage while singing along. As if the numerous band members weren't enough, seeing Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of The Clash on guitar and bass upped the cool quotient to infinity.
Simonon couldn't even keep his bass strap around his body while he laid down a dub bass line during the ending of "Last Living Souls." Miho Hatori of Cibo Matto fame would later emerge from the shadows for her vocal part during "19-2000" as Albarn playfully greeted her on stage with a high five. The dance party ignited during "Stylo" as Bobby Womack assisted with his soulful vocals.
Albarn would switch to an acoustic guitar during "Melancholy Hill" flanked by Jones and Simonon drawing cheers from the crowd. Shifting gears to another level, "Superfast Jellyfish" was an assault as De La Soul stormed the stage with their high energy antics. Rumors had circulated earlier in the day that Lou Reed would make an appearance as he added his gritty vocals and feedbacking guitar to "Some Kind of Nature."
"Doncomatic" was introduced as a newly recorded track with vocals provided by an emerging British singer named Daley. After a middle eastern influenced transition, Albarn literally brought out the white flag for "White Flag" handing it to an attendee that waved it through the amphitheater. The barrage of cartoon images and sheer amount of people on stage was a sensory overload during "DARE" as the crowd continued to dance in the aisles.
Albarn was in high spirits throughout the evening as he asked the audience at the end of "Plastic Beach" if they were "feeling it?!" to which the crowd roared with approval. "Feel Good Inc." was a juggernaut with an epic performance by De La Soul. "Clint Eastwood" had Albarn occasionally use a melodica backed by more orchestral flourishes. "Demon Days" served as the perfect coda to a star filled evening.
N.E.R.D hit the stage trying out a few of their sexually charged tunes from their upcoming album due on Nov 2nd. The audience was reminded of this fact a few times by frontman Pharrell Williams.
Personal Bias: Two members of The Clash were on stage. Why weren't you there?!?
Crowd: Eclectic mix of hip-hop, alternative, and astute music fans. Gorillaz definitely has a wide spanning appeal.
Overheard in the Crowd: "Who else is hiding backstage?" was a popular overheard statement throughout the evening.
Random Notebook Dump: Paul Simonon is the epitome of cool. Even when he slipped on stage, he made it looked planned.
"Welcome To The World"
"Last Living Souls"
"On Melancholy Hill"
"Tomorrow Comes Today"
"Some Kind Of Nature" (w/ Lou Reed)
"Cloud of Unknowing"
"Feel Good Inc."
"Don't Get Lost In Heaven"