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Gorillaz - Rhinestone Eyes

Gorillaz - Rhinestone Eyes

Published:
Oct 17, 2010
Total plays:
10,358
Favorited:
41 times
Sounds like: Blur, The Clash, Daft Punk
Why do we like this?
The Gorillaz "Escape to the Plastic Beach" is an engulfing concert experience, full of prolific musicianship, stunning visual conceptualization, and profound cultural statements.

The world's most successful virtual band has had an inherently difficult time figuring out how to represent a fictional band live. They've played hidden behind sheets, drenched in boxes of light, with puppets, and even as holographic simulations. Now, with Damon Albarn stepping in front of the cartoons alongside a convoy of musicians over 30 strong, Gorillaz have perfected their live experience.

The current incarnation, on display at Chicago's UIC Pavilion, included a slew of guest stars and The Clash (Mick Jones and Paul Simonon) flanking Albarn alongside Jamie Hewlett's animations on a giant projection screen. From the Orchestral Introduction's first moments, the audience was transported to the synthetic shores of an ethereal Plastic Beach lost adrift in the middle of the ocean, with an enormous visage of a maritime Snoop Dogg as their guide.

Adding a fresh take on "19/2000" to their repertoire and the definitive version of "Tomorrow Comes Today," the band played an expansive set themed around 2010's Plastic Beach, while still sampling heavily from all of their releases, including 2001's Gorillaz and 2005's Demon Days. The entire one hour and 45-minute show was an awe-inspiring journey through the post-apocalyptic and quasi-dystopian alternate reality of Gorillaz.

Bootie Brown did an ample job filling in for Mos Def on "Stylo" with soul legend Bobby Womack, Rosie Wilson danced along as a playful Noodle to "DARE," and De La Soul tore through both "Feel Good, Inc." and "Superfast Jellyfish." All the while, Albarn looked like he was having the time of his life playing ringmaster for this rag-tag team, climbing speakers and even jumping into the audience at one point.

Rappers Bashy and Kano teamed up with the American Syrian Orchestra on their Middle East peace anthem "White Flag," reaching out far beyond mixing genres to blend world styles, and use music to open up a dialogue between cultures. In fact, Gorillaz was the first British band to play in the ancient city of Damascus in July.

While the live band played, their counterparts battled through a world of ultra-violence and fantasy. The cartoon Gorillaz consist of a self-appointed leader, a Keith-Richards inspired bassist Murdoc, an ever-confused lead singer 2D, a young Japanese guitarist named Noodle, and a possessed drummer called Russel (who is a mutant with the uncanny ability to summon MCs from the dead).

The third phase finds Murdoc having escaped with his ill-gotten gains to his Plastic Beach, a fortified hideout in the middle of the ocean, fully equipped with a recording studio. He kidnaps 2D, and clones a cyborg version of Noodle to begin work on a third album.

Meanwhile, we discover the original Noodle is alive and well, on a boat en route to the Plastic Beach, when her ship is attacked by pirate jets. Although she fights them off with machine guns, the vessel is sunk and she is left adrift at sea, only to be rescued by a giant Russel, who has grown to the gargantuan size of a whale from eating massive amounts of plastic waste. In the most current episode, the reunited group battles a smoke monster of sorts on the island. Sound familiar?

Gorillaz don't appear to be trying to escape the Plastic Beach anytime soon either -- Albarn recently revealed there's some 80 pieces of leftover material for multiple Plastic Beach sequels. If that's not enough, they've also brought along a mobile recording studio for the tour, so anyone in the band can lay down tracks on the road, as they did with their most recent single, "Doncamatic."

Gorillaz "Escape to the Plastic Beach" tour heads to the West Coast before they get to their European dates in November, including a homecoming at London's 02 Arena before finishing up the year in Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand. If you're lucky enough to live in a city Gorillaz is visiting, be sure not to miss what may be the concert event of the generation.



Setlist:

1 Orchestral Intro

2 Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach (with Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)

3 19/2000

4 Last Living Souls

5 O Green World

6 Stylo (with Bobby Womack)

7 On Melancholy Hill

8 Rhinestone Eyes

9 Superfast Jellyfish (with De La Soul)

10 Kids with Guns

11 Tomorrow Comes Today

12 Broken (with Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)

13 Dirty Harry

14 El Mañana

15 Dare

16 White Flag

17 Glitter Freeze

18 Plastic Beach

Encore:

19 Cloud of Unknowing (with Bobby Womack)

20 Punk

21 Feel Good Inc. (with De La Soul)

22 Clint Eastwood

23 Don't Get Lost In Heaven

24 Demon Days
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