Posted in music | tour dates on June 9, 2014

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin; words by Bill Pearis

Damon Albarn @ Irving Plaza 6/8/2012
Damon Albarn
Damon Albarn

"I've played here before, back in... 1994?," Damon Albarn told the crowd at Irving Plaza, talking about an early Blur tour some 20 years ago. "I think I climbed up that scaffolding." There was no climbing last night, though Albarn did get down into the crowd for a song or two. This was an official afterparty for Governors Ball, which Albarn had played on Friday (6/6) and this was probably the smallest place he'd played since that Blur tour. "As you may know, my new album [Everyday Robots] is a little somber, which makes it difficult to play at big festivals," Albarn admitted, though a chance to get up and close with some very adoring fans (some who'd driven from Canada to be there) clearly had him in a good mood. "I'm really enjoying this, I must say" he later said. The crowd did too.

While most of the set was Everyday Robots songs -- plus some of the more reflective songs from his many musical endeavors -- Albarn did work in a few party pleasers, playing Gorillaz's "Kids with Guns" and bringing out Chicago's Vic Mensa for the rap on "Clint Eastwood" (video below) and a chorus for the final two songs. I thought for sure with the choir they'd do "Tender," but no dice. (Also no dice on "This is a Low," which was on the written setlist but went unplayed.) Albarn was at his most affecting, however, playing a solo piano rendition of Blur's 2003 single "Out of Time." Usually playing the straight frontman role in Blur and Gorillaz, this show was a nice chance to see what a good musician Albarn is, too. Setlist is in this post.

Damon Albarn has a few more dates this week before his Bonnaroo appearance this weekend. Check out more pics from Irving Plaza, plus the setlist, below...

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Damon Albarn

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Damon Albarn and Vic Mensa - "Clint Eastwood" at Irving Plaza

SETLIST: Damon Albarn @ Irving Plaza 6/6/2014
Lonely Press Play
Everyday Robots
Tomorrow Comes Today (Gorillaz)
Hostiles
Slow Country (Gorillaz)
Kids With Guns (Gorillaz)
Three Changes (The Good, the Bad & the Queen)
You and Me
Photographs (You Are Taking Now)
Poison (Rocket Juice & the Moon)
El Mañana (Gorillaz)
Kingdom of Doom (The Good, the Bad & the Queen)
The History of a Cheating Heart
Out of Time (Blur)
All Your Life (Blur)

Encore:
Last Living Souls (Gorillaz)
Clint Eastwood (Gorillaz)
Mr. Tembo
Heavy Seas of Love

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Comments (23)

Outkast was terrible at Governors Ball IMHO. I decided to head over to see Damon Albarn about halfway through Outkast's set, but by the time we made it over to the other stage Damon only had 2 more songs left. What little I saw of his set was fantastic, and I can't help but think I ultimately missed out on one of the truly great performances of the weekend.

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2014 5:42 PM

Too bad he didn't actually play "This Is a Low"

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2014 5:44 PM

To The End is not on the setlist I think you mean This Is A Low

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2014 5:46 PM

So he'll do 2 shows in NY supporting his mind-numbingly dull solo album but we get nothing from Blur? Weak.

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2014 5:50 PM

I wasn't feeling it. 8 solo songs, 6 gorillaz, and 2 each GBTQ & Blur... the crowd loved it, but it was definitely a gorillaz crowd. then again, that's who likes him over here. omission of "This is a low" was a bummer, too.

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2014 5:53 PM

@5:46,

I had "To the End" on the brain... the two Parklife slowjams. Fixed!

-bill

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2014 6:05 PM

I met him walking by union square about 2 hours before doors opened with his whole band. He was so cool stopped to chat...said next tour is the good, the bad & the queen in 2015. also no blur to NY for indefinite future.

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2014 6:20 PM

Shut your stupid mouths.

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2014 6:35 PM

one of the best shows i've seen in a long time

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2014 7:13 PM

for what its worth, he didnt call his album 'somber' he called it low key.

that show was incredible.

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2014 8:52 PM

i was also holding out for 'this is a low'

oh well...still pretty great.

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2014 8:52 PM

Fantastic!

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2014 10:19 PM

Ahhh, gotta love me some, 'put it in my butt slowly' music !! Please sir I want some more...WHAT?!?! MOOOOOOOAAARR ?!?!?!

Posted by Anonymoose | June 9, 2014 11:00 PM

I left Outkast's set at Govball around 8 songs in to go catch Damon Albarn. Best decision I made all day. Though I just missed De La Soul coming out for Feel Good Inc., it still was an awesome performance. Very intimate for a festival show. Just wish we got Last Living Souls and This is a Low.

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2014 11:39 PM

Damon Albarn fanboys are the worst.

Posted by Assblaster | June 10, 2014 4:59 AM

Well, nice he's able to show up *somewhere*.

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2014 8:55 AM

I wanted to suck his dick on stage! XOXO

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2014 9:44 AM

still waiting for Blur...

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2014 11:11 AM

^me too..last time they played NYC was 2003. With Graham it was 1999!

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2014 11:19 AM

his new album kinda blows, this show did not

can't wait for his next visit, regardless of band he's bringing

oasis blows

Posted by thighmaster | June 10, 2014 2:22 PM

👻

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2014 3:58 PM

this guy was the turntablist for supergrass.

Posted by Anonymous | June 11, 2014 12:17 PM

^huh?

Posted by Anonymous | June 11, 2014 12:53 PM

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