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Damon Albarn played a GovBall afterparty at Irving Plaza; Vic Mensa joined him for “Clint Eastwood” (pics, video, setlist)

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…

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

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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