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Gorillaz stunned Barclays Center w/ De La Soul, Mos Def, The Internet & more (review, pics, setlist)

Gorillaz are currently on a short North American tour behind this year’s funky The Now Now, and the band stopped at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Saturday (10/13), which was packed with tons of excited fans. This marks the band’s return to NYC following last year’s Humanz tour, to which Damon Albarn said, “We liked you guys so much, we had to come here twice.” Like on past tours, Gorillaz’ live setup did not cease to impress, with Damon surrounded by a solid group of musicians, including six backing vocalists and two drummers, all placed before animator Jamie Hewlett‘s stunning, colorful visuals. The night began with an ominous greeting, “Hello, is anyone there?”, which serves as the intro to the explosive set opener “M1 A1,” taken from their debut self-titled LP.

As someone who was mostly lukewarm on a good portion of The Now Now, hearing the band’s newer material in a live setting felt much more ideal, with songs like “Tranz,” “Humility,” and “Lake Zurich” sounding far more explosive and dynamic than the comparatively tamer studio versions. While these new songs were certainly a highlight of the show, the band also came out swinging with some of their more popular hits, including “19-2000,” during which Damon Albarn walked among the audience and shook hands with many fans. The band also brought out a few guests over the course of the show, including some who previously appeared with them on this tour, such as Peven Everett on “Strobelite,” Jamie Principle on “Hollywood,” Bootie Brown on “Dirty Harry,” and De La Soul on both “Feel Good Inc.” and “Superfast Jellyfish.” There were also some surprises too, as the band brought out Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) during “Stylo,” with Peven Everett taking over for the late Bobby Womack.

Although I wasn’t seated directly next to the stage during the show, the band’s set managed to feel strangely intimate, where even though they were playing to thousands of fans in a large arena, they treated the audience as if it were a much smaller setting. The band was also huge on crowd participation, with Damon Albarn and crew frequently encouraging the already-lively audience to dance and clap along. The night ended with a great three-track run of “Clint Eastwood,” “Don’t Get Lost in Heaven,” and “Demon Days,” and when the show finally drew to a close, it was hard to believe two hours had passed.

Before Gorillaz took the stage, the audience was warmed up by The Internet, who played a mix of material from their great new album Hive Mind, as well as other highlights from their discography. The band’s fun, groovy rhythms, coupled with Syd‘s immaculate vocals, served as an excellent appetizer for the great show to follow. You can check out photos in the gallery above, and view fan-shot videos, and Gorillaz’ setlist, below.

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Kids With Guns #gorillaz #thenownowtour

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Gorillaz #nyc

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Setlist – Gorillaz @ Barclays Center 10/13/18
M1 A1
Tranz
Last Living Souls
Rhinestone Eyes
Saturnz Barz
Tomorrow Comes Today
Every Planet We Reach Is Dead
19-2000
Humility
Superfast Jellyfish (with De La Soul)
On Melancholy Hill
El Mañana
Fire Flies
Strobelite (with Peven Everett)
Andromeda
Hollywood (with Jamie Principle)
Dirty Harry (with Bootie Brown)
Feel Good Inc. (with De La Soul)
Souk Eye
Plastic Beach

ENCORE
Lake Zurich
Latin Simone (¿Qué Pasa Contigo?)
Kids With Guns (with Michelle Ndegwa)
Stylo (with Yasiin Bey and Peven Everett)
Clint Eastwood
Don’t Get Lost in Heaven
Demon Days

photos by Kenneth Bachor

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