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Live Review: Gorillaz – 4th December 2017 – O2 Arena, London, UK

3 min read
Photo: Live Nation UK

Gorillaz, nearly at the end of first part of their Humanz tour in Europe, delivered an outstanding performance at The O2 Arena, enriched by a long list of featured artists. The guests continued to arrive, from Noel Gallagher to Little Simz (who was the opening artist of the night), and from Pos Dave Maseo (De La Soul) to Graham Coxon. The night itself felt like a party, a celebration of Gorillaz’s music and ideas. They played songs from all their albums, their greatest tracks and new releases, proving their eclectic nature. From hip hop to indie rock, passing through electronic, there was something for any music lover.

The big stage was always full of artists, but it never felt overcrowded or chaotic. While a chorus of six elements was always present, a group of trumpet players and a small orchestra of five rotated on and off the stage throughout the entire concert. All the elements brought to life by each musician contributed to create a triumphant show.

Other key aspects of the night were the impeccable visuals by Jamie Hewlett and the lights, which, by being synchronised to the music rhythm and being used as storytelling tools, added more details to the performance.

M1A1 set the scene, by opening the concert and introducing the first hints of energy, excitement and adrenaline, which characterised the entire night. The level of engagement and enjoyment of the multigenerational audience was already pretty high. With Charger, the long parade of guest artists started: on the stage with Damon Albarn there was Pauline Black too.

Multiple highlights signed the night, but some of the most powerful and dynamic performances were the disco and electronic Strobelite, featuring Peven Everett, Punk, and the rap Garage Palace, featuring Little Simz.

With Dirty Harry every person in the arena stood up to dance and completely joined the energetic flow. Pos Dave Maseo’s iconic laugh introduced Feel Good Inc., followed by We Got The Power, during which Albarn was joined by Jehnny Beth, Little Simz, Noel Gallagher, Graham Coxon.

Over the two hours show, Damon Albarn didn’t waste much time directly talking to the audience. He preferred to engage with the fans by delivering a spectacular performance and unleash all his energy on stage.

After a satisfying, long encore of six songs, Damon Albarn thanked the audience and each artist who was still playing and leaves the stage followed by the other band members one by one, while Demon Days was fading away. This was a long, pleasurable and nearly delicate closure after two hours full of energy and adrenaline.

Last Living Souls
Rhinestone Eyes
Tomorrow Comes Today
Every Planet We Reach is Dead
Saturnz Barz
Charger – Pauline Black
Superfast Jellyfish – Pos Dave Maseo (De La Soul) Gruff Rhys
Melancholy Hill
El Mañana
Ascension – Vince Staples
Strobelite – Peven Everett
Andromeda – DRAM
Sex Murder Party – Jamie Principle + Zebra Katz
Sweepstakes – Yasiin Bey – Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Garage Palace – Little Simz
Punk Broken – Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Let Me Out – Pusha T
Dirty Harry – Bootie Brown
Stylo – Peven Everett – Yasiin Bey
Feel Good – Pos Dave Maseo (De La Soul)
We Got The Power – Jehnny Beth, Little Simz, Noel Gallagher, Graham Coxon

Hong Kong
Kids With Guns – Michelle Ndegwa
Dare – Shaun Ryder – Roses Gabor
Clint Eastwood
Don’t Get Lost in Heaven
Demon Days