March 25, 2017 - 15:10 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Gorillaz made an emphatic live return on March 24 with a secret set at the Printworks venue in London, announced only hours before the set, Gigwise said.
The show was held in an off-the-beaten-track location where a long winding walk from the tube led you to the dystopian view of 16-acre former printing factory. Entry was limited. Allowed were a select number of fans who had pre-ordered their new album, Humanz, and anyone on the guestlist - mostly music industry associates. The entry fee? A five pound donation to charity.
Given the short notice, it was a spectacular thing to see how feverish the response was, Gigwise said. Everyone ditched whatever they were doing to welcome Gorillaz back to the live fold, where they'll remain dominant for the rest of 2017.
The gig was a baptism of freedom. Free from the shackles of the studio, it marked the moment the intensity of creating such a beautiful album and having to not show anyone and was finally over. It was evidently a source of glee for everyone involved. Albarn appeared fresh-faced, looking two years younger than he did last year, and sounding in his prime vocally. This was as momentous as a Glastonbury headline set in terms of the emotional highs, Gigwise said.
"We're going to play every song from the new album and the majority of people who played on it are here tonight", smiled Albarn to a rapturous cheers. What followed was an incredible cast of 30-odd musicians over the course of the evening making it on to the stage, with slick transitions, and not a moment of awkwardness or tepidness. As for the album, it sounded astoundingly cohesive, with the highs stratospheric and the occasional melancholic moment fixating, Gigwse said.
Of the guests, Benjamin Clementine got a particularly great reception for his mind-blowing rendition of the single, 'Hallelujah Money'. There was spark between Kelela and Albarn when they were dueting. Rapper Danny Brown injected so much energy as he was trading verses with Albarn, and provided the fuel needed to get the crowd's weekend off to a flying start. Then there was the big moment of the night where Noel Gallagher and Jehnny Beth came on to play album closer, 'We Got the Power'. Jean Michelle Jarre was the star of this cut, though. His synth powering over the top of everything was a thing of magical beauty.
They also had a surprise up their sleeve. In addition to playing 14 tracks from the album in order and everyone you meet saying it was only going to be an hour set, they had two encores. For the first encore they played the hits, 'Kids With Guns', 'Feel Good Inc', and 'Clint Eastwood' back-to-back with original guests De La Soul, and Del The Funk Homosapien powering the tracks. For the second encore they performed 'Don't Get Lost In Heaven' as the worship between the band and crowd was palpable, Gigwise said.