Thursday 23 November 2017

On Stage: Gorillaz at Ziggo Dome

Everything surrounding Gorillaz is a spectacle. The cartoon band created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett has become a big name, one that is associated with diverse and exciting music, dazzling use of multimedia and spectacular shows. Maybe the latest Humanz album was a bit of a disappointment, although I think it is still one that is very enjoyable. This summer I watched the band on a live stream of the Gorillaz festival Demon Dayz and know that tonight's show simply cannot disappoint.

Gorillaz at Ziggo Dome Amsterdam, November 21 2017

Right before the sold out show there's a happy vibe among the people and everyone is eager to see this long awaited concert. The crowd is just as colourful as Gorillaz' music, with people of different age, colour, countries and background. It is clear that this music unifies people which is a nice thing to notice. The lights go out and we hear the intro of 'M1 A1' and its familiar "hello".

Of course the big screen will show stunning visuals and parts of the music videos. It's funny to see how older videos have a lower resolution and look more grainy. In a few songs it will show the guest singers like D.R.A.M. in 'Andromeda' and Jehnny Beth in 'We Got The Power'. Fortunately there are a many guests live on stage as well like Little Simz in 'Garage Palace' and De La Soul who are firing everyone up in 'Feel Good Inc.' Peven Everett is impressive in 'Strobelite', Jamie Principle and Zebra Katz give a wonderful performance in 'Sex Murder Party'. There's so much going on that you hardly know where to look. The band is amazing with a 6 person choir giving some of the songs a gospel feel, where all musicians are working so hard and show a lot of heart.

Damon Albarn himself is looking very pleased too with the people surrounding him. He must be in heaven with so many great musicians around him, even though he's the biggest star on this stage. With his melodica he joins in on the fun as well, playing beautiful versions of 'Melancholy Hill' and 'El Mañana' back to back. What an amazing musician he is, who never fails to impress. There's a special homage to his dear friend Bobby Womack who passed away a few years back, as his face is shown in the disc shaped screen all the way up. Gorillaz are leaving no one out and let everyone join in on the fun. After twenty songs it's not over by far and we get a six song encore.

'Demon Days' closes the night with everyone going at it one more time and the screen shows the stained glass window of a church. It was a high mass today, a big celebration and a feast for the senses. Gorillaz explores the entire world of popular music and still knows how to make it sound as a whole. When we leave the venue we can only see happy faces around us. It's the magical touch of Gorillaz.

All Pictures

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01. M1 A1
02. Last Living Souls
03. Rhinestone Eyes
04. Tomorrow Comes Today
05. Every Planet We Reach Is Dead
06. Saturnz Barz
07. 19-2000
08. Superfast Jellyfish (with De La Soul)
09. On Melancholy Hill
10. El Mañana
11. Dirty Harry (with Bootie Brown)
12. Strobelite (with Peven Everett)
13. Andromeda
14. Sex Murder Party (with Jamie Principle and Zebra Katz)
15. Out of Body (with Zebra Katz)
16. Garage Palace (with Little Simz)
17. Punk
18. Stylo (with Peven Everett and Bootie Brown)
19. Feel Good Inc. (with De La Soul)
20. We Got the Power (with Little Simz)
21. Cloud of Unknowing
22. Hong Kong
23. Kids With Guns
24. Clint Eastwood
25. Don't Get Lost in Heaven
26. Demon Days

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