Gorillaz are without a doubt one of the most unusual bands in music history. It’s not just them being virtual, the crucial point is rather that they are a time-machine band that comes from the future.
Newest album Humanz is maybe the best example of that. With it, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett – with their many collaborators – (more than) succeeded in conveying the dark feeling of looming apocalypse that is haunting our present times.
Catching the zeitgeist so ingeniously is one of the reasons why, I think, Max-Schmeling-Halle was charged with a special kind of expectation. And yes, fans definitely got what they came for. The performance was stunning, with top-shelf sound, literally better than the one on the recording. The musicians really gave it their all and the stage was emanating an almost holy energy. Everybody was going crazy, even the Germans with Sitzplätze tickets.
“fan-friendly” playlist could be a bit double-edged
Almost all of the Gorillaz favorites were performed – from Clint Eastwood to Andromeda. Great, isn’t it? Five stars for performance aside, I think that playing such a “fan-friendly” playlist could be a bit double-edged.
Since Gorillaz are an absolute sui generis band, one that stands for constant reinvention of their own genre, maybe they didn’t have to play all the “sing-alongs” like Clint Eastwood. Especially because this conformity canceled the possibility of transmitting that original apocalyptic feeling that otherwise characterizes the Humanz. In the end, it was more of a best-of bundle than an interconnected and meaningful whole.
bring back the holograms and Gorillaz are the best band on the planet
Finally, the non-originality of the playlist was reinforced with the non-originality of the visual dimension – there were just the standard video projections in the background and live streaming of not-so-lively-anymore Damon Albarn on the sides. There are so many better possibilities, especially with today’s technology! If Gorillaz really are a band from the non-human future, then it would make total sense to have holograms on the stage.
Omit Clint Eastwood and the human performers, bring back the holograms, and Gorillaz are the best band on the planet!