L.A. photographer Ricardo Curiel was on hand to cover the Gorillaz concert on September 25 at the You Tube Theater in Inglewood, CA. by Harriet Kaplan
The crowd walking in to the YouTube theater consisted of all walks of life. A mix of young and old, bunches of kids with their parents and some fans who were dressed up as their favorite Gorrillaz characters. An older style rabbit ear television appeared on the screen and progressively got bigger as the show started with “M1 A1” as it’s intro.
M1A1 is off Gorillaz’ debut album and was a good build up for the crowd as the anticipation built up. The build up was met with a loud “Hello, Hello, is anyone there?”.. the enthusiastic crowd was on their feet cheering as the band walked up on stage. The band’s front man Damon Albarn walked up and grabbed his Fender Telecaster, slung it over his chest and approached the microphone. He raised his chin towards the microphone and lead off with, “M one A one. At a thousand miles an hour. Gorrillaz got the bass drum. Gorillaz say I want some!” Then he hit them with the chant “LA LA LA LA LA LA LA hey! The crowd chanted along. The rest of the show continued with most of the patrons on their feet singing along and definitely enjoyed the show.
Curiel said Albarn is animated and gregarious front man. His gifts encompass having one of the most distinctive vocals around. It is very versatile and possesses an emotionally charged style. Albarn walked up to the spectators on the front of the stage and reached out to shake some hands. You can feel that he was picking up on the energy from the crowd. I was intrigued watching him interact with his fans like that. He looked at them in the eyes as he sang along to the song. Fans reaching out to get a hand shake or even a high five from him.
Gorillaz are known for their visuals to include their characters, and they were on full display up on the screen. The show felt like you’re living and are part of their music videos and not just attending a concert. The crowd erupted in cheers when the Gorillaz main character made an appearance on screen for the first time of the night for the song “Tranz”. Albarn rocked a keyboard flute more uncommonly known as a Melodica for “Tomorrow Comes Tonight.”
The lights went out and the all familiar keyboard melody for “19-2000” kick started the crowd even more.. Albarn showed off some dance moves as he sang to the crowd.
Gorillaz have been offering up an ongoing blend of really forward-thinking rock and roll since some of these musical genres began in the 1980s. Gorillaz has pushed past the boundaries of his music and true artistic vision beyond his work in Blur. Gorillaz is really the vehicle for what is the most well-known and successful virtual band. In fact, Albarn and his bandmates are the receptacle, so to speak.
Albarn started the project in 1998 when he happened to come into contact with Jamie Hewlett, a comic book artist. Binge watching MTV videos in the 1990s left them anxous and unsatisfied. Soon after, they created a cartoon band which was a commentary on the current music scene. Albarn came up with the music and Hewlett developed the characters. Many decades later, Gorillaz, was in fact, really a band that was truly ahead of its time in 2001.
From the video channel of Francisco Saldivar
Undeniably, they have gone on to be on the vanguard of what is modern music. Now, the critically-lauded and immensely popular band is on the road promoting its upcoming eight studio album, Cracker Island. The album is due out in February 2023.
Onstage, the band members include 2-D, Muroc Niccals, Noodle, and Russell Hobbs. There was a lot of footage that was behind Albarn which was the animation of the band in action taken from their music videos. The show the night before at the Kia Forum featured a number of guest appearances that really made it a star-studded show including Beck, Tame Impala and Thundercat. At the You Tube Theater, Beck performed with the Gorrilaz also on “Valley Of the Pagans,” Michelle Ndegwa on “Kids with Guns,” Opium from EarthGang that opened for the Gorillaz performed live on “Opium” and Fatoumata Diawara on “Desole.”
Last Living Souls
Tomorrow Comes Today
The Valley of the Pagans
O Green World
(Damon piano intro)
On Melancholy Hill
New Genious (Brother)
Kids With Guns
(with Fatoumata Diawara)
Interlude: Elevator Going Up
(D.R.A.M. Special vocal outro)
(with Bootie Brown)
Feel Good Inc.
(with De La Soul)
(with Bootie Brown)
(with Bootie Brown)
Rock the House
(with Del the Funky Homosapien)
(with Del the Funky Homosapien) (and Sweetie Irie, with “Ed Case/Sweetie Irie Re-fix” outro)
Gorillaz US Tour at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, CA on Sunday 9/25/2022 with special guests De La Soul, Beck, Tame Impala, Schoolboy Q, Thundercat, Del the Funky Homosapien. Shot by Ricardo Curiel www.lowlightgangster.com IG @low_light_gansger
To submit an article an article or review, or to just say hello hit us at [email protected]
Also- check out the search feature in the upper right hand corner and search for your favorite artist, event, venue or genre. You’ll be surprised at what you find!
Check out the Live Music News and Review.com Facebook page for updates and announcements.