I was excited to go see Gorillaz last Sunday at the O2, but I also didn't really know what to expect. A part of me thought they might put on a 3-D show or have massive inflatable cartoons, the show in fact, included none of this. They didn't need to.
I am pleased to say the show was all about the music and pure talent of those on stage. It wasn't centered around Damon Albarn which I was worried about since his recent few gigs with Blur have put him in the spotlight again.
The whole show was a spectacle. The sound was big, the set up was big and the voices were big. At one point I counted about 30 people on stage as for several songs there were full string and brass sections. For nearly every other song there was a guest singer on stage including Bobby Womack who didn't disappoint and Paul Simonon who may not have had the most impact with his voice but was entertaining to watch him on stage. Damon sang a couple on his own but never really stole the limelight.
At first you're not sure where to look as there are so many musicians and the running film of the cartoons on the screen behind. However, you're never overwhelmed or confused. The music blasts out and you go with it.
De La Soul's support was a great way to get the crowd going and got your blood pumping (and chest thumping) for the show to follow. Gorillaz opened with 'welcome to plastic beach' (understandably!) with Snoop Dogg on the big screen, who even though wasn't there in person still had a great impact and worked really well.
There was a good mix of old and new and they saved some of the favourites for the encore to the joy of the audience. The whole stadium were on their feet and with the first two notes 19-2000 heard a raw rip through the crowd and was one of my favourite performances of the night. However, I HAVE to mention one guest who did blow me away. Daley. He came on to sing the forthcoming single 'Doncamatic.' His voice is actually stunning and filled the whole place with what seemed like minimum effort. I had not heard of him until Sunday night but I'm pretty sure he will be one to watch as you don't find people with voices like that every day!
So overall a thoroughly enjoyable gig. I hadn't been to a concert for a while and every time I go to one I always say I need to go to more as I love live music. Even though it was a TREK to get to the O2 since the Jubilee line was shut, I endured buses, the DLR and a riverboat to get there and back, but would do it all again tomorrow if I could!
De La Soul
Snoop - check out the string and brass section on the left hand side.
Damon and Bobby Mac.
Images - all my own.