The growing trend of webcasting a show can be as good as metric as any to judge if you want to shell out the cash to see a band live. With Gorillaz just starting off on their recently launched tour, their 45 min webcast and performance on Letterman last night might have been just the place to witness the live spectacle that is Gorillaz. Missed out? Well have we got a treat for you.
On Letterman’s show proper, Gorillaz performed only a snippet of what they played on the webcast, but they still killed it with “Rhinestone Eyes”. Damon Albarn somehow embraces the best parts about frontmen everywhere: funky, cool, sexy, energetic, engaging with everyone — see for yourself below.
But it was after this short performance at the Ed Sullivan Theater that a small studio audience and thousands of people on the internet got to see some of Gorillaz real magic start to appear. For 45 min, the band played nine songs spanning all three of their LPs.
Albarn, Clash stars Paul Simonon and Mick Jones, current Noodle incarnate Miho Hatori, De La Soul, Bootie Brown, Kano, and a string quartet went beyond just summer festival highlights and transitioned to a top tier live act through and through. Each element of the band shined at various moments during the set, from the strings in “On Melancholy Hill” and De La’s notorious laugh on “Feel Good Inc.” to Albarn’s vocal charge towards the end of “Green World” and the rest of the bands’ synchronicity on the funky instrumental “Glitter Freeze”.
If nothing else, this was a precursor to what promises to be a can’t miss tour. If really nothing else, I hope sailor-chic is vogue this year.