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Denver, CO – Gorillaz and EarthGang were the stars of in the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday night (September 28) as part of the Damon Albarn-fronted duo’s North American tour.
The crowd, which was wearing Gorillaz’s trademark pink, roared together during the time EarthGang – the Atlanta duo comprised of Olu and WowGr8 took to the stage at just 7:15 p.m. in the local time zone. The Dreamville performers soared through their explosive setthat included songs like “This Side” and “Top Down” from the album MIRRORLAND.
Their energy was electric the entire band aware of the huge chance traveling together with Gorillaz on 22 shows. (They will later join Gorillaz for their collaboration with them in 2020 “Opium” from Song Machine Season One: Strange Timez.)
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) September 29, 2022
After a long interval between sets, Damon Albarn appeared on stage at 9 p.m. while the crowd was chanting in excitement. The 26-song set that followed and blew any hopes of a quality performance off the water.
The band was led by the lead guitar Jeff Wootton (who looked like the Clash part from The Clash), the vibrant bassist Seye Adelkan as well as keyboardists Mike Smith and Jesse Hackett and drummers Femi Koleoso and Karl Vanden Bossche and The Humanz Choir, Albarn kicked off the concert by playing “M1A1” from Gorillaz 2001 self-titled album. The band then seamlessly jumped to “Last Living Souls.”
Each time, Albarn got braver, oft navigating the crowd of people using his dispatch microphone at his side, not missing an beat. Gorillaz have built their reputation on collaborations, generally have a few other musicians to perform their music.
The 2008 Escape To Plastic Beach Tour, De La Soul, Pharcyde’s Bootie Brown, the late Bobby Womack, Little Dragon and two members of The Clash (Paul Simonon and Mick Jones) joined the group. In this case the group relied heavily in animated video clips to help bring their songs to life.
To accompany “Empire Ants,” Little Dragon singer Yukimi Nagano appeared onscreen to sing the song, while animating Snoop Dogg along with De La Soul popped up in the video for “On Melancholy Hill” and Thundercat was on the screens for”Cracker Island “Cracker Island” visual, one of the newest singles from Gorillaz.
However, right after “Kids With Guns,” EarthGang came back to perform “Opium,” Bootie Brown was on hand to perform “Dirty Harry” (as well as “New Gold” and “Stylo”), Posdnous joined the group for “Feel Good Inc.” and Sweetie Irie closed out the show with the platinum-selling track “Clint Eastwood,” putting an exclamation point to the night’s rotating roster.
Albarn displayed his real personality repeatedly while performing with the 11, 10, and 12 year-olds who were thrilled to be around him. For many fans, it was their first performance and the excitement swelled through the atmosphere, which made the performance an emotional and healing experience for all.
Gorillaz is set to release their 8th studio album Cracker Island in 2023. The tour will continue with Austin, Texas on Friday (September 30) before moving on to Chicago on the 3rd of October. Check the schedule here.
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