all photos by Andrew Markowitz.*
Pop-music mad scientist Damon Albarn is currently touring his ever-evolving collaborative group and multimedia extravaganza, Gorillaz, across the United States. After Gorillaz climbed around New York City like King Kong at the end of last week, they took their road-show down the Turnpike to play an incredible show in Camden, New Jersey on Sunday night, and then down I-95 to perform at George Mason University’s Patriot Center on Monday. Having previewed the 2010 Gorillaz live show at this year’s Coachella Music Festival, I was determined to catch at least one of their national tour dates. As it turns out I was fortunate enough to catch two of them.
Everyone that I talk to who hasn’t seen Gorillaz live seems to have the misconception that their concerts are fully-animated affairs, with the real band hidden behind screens. If you are reading this and are skipping your area’s Gorillaz tour date because of a similar thought, let me tell you that 2010 is the year Gorillaz have come out from behind their rather silly veil to stage an extravagant stage show that features upwards of 25 people on stage at once. The live show is a head-spinning cavalcade of guest-stars and top-notch musicians with so many moving musical parts that every inch of the stage is packed with something interesting for the eyes and the ears. With the latest Gorillaz release, a concept album entitled “Plastic Beach”, and this massive tour, Albarn has finally realized the full musical potential of the novelty Hip-Hop meets Brit-Pop group that he and cartoonist Jamie Hewlett conceived nearly a decade ago. “Escape to Plastic Beach” tour is one of the most unique entertainment events of this year or any other.