On November 5th Gorillaz performed at Oslo Spektrum, as part of their «Humanz» world tour 2017. The concert was meaningful, significant, and exciting at many occasions.
A very professional act and an impeccable sound production. A concert that should be kept in the memory, and that may lead to the future of virtual live acts.
The virtual characters
Fictional characters, with different personalities and skills, give life to Gorillaz.
Most of the essence of the band is created before the concert: the virtual characters and the extensive collaborations with talented musicians. Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett created in 1998 what is now the most famous virtual band in the world. Fictional characters, with different personalities and skills, give life to Gorillaz. The performance is made by them and accompanied by very talented and precise musicians and singers.
Gorillaz chose slow pace and mostly spoken songs from previous albums to begin the concert, M1 A1 followed by Last Living Souls, were the first calls to grab the attention of the public that would witnessed that night more that twenty songs.
A discreet light follows the talented front-man, singing at times from a regular mic and at times from a megaphone-like mic. Though many songs it is quite difficult to clearly see the rest of the band members disguised in the fog. The third song comes out, Saturn Barnz, from the Humanz album, and finally the excitement fully blasts the speakers. A storytelling.
A viriual band significant to see live
On the stage, the most important presence is from the virtual characters: 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Russel Hobbs, and Noodle, singing and talking through a massive screen behind the musicians. They are the most visible, the most important, and the ones interacting with the public. After all, it’s a virtual band.
They have through “virtual” format, guest singers such as Lou Reed and Bobby Womack. Singing along and mixing rock and hip hop in a beautiful way.
These guys however have a full list of impressive guests singers: Jamie Principle, Little Simz, De la Soul. Even more, they have through “virtual” format, guest singers such as Lou Reed and Bobby Womack. Singing along and mixing rock and hip hop in a beautiful way.
Damon Albarn shows off all his tricks in his pocket and musical references, creating that unique Gorillaz style. He is accompanied on the stage by a guitar, bass, two percussions, keyboards and a 6 person chorus. It is astonishing to see how well all mixes together, in a compelling story that has a very balanced amount of songs from all their previous albums.
To be honest I never went over the roof with any particular song. Perhaps it was because I was not on the stage level but sitting down eating popcorn on the top floor.
However, it was truly exciting to hear live songs like Melancholy Tree, or fun and punchy songs like Sex Murder Party and Stylo, which exploited perfectly the whole concept and potential of a virtual band. And of course, I had goose bumps when I listed to anthems like Feel Good Inc and Clint Eastwood.
This was a truly professional act, presented with great visuals, impeccable production, a flowy set list of songs and eloquent performance. Creating beautifully mixes and excting music, with a clear and quite unique proposal. Definitely one of the most significant bands to see live.
Gorillaz – Oslo Spektrum – 9/10