It had been 7 years since the last time Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett better known for their virtual band Gorillaz had graced Massachusetts with their presence. So it made perfect sense that they had a sold out show at the 5000 capacity Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. Instead of hiding behind a backdrop and have the virtual animated characters be front and center, Albarn and Hewlett along with many guests, a choir, and full band performed over 20 songs encompassing their 19-year career over 5 full-length albums.
Their newest release Humanz (Warner Brothers/Parlophone) features many guest appearances and vocals from Albarn are less prominent. Southern California’s Vince Staples had a full opening set and then came back out to perform a few songs with the full band. ‘Ascension’ from Humanz and their classic single, ‘Clint Eastwood.’
Another special guest who currently resides in Massachusetts, the music legend Carly Simon performed the song she’s featured on, ‘Ticker Tape.’ She sounded great and it was an honor to have been in the same area as her to hear her sing.
This show was a dance party for everyone in attendance. Even though their set didn’t include ‘Feel Good, Inc’. They didn’t need that song to engage the audience in everything else. Hopefully, it won’t be another 7 years before they embark on another tour in the US.
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY MATT LAMBERT