It’s probably been a while since you’ve heard the classic “Feel Good Inc.” blasted on the loudspeakers. The recent Gorillaz show at the Barclays Center was a grand gesture to the past in all the right ways and also a glimpse into the future.
If you’re looking for a typical pop or hip hop show, Gorillaz is not your answer. On Saturday, the virtual rock band had the whole animated gang with them. 2D, Murdoc, Russell, and Noodle fought for what they believed in against the Boogieman, Vought F4U Corsairs, and more on the big screen – for nearly two hours. Animator Jamie Hewlett had his work cut out for him (The Oscars are coming up, aren’t they?).
But that’s not all who made an appearance. Long Island’s De la Soul led the crowd into “Feel Good Inc.” with his iconic laugh, and Brooklyn’s own Mos Def came out for “Stylo“. Jamie Principle shook the stadium with “Hollywood“, a must-hear anti-anthem from The Now Now album. Snoop Dogg also raps on the song, but sadly he wasn’t at Barclays.
The stage was stomping grounds to one powerhouse guest appearance after another. Frontman Damon Albarn was nothing short of gracious as he gave praise to his collaborators and his supremely talented backup singers. The connectivity was real.
Barclays has a way of feeling surprisingly intimate and epic all at once. Gorillaz brought the venue to new heights with a full on sensory experience that stimulated audience members in more ways than one. The show was stacked with the beats and voices we love, an action-packed visual adventure led by 2D and the gang, and our favorite, thought-provoking lyrics doubling as commentary on the environmental crisis, drug addiction, and capitalism (Guess those are all connected, huh?).
Of the OG creators, I’m not sure who was the better entertainer, Albarn or 2D (aka Hewlett). But one thing’s for sure; Gorillaz are a pack, and you can count on them to rock us to our core.