It’s not often I will spend more than $100 to see a show. It’s not often I pay more than $40 for that matter. But when I saw Gorillaz were bringing the Escape to Plastic Beach tour through Denver, I knew this was a show I couldn’t miss. I purchased front section seats for my buddy and I the day they went onsale and my wife found a friend to accompany her to the Janelle Monáe/of Montreal show. During the ride home we came to the conclusion we had both seen unique performances that were much different than other shows we have been to lately.
First off, the show lived up to and exceeded expectations. It was sensory overload. Should I watch the amazing animation on the two huge screen hanging above the stage? How about Chicago‘s Hypnotic Brass Ensemble or the female string section? Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of The Clash? De La Soul? Or the man himself, Damon Albarn? All this amazing talent on stage and my eyes couldn’t help but lock in on the dual-drummers. The fact that this could all be going on at once and not become an ugly mess is a feat in itself. But the fact that they could mix alternative rock, hip-hop, electronic…even traditional Middle Eastern music played by Syrian artists and make it flow so seamlessly is nothing less than genius. I wonder if Damon Albarn ever imagined this project would become was it has…a band that blurs the boundaries between rock and hip-hop in a way never before seen; a band that can provide an escape into destinations (real and imagined) dominated by cartoon creatures and legendary musicians.
Not being a fan of the latest album, I will say the tracks translated live. When you witness first hand what goes into the production of this music, you appreciate it so much more. That being said, the highlights for me were still the tracks from Demon Days.
I highly recommend this tour to anyone able to catch it. I can now recommend Wells Fargo Theatre for shows as well. The seats were unnecessary last night with everyone on their feet and dancing from the recorded Snoop Dogg intro to the the ending notes of Demon Day, but the theatre had great sound and with a 5,000 person occupancy, it still maintained a level of intimacy.