Gorillaz Close Tour with Triumphant Miami Sendoff


It takes a lot for this writer to miss a Dolphins game. It takes on something like one of the most lauded and singular alternative acts since the turn of the century, playing the final show of a rare world tour in Miami’s largest indoor venue, which is not common . Last Sunday night, it was definitely worth missing the game to see Gorillaz put on a triumphant show in front of a packed crowd at FTX Arena.

Nearly 25 years into his career, Britpop icon Damon Albarn’s alternative/hip-hop ‘virtual band’ project has gone through many different phases. Its beginnings as a Blur-perceived side project quickly gave way to something more substantial – these days, one could make a strong argument that Gorillaz has eclipsed Blur both in terms of commercial popularity and of artistic merit, particularly through her beloved first two records. Despite a mid-career slump that could be called the band’s lean years, with a handful of albums that polarized both critics and fans, the band emerged in a fruitful and collaborative streak that led to the 2020s welcomed. song machine and her current 2022 world tour.

According to setlist.fm, Gorillaz has only played 266 shows in his entire career, averaging around 13 shows a year since his inception. It’s part of what makes this 2022 world tour – and its end-of-trek show in Miami – more of a capital “event” than a typical arena gig.

Returning to Miami for the second time (coincidentally, the band’s only previous show in South Florida was headlining the III Points festival, which celebrated its 2022 iteration last weekend with the heads of poster LCD Soundsystem and Rosalía) on a kind of tear after the recent release of singles “Cracker Island” and “New Gold”, the group seems to be experiencing its most fertile period in many years. And yet, pleasantly surprised, even in the midst of this prolific era, the set list leaned heavily on the band’s first two records, the eponymous Gorillaz and demon days—which are generally regarded as its high water mark.

Flanked by a massive band that included five backing vocalists and six additional musicians, Albarn led the crowd through a 26-song set that included nearly every hit from the band’s increasingly impressive repertoire, from “Clint Eastwood” to ” Dirty Harry,” with plenty of in-between cuts that didn’t reference the acclaimed actor/director. Other highlights included ’19-2000′, ‘Kids with Guns’ and a brazenly off-key rendition of ‘Humility’, although there were no dull moments during the concert, which was completed by cinematographic images featuring the four “virtual” of the group. members.

As a lifelong fan of Damon Albarn and his many projects, but never having seen him in concert, I had always thought the English musician would project a relatively aloof, even disengaged stage presence. I’m happy to point out how wrong I was. From the first notes of the opening of the “M1 A1” set, Albarn was a real ball of energy to lead the show. He quickly left the stage to engage with the standing GA stage front, perching atop the barricade and merging with legions of elated fans. At one point he entered the pit in the middle of the song, mingling with the fans as he sang, before eventually climbing a number of stairwells in several sections of the lower level (including mine ) to get along better with the participants. These antics didn’t go unnoticed – immediately after Albarn left our section and finished an exultant rendition of “19-2000”, I heard someone behind me affirm “I can die happy now”.

And yet, for all his rock star heroics at the start of the night, Albarn’s most impressive quality leading the show was his willingness to cede the spotlight to the collaborators. Whether it was a member of the band or one of the many special guests who joined the core of musicians on stage throughout the night – which included Bootie Brown, Del the Funky Homosapien and De La Soul – Albarn never hoarded the limelight, stepping back to a piano at the back of the stage and allowing those other singers to own their moment.

After a substantial main set that had no shortage of solid material, the band unleashed their heaviest hitters for the five-song encore, which included their latest hit in recent single “New Gold” as well as early cuts and classics. certified “Feel Good Inc.” and “Rock The House” and the show’s final contemplative punch demon days closing tracks “Don’t Get Lost in Heaven” and “Demon Days”.

For all the praise I could lavish on this show, from its impressive set list to its emphatic performers to the remarkable visuals that accompanied the music throughout, perhaps the most outstanding aspect was the party vibe. that permeated the night – one fitting for the last show of a long world tour for a band that seems to be giving themselves a well-deserved victory lap. By the time that unmistakable laughter rang out to kick off “Feel Good Inc.”, Albarn and his band had nothing more to accomplish – they had already given Miami a far more indelible spectacle than any Dolphins game in the hours of great listening. .


  1. M1 A1
  2. Last living souls
  3. Tranz
  4. White light
  5. tomorrow comes today
  6. 19-2000
  7. Humility
  8. Rhinestone eyes
  9. cracker island
  10. O green world
  11. In full melancholy
  12. El Manana
  13. New Genius (Brother)
  14. Empire Ants
  15. She is my necklace
  16. Children with guns
  17. Andromeda
  18. dirty harry
  19. TO DARE
  20. Momentary happiness
  21. Clint Eastwood


  • new gold
  • Break the house
  • Feel Good Inc.
  • Don’t get lost in paradise
  • demon days

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