LIVE REVIEW: Gorillaz at Rough Trade, Brooklyn 4/26


Writer Zach Lee waited hours in line in the pouring rain to catch an exclusive 150-capped live show of the Gorillaz at Rough Trade in Brooklyn on 4/26! VIDEOS BELOW.

What seemed like the golden ticket event to end April was highly sought after, with only those who would brave the cold rain and unusually cruel weather would win. This was perhaps the most exclusive Gorillaz show with only 150 fans in attendance and the first U.S. show in 7 years.

This writer had stumbled upon the event only a hours before midnight and rushed over to the venue to hopefully be one of the lucky few. Arriving at the venue around 1 am there was a line that had wrapped around and bleeding onto Kent St. Still, I had my hopes up with minimal doubt that would slowly erode away with each passing hour.

What followed was hours of comradely and looking out for each other while everyone within a 5 people radius of the line went off to do one thing or another. To me, it spoke of the volume and impact that encapsulates essence of the latest Gorillaz album, where we are all united in a common interest and being kind humans to each other. I was lucky enough to have been in line with some amazing fans, creating an awesome memory and friendship.

As the early hours started to set in, each step seemed so close, yet so far. A sentiment that was shared with many in line, and upon hearing that only 150 would be admitted, my little group’s hearts collectively dropped a beat only to be assured of our entry.  Close to 13 hours of waiting and finally the wristband was ours. The rejoice was quickly overshadowed by the tiredness that had started to set in.

Fast forward only 7 hours later. Waiting in the rain that couldn’t decide if it wanted to pour or drizzle, doors opened at 8. Ahead of me I could see my new friends being interviewed for a TV news station. Before regrouping within the hallowed venue and rejoicing in our luck and commitment.

Gorillaz has always had a unique set up to their attitude for shows. However this album being more of a collective project lent itself to the next level. While the second floor balcony area is usually opened up to the public, for this particular show it was host to a choir of gospel singers and a magical Buddhist bell.

Being able to listen to the record before it comes out is usually a treat to most, but to those who braved the weather, being able to listen to a full hour and a half of new material live was a blessing. With a packed guest spots all coming out to do their parts it very much felt more like an intimate gathering of friends taking turns jamming than a Gorillaz concert.

The show was filled with star studded performances by:
Peven Everett
De La Soul
Jaime Principal
And finally Kali Uchis

For the full set list can be viewed here.

While this writer can’t be sure or the full intentions of Gorillazs intentions with humanz, one can be sure that this show was definitely a humanz moment. Many murmurs after the house lights had come up were of only one thing. It was totally worth it. A loud of proud statement that only a few could say. The interaction of the band, the crowd, the guests, the choirs, and finally, Damon’s showmanship. One could not have hoped for a better intimate show than this. For the most exclusive Gorillaz show and the first one in the US in 7 years. It definitely was “totally worth it”.

Humanz is out Friday April 28th, on Parlophone Records and Warner Bros. Records.

All videos by Zach Lee.

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