Best Once-in-a- Lifetime Show - 2011
Gorillaz, October 26, 2010, at Comerica Theatre
There are some experiences in life that happen so rarely that one absolutely has to partake in them. Seeing Halley's Comet is one, as the famed celestial object makes it to our corner of the solar system only once every 76 years. Almost as rare is getting to watch Gorillaz performing a live gig in Phoenix. The British alt-rock/hip-hop music and multimedia project has rarely toured, mostly because they were a "virtual band" of cartoon characters (voiced by former Blur frontman Damon Albarn and other artists) up until a few years ago. Even then, they mostly held concerts in bigger cities like New York, London, and Los Angeles. So when Gorillaz staged their show at Comerica Theatre last October, we eagerly plunked down $65 to be in attendance. Consisting of a dazzling mixture of music and animation, the gig featured most of the songs from the Gorillaz discography being played by an impressive array of musicians. The show included a seven-piece string section, the eight-person Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, the National Orchestra for Arabic Music, four backup vocalists, two drummers, and former Clash members Mick Jones and Paul Simonon. Plus, frequent collaborators like De La Soul, Bobby Womack, Bootie Brown, and Little Dragon also performed with Gorillaz. It was worth every penny.