You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gorillaz: Demon Days Live

Billed as a "once-in-a-lifetime event," this multimedia extravaganza was designed to present the animated supergroup Gorillaz as something more than a two-dimensional creation. Oddly enough, it took the complete breakdown of one of those dimensions to fully demonstrate that multidimensionality.

With:
Musicians: Damon Albarn, Russel Hobbs, Murdoc Nicalls, Noodle, Zeng Zhen, Harlem Gospel Choir, Casey Wright Project, Neneh Cherry, Bootie Brown, Ike Turner, Roots Manuva, De La Soul, Shaun Ryder, Martina Topley-Bird.

Billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime event” — only the third or fourth of those to come down the pike this year — this multimedia extravaganza was designed to present the animated supergroup Gorillaz as something more than a two-dimensional creation. Oddly enough, it took the complete breakdown of one of those dimensions to fully demonstrate that multidimensionality.

On the opening night of the five-date stand, the electronics used to beam the cartoon characters that ostensibly make up the Gorillaz onto stage-side screens went entirely wonky, leaving majordomo Damon Albarn to tell an audience that had already endured an hour-plus delay that there’d be no graphics — just a gig that might be described as Gorillaz Unplugged.

While the wow factor was certainly upped considerably by the show’s video component — as borne out by Tuesday night’s revisitation, which spotlit a spectacular display of Jamie Hewlett’s surreal animation — the stand’s first perf proved that visuals weren’t the only draw. The pumping rhythms underpinning the lion’s share of the material — basslines that ran the gamut from deep house grooves to vintage Factory Records post-punk — provided a goodly amount of uplift. That vibe was enhanced by the joyful presence of the children of the Casey Wright Project, whose guileless song-and-dance routine gave a big boost to “Feel Good Inc.”

The full-scale presentation proved most engaging when the flesh-and-blood performers were capable of getting in sync with their animated duet partners — the ever-stylish Neneh Cherry was particularly adept at getting that groove on — as opposed to merely skulking onstage to turn in a cameo (the m.o. of Ike Turner, whose keyboard skills have deteriorated markedly). A three-sheets-to-the-wind Shaun Ryder (late of Happy Mondays and Black Grape) earned extra credit by doing his best to morph into a cartoon character himself, fashioning himself as an odd hybrid of W.C. Fields and Mister Magoo for an unsteadily undulating “DARE.”

Perf’s post-modern tone was furthered by an ingenious partnership with Motorola, which allowed aud members to interact with the stage show via handsets and come away with some exclusive audio material for the ride home.

Gorillaz: Demon Days Live

Apollo Theater; 1,464 seats; $70 top

Production: Presented by Live Nation. Opened April 2, 2006. Reviewed April 2, 4. Closed April 6.

Cast: Musicians: Damon Albarn, Russel Hobbs, Murdoc Nicalls, Noodle, Zeng Zhen, Harlem Gospel Choir, Casey Wright Project, Neneh Cherry, Bootie Brown, Ike Turner, Roots Manuva, De La Soul, Shaun Ryder, Martina Topley-Bird.

More Scene

  • Dave ChappelleDave Chappelle in concert, Radio

    Will Smith, LeBron James, Jon Stewart Join Dave Chappelle for All-Star Standup Show

    Billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime event” — only the third or fourth of those to come down the pike this year — this multimedia extravaganza was designed to present the animated supergroup Gorillaz as something more than a two-dimensional creation. Oddly enough, it took the complete breakdown of one of those dimensions to fully demonstrate that […]

  • Constance Wu, Jimmy O. Yang. Constance

    Emmys 2018: What You Didn't See on TV

    Billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime event” — only the third or fourth of those to come down the pike this year — this multimedia extravaganza was designed to present the animated supergroup Gorillaz as something more than a two-dimensional creation. Oddly enough, it took the complete breakdown of one of those dimensions to fully demonstrate that […]

  • Ever Carradine, Madeline Brewer and Chrissy

    Emmys 2018: Inside All the Post-Show Parties

    Billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime event” — only the third or fourth of those to come down the pike this year — this multimedia extravaganza was designed to present the animated supergroup Gorillaz as something more than a two-dimensional creation. Oddly enough, it took the complete breakdown of one of those dimensions to fully demonstrate that […]

  • House With a Clock in Its

    Cate Blanchett Would Love a Job on Television

    Billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime event” — only the third or fourth of those to come down the pike this year — this multimedia extravaganza was designed to present the animated supergroup Gorillaz as something more than a two-dimensional creation. Oddly enough, it took the complete breakdown of one of those dimensions to fully demonstrate that […]

  • Director Joe Russo, right, chef Jessica

    Avengers, 'Community' Stars Assemble to Welcome Joe Russo's New Restaurant Simone

    Billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime event” — only the third or fourth of those to come down the pike this year — this multimedia extravaganza was designed to present the animated supergroup Gorillaz as something more than a two-dimensional creation. Oddly enough, it took the complete breakdown of one of those dimensions to fully demonstrate that […]

  • emmys John Leguizamo72nd Annual Tony Awards,

    John Leguizamo on Hollywood's Future: No More 'Bad Boys Club Behavior'

    Billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime event” — only the third or fourth of those to come down the pike this year — this multimedia extravaganza was designed to present the animated supergroup Gorillaz as something more than a two-dimensional creation. Oddly enough, it took the complete breakdown of one of those dimensions to fully demonstrate that […]

  • Trevor Noah, Ryan Michelle Bathe and

    Tiffany Haddish, Constance Wu, Sterling K. Brown Party at Variety and Women in Film Bash

    Billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime event” — only the third or fourth of those to come down the pike this year — this multimedia extravaganza was designed to present the animated supergroup Gorillaz as something more than a two-dimensional creation. Oddly enough, it took the complete breakdown of one of those dimensions to fully demonstrate that […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content