Concert Reviews

Last Night: Gorillaz and N.E.R.D at the Verizon Theatre

Gorillaz, N.E.R.D
Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie
October 20, 2010

Better than:
an evening spent watching the Cartoon Network.

Roger Caldwell
Damon Albarn, triumphant at last night's Verizon Theatre show. For a full slideshow from last night, click here.
Shame on anyone who expected a cartoonish display from Gorillaz last night.

Sure, Damon Albarn and his band of pranksters still provided a spectacle--but this was one of an entirely different and head-spinning sort.

Until this tour, Gorillaz has always been something a charade, the brainchild of former Blur frontman Albarn and cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, which finds four personable, if also somewhat demonic, cartoon characters serving in the place of real performers. Previous tours have kept this act going, hiding all actual musicians away from the house lights, and placing emphasis on video screens that, much like the band's music video output, kept the animated "performers" in the spotlight.

But for the band's first-ever world tour, which comes in support of this year's Plastic Beach, a disc that finds Gorillaz deviating from its past formula and heading into even more undefinable territory, Albarn has decided to fully pull back the curtain.

And revealed behind it? A revelry-filled circus of sorts featuring cameos left and right (both on video screen and in person), no fewer than 42 different performers offering time-to-time contributions and, most valiantly, an engaging frontman who has been hidden from view for far too long.

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman