The atmosphere was absolutely unparalleled with anything I’ve ever experienced as the Portsmouth Guildhall filled up with eager and very lucky fans to witness one of Gorillaz very first shows since their epic comeback earlier this year. The security was heavier than usual due to recent events, but this didn’t dampen any moods and it was handled perfectly.
I have never witnessed a show with so much going on at once – but too much is never really too much with a band like Gorillaz. Jamie Hewlett’s graphics were incredible and fitted perfectly with each song, and bassist Seye Adelekan’s presence on stage was something I had never seen before – even his silhouette on stage is something completely iconic.
The set started off with an intro and then an explosive rendition of Ascension, and six backing singers accompanied the band throughout the entire festival headliner-length two hour set. There were a plethora of guests (unfortunately no appearances from Shaun Ryder or Noel Gallagher) especially for a warm-up show, and the commitment they took into the show in general was extraordinary. Damon Albarn’s stage presence was humble yet energetic, throwing about six bottles of water into the crowd overall and giving the microphone to a lucky front-row fan to play his melodica. Clad in a bomber jacket that stayed on throughout the set even in such a boiling hot venue, his presence on stage was evidently of somebody with decades of experience, and he brought a fantastic energy to the set. Albarn also dedicated Andromeda from the new album to the attacks in Manchester and London which was very fitting, and gained a huge cheer from the audience. The set itself consisted mainly of tracks from Humanz, but they still covered all bases with all classic songs such as DARE, Rhinestone Eyes, Dirty Harry and Kids With Guns, and a brilliant encore of Feel Good Inc., Clint Eastwood, Don’t Get Lost In Heaven and Demon Days to conclude.
Gorillaz are an absolute must-see band, the set was a fantastic all-around show and even my mum loved it. You could tell every person on that stage loved every minute and loved being back on stage, and I have absolutely nothing to fault. Whoever has tickets to Demon Dayz or the tour towards the end of this year has every right to be ridiculously excited.