Thursday, April 06, 2006

Best Off-Broadway Spectacular

So, last night I went to see the Gorillaz "Demon Days Live" show at the Apollo. Although these shows sold out almost instantaneously, I know a good number of people passed on the show because the tickets were pricey for a concert. Whatever, it was a lot less like a normal concert and a lot more like a Broadway show or television special. Production costs must have been through the roof.

This is what you missed because you love your money so much:

1) Remarkable 2D and Murdoch puppets hanging out in some of the box seats.
2) On-screen animations with every song.
3) Singers, string section, full band, and Damon Albarn hiding out in the back on piano through the whole show.
4) Neneh Cherry coming out to sing on "Kids With Guns"
5) A choir of children coming out to sing and dance on "Dirty Harry"--certainly a high point, I can still see them marching in place.
5.5) Almost forgot. De La Soul coming out for their bit on Feel Good, Inc.
6) Bootie Brown coming out to do the rap on "Dirty Harry."
7) Ike Turner (!!!) in an explosion of a tiger print/multi-color suit with a Bobby Brown My Perogative-Era box haircut coming out to play piano on "Every Planet We Reach is Dead", pretty exciting (but his part was very short).
8) MF Doom NOT coming out on "November Has Come", because he's too mysterious. But they had a video of him during the song.
9) Roots Manuva and a lady singer coming out on "All Alone." I've always been impresed with Mr. Manuva's distinctive voice, quite unique amongst rappers.
10) Old Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays coming out (up?) on "DARE." He had a lollipop in his mouth and his fly was down for the whole song.
11) Okay. The BIG SURPRISE of the night, the moment that made the whole crowd Go Nuts: Dennis Hopper came out and read his part from "Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head." As far as I can tell from the internet, this was the only night (so far) that Mr. Hopper was in the show. I can't believe that I'm typing "I saw Dennis Hopper on stage with a bunch of musicians and cartoons playing in the background and it was Awesome" BUT I saw Dennis Hopper on stage with a bunch of musicians and cartoons playing in the background and it was Awesome!
12) For the first song of the encore, "Hong Kong", Mr. Damon Albarn came out from hiding behind his piano and sang from the very front of the stage. The very, very front. Past the monitors, maybe standing on the front row? Anyway, for someone (me) who has always wanted to see Blur live but doesn't know that he'll ever get the chance, this was a decent runner-up prize.
13) Video of the late Ibrahim Ferrer from the recording of "Latin Simone" as "Latin Simone" was played for the final encore.
14) Oh yeah, the show started with a Daffy Duck cartoon.
15) Oh yeah, the Apollo was decorated heavily with Gorillaz related art and props and they were projecting Gorillaz cartoons onto a store across the street.
16) So, yeah. All in all, it was a very complete production and a real treat of a show. That's kind of how I really feel about the whole thing, "Aw, that was a real treat that all you people came out and put on that big show for us." It was seriously more like a road show or old-timey "Let's Put on a Show to Save the Orphanage" production than anything else.

UPDATE!!! Did I mention I had great orchestra seats at the show? Well, I did, and I got them through the magic of NYC LDS blog networking. "Twinkie"'s take on the evening is now up at her blog.


Twinkie said...

awesome play-by-play, mr. barnes. thanks again for sharing your company. i'm still singing dare in my head all morning long.

Smash said...

When I read in August that the Gorillaz were going to be doing live shows, I thought "how exactly do cartoon characters put on a live show?" Now I know . . .half the battle.

chips said...

sorry, i can't help myself:

Although the present age presents itself as a series of frequently recurring festivities, it is an age that knows nothing of real festivals. The moments within cyclical time when members of a community joined together in a luxurious expenditure of life are impossible for a society that lacks both community and luxury. Its vulgarized pseudofestivals are parodies of real dialogue and gift-giving; they may incite waves of excessive economic spending, but they lead to nothing but disillusionments, which can be compensated only by the promise of some new disillusion to come. The less use value is present in the time of modern survival, the more highly it is exalted in the spectacle. The reality of time has been replaced by the publicity of time.

Brig said...

Exactly how I feel today.

chips said...

don't worry, the next disullusion is just around the corner!

JayMoo and Stephoin said...

What if this? What if the concert was so amazing that it elevated the human soul into a new level of time understanding? What if the amazingness of the concert created a great vision of eternity and its immensity?

Seems unlikely, but The Apollo gave it their best shot.

Genevieve said...

Blur was the first show I ever saw. In some crappy warehouse in southeast DC. It was 1996. People in the crowd were holding expletive-strewn posters about Blur vs. Oasis. Don't you just love a rock feud!@

emily said...

people got really tired of being tied down to cyclical festivals, didn't they? esp. when those festivals were appropriated by giant institutions like churches and were/are enforced. now people can celebrate whenever they want, so just let the kids have fun, man.