Damon Albarn - Irving Plaza - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Damon Albarn - Irving Plaza

by paul_guyet Rating:8 Release Date:2012-04-23

Damon Albarn Threw So Much Water at Me

There’s something about being in the presence of Damon Albarn that’s even more exciting than being in the presence of Trent Reznor or Thom Yorke. I consider all three in a class of their own as far as musicality and innovation, but Albarn is taking more risks and just seems to be having more fun. And that’s what it should be about, in the end.

On the evening of June 8t, I saw Damon Albarn and the Heavy Seas perform so much more than just tracks from his melodic, melancholic debut solo album, Everyday Robots. I mean, technically, Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, The Bad & The Queen, and Rocket Juice & the Moon are all Damon Albarn, so, technically, they all fall under the purview of Damon Albarn. I guess what I’m saying is that no lawsuits were handed out? No, I’m saying that this was so much more fun than I was expecting.

The same appeared to be true for Albarn, who had a smile on his face the whole night and, between tossing what seemed like several gallons of bottled water at the crowd (mostly at me), said how happy and grateful he was to be playing for us. He also reminisced about climbing on the lighting grid the last time he played Irving Plaza, with Blur, back in the early 90s.

Stand-out moments for me included all the Gorillaz stuff (I’ve never caught them live), but specifically, 'El Mañana' and 'Kids With Guns' (the latter just exploded off the stage), 'You & Me', 'The History of a Cheating Heart' (one of my favorite tracks from Everyday Robots, which Albarn played lovingly on his guitar while sitting on a piano), and 'Mr. Tembo', during which a choir joined the band on stage, as I had been hoping. Even though more than half the set consisted of tracks not from Everyday Robots, this was still, undoubtedly, a Damon Albarn show, replete with the quirk, dedication and energy he brings to all his myriad musical endeavors. If you have a chance to see him, I would highly recommend it.

Videos, album ordering options (the deluxe version has some cool stuff on it, including a track-by-track breakdown of the album and four songs performed with a string quartet) and everything else can be found on Albarn’s official site.

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