Much of 2017 has been spent hyping up the Gorillaz new album, Humanz, and fans are finally getting the album on Friday. We’ve heard many of the songs, including “Hallelujah Money” and those with cameos from Popcaan, Vince Staples and D.R.A.M. Gorillaz finally played those tracks live on Tuesday night, stopping by Rough Trade in New York City for an intimate show.
The big surprise of the night was that the animated Gorillaz members were nowhere to be found. Instead, Damon Albarn brought along all his IRL collaborators, inviting Peven Everett, Jamie Principle, Posdnuos of De La Soul and Kali Uchis to help out. All but one track of the Humanz album was performed.
According to Stereogum, this is how it went:
A number of singers who contributed backing vocals on the record were situated in the stage right balcony and performed live with the band. For the encore, they did “Last Living Soul” and “Kids With Guns” before finishing with “Clint Eastwood.” On that last song Albarn asked an audience member to rap Del The Funky Homosapien’s part; the girl who volunteered came onstage and said, “What should I do? … I’m tripping balls right now.” Albarn had them play Del’s recording instead, but let the fan “hang out.”
The small NYC show is just a warm-up for what’s about to come. Gorillaz’s Demon Dayz Festival is set for June 10 inside the Dreamland amusement park in Margate, England. Noel Gallagher and Graham Coxon will play at the fest, and Albarn hinted that most of the album’s collaborators will show up as well. If this is true, any of these people could be there: Mavis Staples, Carly Simon, Grace Jones, De La Soul, Savages’ Jehnny Beth, Pusha T, Danny Brown, Vince Staples, Kelela, and D.R.A.M.
Check out the show, which is forever documented in small clips on social media: