A We Love Green, Gorillaz's visionary pop

A We Love Green, Gorillaz’s visionary pop


Between two concerts in Barcelona, ​​and before the continuation of a European tour that will go through France twice (June 15, at the Ancient Theater of Vienna, and June 17 at the arenas of Nîmes), Gorillaz opened, on Thursday, June 2, the We Love Green festival. A slightly offbeat start, in the heart of the Bois de Vincennes – the event will be full again on June 4 and 5, after a Friday off – but it was the only way to welcome, in Paris, this group remained a model of the pop avant-garde.

Would we have bet on such longevity when, twenty-one years ago, we discovered Clint Eastwood, the first single in the virtual lineup imagined by singer Damon Albarn and cartoonist Jamie Hewlett? Although the song married in an exciting way saturated dub and juvenile pop melody, one would think that this group of cartoon characters would have the ephemeral life of a gadget.

Read the interview (2017): Article reserved for our subscribers Damon Albarn: “The best act of resistance is to touch people’s hearts”

On Thursday night, the enthusiasm of the 25,000 spectators (many of whom were too young to have discovered Gorillaz in its infancy), listening to about twenty songs from half a dozen albums, recalled the consistency of a directory and the visionary relevance of a concept. Acceleration of stylistic mergers, variety of collaborations announcing that of streaming playlists, creatures anticipating those of the metavars… Gorillaz was far enough ahead not to get a wrinkle.

The band’s first concerts camouflaged the stage behind screens on which Jamie Hewlett’s animations were projected. The real musicians only appeared in Chinese shadows, as if Damon Albarn feared that his status as a Britpop star in his other band, Blur, would tarnish Gorillaz’s credibility. Now surrounded by about 15 instrumentalists and choristers, the Londoner no longer has this false modesty when he enters the stage of We Love Green, dressed in a flashy pink tracksuit and matching cap.

Voluntarily advancing towards the crowd to communicate as close as possible to her, Albarn assumed the paternity of these creations at the age of 54 without sacrificing the characters drawn by his accomplice. Throughout the concert, the giant backstage screen and the other two on the sides are inhabited by 2D post-apocalyptic appearances, performances, adventures and turns, Russel, Murdoch and Noodle, singer, drummer, bassist and guitarist respectively. of this group of paper and Celluloid.

Postpunk and dub connections

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