Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Feel Good Inc

The Gorillaz live extravaganza rolled into Auckland earlier this evening, and let rip for the final date of their world tour. Damon Albarn told us this was their last show ever, and later mentioned that it was a special night for them, as it might be the last time they would work together, although he didn't discount collaborating with that bunch of fine folk completely.

Absolute highlight for me was soul legend Bobby Womack. The sight of him crooning his heart out with two members of The Clash onstage was surreal, to say the least. And hats off to the girl next to me, who spent the entire duration of one of Mr Womack's songs studying Google Maps on her phone. I'm sure it was important, but seriously, THAT' S BOBBY WOMACK IN FRONT OF YOU, LADY! Hypnotic Brass rocked it too.

The sound wasn't great where I was sitting, and unlike previous visits to Vector, they hadn't put up any sound baffles on the perspex walls next to the stairs, so the bass was a booming mess mostly and overall it all sounded a  bit brittle.  But it was quite a spectacle. Wonder what Mr Albarn will do next?

ADDED Ok, so I did the classic old music reviewer's trick - forgot to mention the support bands.  Usually music reviewers either turn up too late to see the opening acts (or like this one, who missed Little Dragon), or that part of their review gets cut. No such excuses here, just it was bloody late when I wrote the first bit last night.

Little Dragon opened after Maseo from De La Soul spun a few old school classics and hollered at the crowd. Dude sure can yell. He provided  one of the highlights later in the evening, coming over to Damon Albarn at the end of one song and grabbing him, yelling  "You're the greatest, man, you're the fucken greatest!"

Little Dragon turned out to be a lot more clubby than I expected, less indie. Their drummer sounded like he was pounding away for a hard rock band, but that may have been the sound mix, which was poor all night.

My favourite quote on the sound issues was a mate who was standing by the mixing desk near the sound engineer - "At one point he threw his arms in the air and shouted 'aw for fucks sake - come on'." Little Dragon held the crowd's interest tho, especiallly the magnificent singing of Yukimi Nagano. They finished their all too brief set with the slow, moody ballad Twice. Would love to see em in a club. 

De La Soul ripped onstage next and promptly got the party started. They were in fine form - in fact, pretty much whenever they hit the stage during the Gorillaz set, energy levels shot straight up. They kinda put some of the younger rappers onstage with the Gorillaz to shame.

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