It was a packed house of excited fans as Gorillaz stopped at Toronto at Scotiabank Arena for their 2022 American and Canadian fall tour on October 6, 2022. It was the band’s first show back in Toronto since 2018, so the crowd was more than ready to dance and groove to instant classics of the band’s career.
Hip-hop duo EARTHGANG opened the night, and they entertained the audience with their uplifting music. Their presence was known as the crowd in the front jumped and shouted to EARTHGANG’s energetic songs. The duo brought a fresh taste of hip-hop music with a bit of funk and soul, which is great to see compared to the repetitive rap of today’s music. They are an act people should check out for wanting something new in their playlist.
1. THE GLOW
2. GHETTO GODS
4. Top Down
5. Proud of U
6. Big Love (Louis the Child cover)
7. Run It Up (Snakehips cover)
8. STRONG FRIENDS
9. This Side
11. Down Bad (Dreamville cover)
The night really began as Gorillaz approached the stage to a packed audience. Co-creator and frontman Damon Albarn gracefully sang behind a 10-piece band that featured backup singers, guitarists and drummers. They played under a massive screen that played artist Jamie Hewlett’s animation of the Gorillaz members: Murdoc, Noodle, Russel and 2D. The 27-song setlist featured a mix of memorable classics like “19-2000,” “On Melancholy Hill,” and “Rhinestone Eyes.” Those old favourites blended seamlessly through Gorillaz’s new songs with “Cracker Island” and “Skinny Ape” from their new album Cracker Island coming out next year. Damon interacted with the audience throughout the night, standing on top of the screaming fans while taking a hat from the crowd.
The encore was the night’s biggest highlight, where comedian Matt Berry slowly appeared onstage, to the audience’s surprise. He approached the centre to perform the narration of “Fire Coming Out of the Monkey’s Head,” the first performance of the song in the tour. The night didn’t stop there, as Bootie Brown joined onstage to perform “New Gold” and “Stylo.” The real shocker was hip-hop act De La Soul came onstage to perform “Feel Good Inc.” The crowd danced and sang every word in unison to the worldwide hit. The show ended with Gorillaz’s first single, “Clint Eastwood” with reggae singer Sweetie Irie.
It was a night full of spectacular music and colourful lights. The energy was warm and bright from start to finish, which was the vibe Gorillaz always brought to their shows.
Live band lineup:
Damon Albarn – Lead vocalist, piano
Mike Smith – Keyboards, backing vocals
Karl Vanden Bossche – Electronic drums, percussion
Jesse Hackett – Keyboards
Jeff Wootton – Lead guitarist
Gabriel Wallace – Drummer
Seye Adelekan – Bass, acoustic guitarist, backing vocals
1. M1 A1
2. Last Living Souls
4. While Light
5. Tomorrow Comes Today
7. Rhinestone Eyes
8. Every Planet We Reach Is Dead
9. Cracker Island
10. O Green World
11. On Melancholy Hill
12. El Mañana
13. New Genious (Brother)
14. Empire Ants
15. Skinny Ape
16. Kids With Guns
17. Opium (with EARTHGANG)
19. Dirty Harry (with Bootie Brown)
21. Momentary Bliss
22. Plastic Beach
23. Fire Coming Out of the Monkey’s Head (with Matt Berry, tour debut)
24. New Gold (with Bootie Brown)
25. Stylo (with Bootie Brown)
26. Feel Good Inc. (with De La Soul)
27. Clint Eastwood (with Sweetie Irie)
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Andrew Wu is a music photographer based in Toronto, Canada. His work focuses on capturing and documenting special moments of performers during concerts and various events. His photos have been featured such as music publications in Spill Magazine, Imprint Entertainment, and Patchchord News. In 2020, he completed his BFA in photography at OCAD University.
Andrew is a massive fan of music, as he enjoys a variety of genres such as pop, alternative, rock, hardcore, and metal.