Ryan Bowman

The artistic creation of musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, Gorillaz stormed into the spotlight in the early 2000s with their unique virtual performances. Originally only performing behind a projector screen with the help of the virtual band (2D, Murdoc, Noodle, and Russel Hobbs), the band saw critical and commercial success from the first single, “Clint Eastwood,” in 2001. After finally pulling down the projector and making their first “live” performance in 2010, the band continued growing their worldwide fame and a massive following.

After rumors of a falling out between Albarn and Hewlett in 2012, it seemed that Gorillaz would never make another appearance. They apparently worked it out as they started working together for a new project around 2014, and hints for a new project started coming out in late 2016. Their Instagram page posted some updates on the virtual band members, exploring what they had been up to during the hiatus. Humanz, their fifth studio album was released in April 2017 and The Now Now was released this past June.

They returned to Philadelphia for a loaded night of music, guest appearances, and the iconic visuals on a projector behind the band on stage. For almost two hours the band entertained the packed arena with a little bit of everything from their discography, including older hits (M1A1, Clint Eastwood, 19-2000) and songs from their newest release (Humility, Hollywood, Kansas). Their upbeat  and unique play on synth beats always had the audiences’ feet tapping, and mostly jumping up and down. The band told a story through their songs as well as the visuals, with the virtual band members embarking on crazy adventures and stories while the real band performed. In the final few songs Albarn thanked the crowd for coming out and hinted this would be the band’s last tour for quite some time, no doubt disappointing fans as it seems they just came back from their last hiatus. They finished up with “Clint Eastwood,” and “Demon Days,” two iconic songs from the legendary career of the British band.

Check out pictures from the show below: