Music fans curious what a ‘virtual band’ sounds like in concert will have their chance tonight (Thursday, October 7), when 2D, Murdoc, and Cyborg of U.K. favorites [lastfm]Gorillaz[/lastfm] take over the Ed Sullivan Theater in what’s sure to be another powerhouse Live on Letterman performance.
Hardly your typical rock ‘n roll show, the Gorillaz live set features not only the band’s catchy melodic hooks and groovy beats (blending elements of rock, hip-hop, Latin, electronic, and other genres), but wild animation, puppets, and other outlandish imagery. You have to see it to believe it–and you will get your chance by tuning into CBS.com October 7 at 8pm Eastern (5pm Pacific).
Founded in 1998, Gorillaz is the brainchild of musician [lastfm]Damon Albarn[/lastfm] of Britpop band [lastfm]Blur[/lastfm] and illustrator/cartoonist [lastfm]Jamie Hewlett[/lastfm], co-creator of the comic sensation Tank Girl. But to call those guys and their rotating roster of musicians “bandmates” misses the point. That’s because the actual, official bandmembers of Gorillaz are fictional: lead vocalist and keyboardist [lastfm]2D[/lastfm], bassist [lastfm]Murdoc Niccals[/lastfm], and guitarist/keyboardist [lastfm]Noodle[/lastfm] (original drummer [lastfm]Russel Hobbs[/lastfm] is missing in action). Even the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes this fact, having declared Gorillaz to be the world’s most successful virtual act.
Like we said, Gorillaz is not your typical rock ‘n roll band.
Though they’ve been around a dozen years, Gorillaz has only three studio albums to its name: the group’s self-titled debut (2001), Demon Days (2005), and this year’s Plastic Beach. Yet what monsters they have been: Gorillaz sold six million copies, Demon Days even more, turning the group into a true worldwide sensation.
Watch the video for the group’s very first single, “Clint Eastwood”:
The Gorillaz are big on collaboration, too, having worked with such creative forces as [lastfm]Ike Turner[/lastfm], [lastfm]De La Soul[/lastfm], [lastfm]Martina Topley-Bird[/lastfm], [lastfm]Dennis Hopper[/lastfm], [lastfm]Miho Hatori[/lastfm] of [lastfm]Cibo Matto[/lastfm], and [lastfm]Tina Weymouth[/lastfm] of [lastfm]Talking Heads[/lastfm], and [lastfm]Madonna[/lastfm] (performing alongside her holographic likeness at the 2006 Grammys). With Plastic Beach, Gorillaz have again attracted some serious talent, including [lastfm]Snoop Dogg[/lastfm], [lastfm]Lou Reed[/lastfm], [lastfm]Mos Def,[/lastfm] [lastfm]Bobby Womack[/lastfm], [lastfm]Mark E. Smith[/lastfm], and former [lastfm]Clash[/lastfm] members [lastfm]Mick Jones[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Paul Simonon[/lastfm] (the latter two also performing as part of the current Gorillaz live experience).
See the video for “Stylo” (featuring Bobby Womack and Mos Def):
Continuing with their nontraditional approach, Albarn and Hewitt have used some unusual tactics over the years to promote the group’s music and build its audience, including a viral campaign for Demon Days built around the phrase Reject False Icons, and a public talent contest to recruit collaborators. A documentary film about the group, titled Bananaz, premiered in 2008. The group’s website, too, is a crazy location well worth visiting.
Gorillaz are in the midst of a world tour to support Plastic Beach, which includes a stop in New York to perform Live on Letterman. Tune into CBS.com to catch the historic event Thursday, Oct. 7 at 8pm Eastern.
Read more about [lastfm]Gorillaz[/lastfm] on Last.fm
Listen to Gorillaz radio on Last.fm
Are Gorillaz coming to your town? Check out the band’s tour schedule
New video “On Melancholy Hill”: