Monday, November 1, 2010

Live: Escape to the Plastic Beach World Tour

Escape to the Plastic Beach World Tour
[2010.10.19] Toyota Center in Houston, TX
featuring: N.E.R.D & Gorillaz


I haven't listened to N.E.R.D in ages. I think the latest song I heard was "She Wants to Move". I knew a couple or so of their older songs and some collaboration pieces that Pharrell had done with other artists, but nothing I could sing/rap word for word. Nonetheless, I still enjoy their music and apparently one of my friends that went with me is a bit of a fan of theirs as well. They mostly did songs from their latest album, Nothing, and plugged it a few times, but they did perform "She Wants to Move", "Maybe", "Rockstar", and "Lapdance". They had a ton of energy and more people were willing to get up and move. When they didn't, Pharrell commanded them to get up on their feet and let the music flow through their body. He made us have a little jumping contest from section to section too.

"She Wants to Move (live)" by N.E.R.D


One of my friends and I returned just in time, from the merch table, for the opening with 2-D, Noodle, and Murdoc preparing for the show, then the orchestra played in the background and big glowing letters spelling out "Gorillaz" above them. Slowly people stood up and stared at the big screen above the band's name, the members entered the darkened stage along with a marching band from Chicago, and watched the island appear before us and soon Snoop Dogg in a fancy, gangsta pirate outfit on the screen. He did the first track vocal track of the album to start the show, "Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach". It was very smooth and perfect. Before I go any further, I have to throw in my imperfect setlist:
Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach
Feel Good Inc.
Last Living Souls
White Flag
Dirty Harry
El Manana
Demon Days(?)
Tomorrow Comes Today
Clint Eastwood
Rock the House
Orchestral Intro
Rhinestone Eyes
Superfast Jellyfish
Empire Ants
Glitter Freeze
On Melancholy Hill
To Binge
Cloud of Unknowing

Now I guess I'll go down the list of songs and comment on them from what I remember. There were a lot of songs I was happy and a bit surprised they played. They mixed it up from every album they released and we just kept moving and yelling to everything they threw at us. I didn't think the legendary Bobby Womack was gonna show up for "Stylo", but he did and he got down with it! He also did "Cloud of Unknowing". He gave credits to Damon for writing the song and that it was one of his favorites. Someone brought out a stool for him to sit on and he preached it to us. There were a couple people in the back yelling his name. It was great! There were a lot of special little guests that got to be part of their own songs. An Arab-American orchestra did the intro to "White Flag" and immediately the rappers ran out and got us pumped. Damon brought out a giant white flag for the fans up front to hold and wave it around. They kinda failed and it got wrapped up around the pole. Once they got it open, they had a good swaying motion down for the rest of the song. The adorable Miss Yumiki Nagano of Little Dragon came out and performed a couple songs with Damon, "To Binge" and "Empire Ants". I think she's super cute and I love her voice! "Superfast Jellyfish" had an interesting little video in the background with various fast foods and snacks and of course a goofy little jellyfish. The "Last Living Souls" video ended with the two last men that have been wandering in the desert being zombies, which was an interesting concept. Fell in love with "Dirty Harry", especially with the video they played with the demented Gorillaz-esque kids swaying to the music. Classics like "Dare" was exciting and I couldn't help not dancing like Noodle in the screen and I adored the vocalist who sung for her. "Feel Good Inc." and "19-2000" had high energy as well and people were excited. The rappers had a lot of fun with the first song and everyone went wild when the guy did his signature laugh for all of us. "Clint Eastwood" was very "wow"! The rappers got us extra pumped for the song and it was great way to close out the show.

"Stylo" by Gorillaz feat. Bobby Womack (and one of the rappers I don't quite know the name ^^;;)

The show can only be described as EPIC! I never expected it to be that spectacular, but I'm so happy I went and I hope to see them live again.

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