Gorillaz understand livestream better than most big acts
Multimedia was baked-in from the beginning
An equal blend of music and visuals has been key to the foundation & success of Gorillaz, from studio to stage to internet.
And it turns out, their blend of multimedia performance translates well to livestream concerts. Their recent Song Machine Live demonstrated how a solid, immersive online gig experience can be delivered.
Their wonderfully live streaming concert included moments when camera moves or scene cues didn’t line-up 100%. There were also moments when Damon or guest performers strayed outside camera range. The show was all the better precisely because these moments created a sense of danger, a sense of life, a sense of live.
Musicians and singers were playing live except for virtual guest rappers & singers appearing in the form of synchronized song stems & animations. Even with that use of pre-recorded singers & animations, they still retained a refreshing presence and live energy. This was all in stark contrast to the sterile perfection of the recent Puscifer livestream, for example, or the clumsy self-consciousness of the Foo Fighters streaming concert.
The only component missing from Song Machine Live was any kind of audience weight via chat or emotes, or any other interactive overlay. However, this omission proved minor because Gorillaz do have a lot going on already during their shows. Song Machine Live comes across more like Top of the Pops or any live televised music performance.
During a Gorillaz gig, Damon Albarn always has a very good sense of how to balance spontaneous looseness over rehearsed precision. His precision shows in his musicianship, and his looseness shows in his dancing around and mugging for the camera. He is having fun on stage, and having fun in real time online.
It’s also online where Jamie Hewlett’s visual elements of Gorillaz get much more of a chance to shine and dazzle. During the livestream these visuals were put to great use during song changes as well as in & around the musicians.
Guest performers on Song Machine include The Cure’s Robert Smith, Beck, Elton John & 6LACK, St. Vincent, JPEGMafia, New Order’s Peter Hook, Leee John, Georgia Barnes, Skepta, Slowthai & Slaves, Chai, Fatoumata Diawara and Roxani Arias.