Gorillaz world-premiere new Beck: We’re going to keep going!” There will never be another instance like this again! After ScHoolboy Q’s electrifying debut live performance of their 2020 Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez collaboration “Pac-Man” on Friday night at Los Angeles’s Forum, Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn announced to the roaring crowd, “This is the first time we’ve ever performed this song together.”
The L.A. rapper was one of several celebrities who made unexpected visits during Friday’s over two-hour gig by the high-concept cartoon band. Competent bassist in the genres of jazz and alternative R&B To perform the album’s title track, Cracker Island, Thundercat came out, while Pharcyde co-founder/former member Bootie Brown and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker came out to perform the album’s upbeat “New Gold.”
The highlight of the evening, though, was a more subdued performance, when Albarn and local icon Beck debuted their beautiful new Cracker Island duet to the world.
Gorillaz world-premiere new Beck duet at all-star L.A. show
After making an appearance earlier in the evening to perform “The Valley of the Pagans,” the groovy Strange Timez party opener, Beck returned 16 songs later to perform the much more subdued “Possession Island,” which started with Albarn playing the piano and Beck sitting on a step at Albarn’s feet.
The audience at the 17,000-capacity arena raised their lit mobile phones aloft for a true goosebump moment as Beck harmonized on romantic words about pearly gates and how “we’re all in this together to the end.” At the conclusion, the two gave one other a big embrace, and a viewer of the since-uploaded YouTube video of the performance said, “This song is so wonderful I began weeping.”
The star-studded Forum show on Friday ended on a rowdier note, with Bay Area hip-hop legend Del the Funky Homosapien making a surprise appearance to perform “Rock the House” live for the second time ever, and British reggae star Sweetie Irie appearing in the extended remix/hidden-track version of Gorillaz’s debut single “Clint Eastwood.”
Of course, De La Soul showed up for the crowd-pleasing “Feel Good Inc.” Other guests included Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara and Atlanta hip-hop group Earthgang, all of whom contributed to Strange Timez collaborations.
In addition to the previously mentioned Stevie Nicks, Bad Bunny, and Adeleye Omotayo, Cracker Island, set for release on February 24, 2023, will have collaborations with Beck, Thundercat, and Tame Impala/Bootie Brown. In the meanwhile, Albarn has been spending a lot of time in Los Angeles recently, purportedly working on a full-length animated Gorillaz movie that is still in production, and he told the Forum audience that he has truly grown to love the city. The band Gorillaz will perform again in Los Angeles this coming Sunday at the YouTube Theater.