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Gorillaz Run Wild at The Vivant Smart Home Arena

September 21, 2022

Legendary virtual band, Gorillaz, brought their blend of hip hop, synth pop, and rock to the Vivant Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City this past Monday night.  This has been one of the most looked forward to shows of the year since it was announced, and the band lived up to the expectations of the crowd. 

In what was one of the biggest shows of the year singer and Gorillaz founder, Damon Albarn, brought out all the stops along with a who’s who of special guests to make this show an incredible and unforgettable experience.  The production of this show was top notch with the visuals being some of the best I have ever seen, and it will be a hard one to top.  While the band played live for the crowd the screens behind the band showcased the virtual characters they have come to be known for.  The visuals played some of their iconic videos and stunning imagery that pulled me in that I would find myself watching the screens half of the time instead of the band.  This isn’t to take away from the performance itself as Albarn and the rest of the band left it all on the stage for the fans. 

Albarn was all over the stage between engaging the crowd with his vocals, playing the piano, and the melodica. His energy was infectious, and the crowd fed off his vibe and in return seemed to give him more and more energy.  When Albarn wasn’t singing or playing an instrument he was dancing around the stage while the special guests performed and, in each case, where he brought them out and introduced them to the crowd you could see the love he had for each special guest they had.  My favorite feature of the night was when Albarn brought out De La Soul’s Posdnuos to guest on the performance of “Feel Good Inc.”  Pos gave a inspiring speech before they launched into their hit song asking everyone in the audience to make him a promise and repeat after him. “I will never let anyone tell me how to think, I will never let anyone tell me what to say, and I will never let anyone tell me who to love.” The crowd erupted in cheer after this speech. Before he started the song, he encouraged Albarn to dance around the stage, hyping him up to the crowd as Albarn grinned and danced around. Once they launched into the song, I had a hard time believing I was witnessing this performance.  This was a musical legend on stage performing alongside Albarn on their hit song they collaborated on all those years ago.

In one of the most touching moments of the night Albarn invited another special guest, Fatoumata Diawara, onto the stage to perform “Desole.” This performance was spectacular and Albarn was sure to remind the crowd how lucky we were to see her performance and hear her sing telling us all to show our appreciation for her before they gave each other a big hug.

At one-point Albarn told the crowd we had earned a special treat and brought out “The Horn.” The Horn is a special treat that Albarn brings out to show his pleasure with really great crowds.  He told us all we may never hear another horn like this in our loves so to savor the moment before blowing into the horn and laughing before continuing. 

By the time they performed “Clint Eastwood” the energy level was through the roof and the joy that Albarn and the band had was palpable and could be felt by everyone in attendance.  Once this song started the crowd really erupted singing along to every word and feeling the house with nothing but love for this amazing band performing on stage. 

This was a show that I am going to treasure and if you have the chance, you should make it to see them.  They are on tour now through the end of October.

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