SXSW Concert Review: Damon Albarn

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A man who needs no introduction, Damon Albarn’s appearance at SXSW added a rare “must” for me. The man behind Blur and Gorillaz has finally ventured out his own, and was in town to promote his solo record. Damon’s always has had some strong collaborators with Graham Coxon, Dan the Automator and Danger Mouse, so it was interesting to see how his new material will fare.

After witnessing his hour long showcase on top of a parking lot, it seems that Damon Albarn is once again, concern about our welfare. His newer material demonstrates a more mature sound and the themes focus on our love of modern technology. I guess that’s to be expected when the album is called “Everyday Robot”. Backed by a rather talented band, Albarn’s new material is very much in the style that most singer-songwriters adopt, but his talented backing band and his vocals help make it interesting. Damon himself would move from guitar to piano throughout the set. The Parklife snarky, one eye winking, in on the joke Damon is now gone (he did make a mention about playing the Chase bank though). In his place, is a more reflective , contemplative man. I guess this is what aging does.

Ever the showman, Damon also played some older tunes, including the Gorillaz classic On Melancholy Hill, which I will admit, delighted me endlessly.

When I saw a lot of microphones set up on the side, I was thinking a choir would come out. I then got excited, thinking he might do the track “Tender” with a choir. It turned out to be the Brian Eno produced track “Heavy Seas of Love” which not only was the last track of his new album, but the last track of his set at South By. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but perhaps that is one of the best traits of Damon Albarn, a man who will forever keep us guessing.

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Posted on by Ricky in South By Southwest

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Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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