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Gorillaz Close Out Coachella With Snoop, Bobby Womack and De La Soul

The Gorillaz closing Coachella 2010 set was marked by a lot of firsts. It was the “virtual hip-hop group”‘s first live performance in five years, the first time they had the Clash’s Mick Jones and Paul Simonon (in sailor suits, too) on stage with them and the first time they didn’t perform backlit behind a giant screen. It was also the first time they performed live with soul hero Bobby Womack.

Womack appeared twice on stage delivering his two contributions off the Gorillaz new third studio album ‘Plastic Beach’ — the hypnotic ‘Stylo’ and acoustic encore with frontman Damon Albarn, ‘Cloud of Unknowing.’ And while Womack helped Albarn end things, Snoop “D-O-double-G” started it off. The band walked on stage beneath a giant video wall, while the Doggfather delivered ‘Plastic Beach”s intro track, ‘Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach,’ sampling from Gil-Scott Heron‘s rap-poem ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.’ While Snoop’s part was delivered via video, the Gorillaz set didn’t stop short of guest performers. Little Dragon’s Swedish-Japanese vocalist Yukimi Nagano crept up onstage during the build of the groovy electronic number ‘Empire Ants,’ providing her delicate almost Sade-like vocals on her first live performance with the band.

The band flip-flopped mostly between their last two albums, bringing out De La Soul to amp the crowd on the colorful and info-mercial-inspired ‘Superfast Jellyfish.’ Albarn paraded across stage waving a giant white flag during ‘White Flag,’ while sketches from the band’s video treatment for their next single, ‘On Melancholy Hill,’ flashed on the video wall during that track. The set was eye candy, and even featured Red Hot Chill Peppers bassist Flea, who performed with Thom Yorke an hour prior, rocking out in the front row of the pit.

De la returned during the encore for ‘Feel Good Inc,’ a fan favorite off Gorillaz’s 2005 sophomore effort, ‘Demon Days.’ Vincent Mason, responsible for the cackle on the track repeatedly laughed into the mike, never missing a beat. For all the different elaborate elements that went into the Gorillaz closing out Coachella, their set came off just as good, if not better than the virtual group’s three albums themselves.

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