Review of Gorillaz at Smukfest: The headliner delivered – but what a misplacement!

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Opposite Justin Bieber, Smukfest’s other international headliner, Damon Albarn, and his gorilla companions delivered a completely different kind of lighting on Saturday night.

However, one thing was unfortunate to note!

Gorillaz have lots of cool tracks and Damon Albarn is a great front man…

But their music is not suitable for an end-of-night party at Smukfest, where a large part of the audience only knows two songs and quickly gets bored in the mix of experimental noise-pop and melancholic indie ballads.

Gorillaz with Damon Albarn play on the beech stage at Smukfest, Skanderborg, Saturday 6 August 2022. (Photo: Helle Arensbak/Ritzau Scanpix)
Photo: Helle Arensbak

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There were far fewer people than at Thomas Helmig, who had played the Bøgescenen an hour before – and some were probably standing somewhere just ready to have a good seat for Suspekt afterwards.

Damon Albarn could have effectively read the room and chosen to kickstart a party with one of Gorillaz’s biggest hits, but instead chose to challenge with a couple of the project’s newer songs, which have not had the same impact as the tracks that in their time made the band a major name around the world.

‘Last Living Souls’, ‘Dirty Harry’ and ’19-2000′ from the first two albums got the concert going a bit, just as Damon Albarn a few times along the way chose to jump out into the audience and let himself be swallowed up by the sea of ​​people .

One of the choir singers also showed impressive skills in voice control, just as one of the back-up rappers functioned as a well-trained whipper.


Gorillaz with Damon Albarn play on the beech stage at Smukfest, Skanderborg, Saturday 6 August 2022. (Photo: Helle Arensbak/Ritzau Scanpix)

Gorillaz with Damon Albarn play on the beech stage at Smukfest, Skanderborg, Saturday 6 August 2022. (Photo: Helle Arensbak/Ritzau Scanpix)
Photo: Helle Arensbak

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But a lot of the time it just seemed like it was mostly the people up on stage having fun, and although of course it exploded at the end with ‘Feel Good Inc.’ and ‘Clint Eastwood’ (It was dragged out way too far though) it was clear that Gorillaz had worked much better earlier in the evening.

Fortunately, no one was hurt, like when the rapper Del the Funky Homosapien fell from the stage during Gorillaz’ concert at Roskilde Festival in 2018, and it was, as always, a pleasure to greet Damon Albarn and his well-playing playmates…

But the next time a Danish festival hires Gorillaz, give them a playtime in daylight.

Follow BT’s live coverage of Smukfest HERE.

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