U.K.-based animated act Gorillaz plans to bring its unique live show to North America for a short stint of club dates, set to begin Feb. 23 in Toronto. The tour will visit nine cities, and will close

U.K.-based animated act Gorillaz plans to bring its unique live show to North America for a short stint of club dates, set to begin Feb. 23 in Toronto. The tour will visit nine cities, and will close March 8 in Los Angeles.

Comprised of Murdoc ("bassist and part-time Satanist"), 2-D ("pretty-boy front man"), Noodle ("11-year-old Asian guitar princess"), and Russel ("hip-hop hard man from the U.S."), the digitally-minded group was created by Blur's Damon Albarn and "Tank Girl" artist/creator Jamie Hewlett. The group's self-titled Virgin debut album also features the alter-egos of Dan The Automator, Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori, and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien.

Since forming last year, Gorillaz has only played a handful of live shows, all in the U.K. Last summer, Albarn explained to Billboard.com that the live Gorillaz experience is "an experimental thing ... there's no actual band that you see on stage -- it's one big cinema screen. It's kind of taking a ride back to the sort of silent-movie era, really. Except it's a lot louder."

Gorillaz took the world by storm with the hit single "Clint Eastwood," fueled by a cleverly drawn video that pays homage to Michael Jackson's "Thriller." The cut peaked at No. 57 on The Billboard Hot 100 in late September, and is nominated for a best rap performance by a duo or group Grammy. The video clip won three honors at the 2001 Billboard Music Video Awards, including the prestigious Maximum Vision award.

"Gorillaz," which has sold more than 1 million copies in the U.S. to date, according to SoundScan, peaked at No. 14 on The Billboard 200.

In November, the group posted the song "911," a collaboration with Detroit-based rap act D12, on its official Web site. The cut was inspired by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

Here are Gorillaz's North American tour dates:

Feb. 23: Toronto (Docks)
Feb. 25: Boston (Avalon Ballroom)
Feb. 26: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
Feb. 28: New York (Hammerstein Ballroom)
March 1: Philadelphia (Electric Factory)
March 3: Chicago (Riviera Theater)
March 5: Seattle (Paramount Theater)
March 7: San Francisco (Warfield Theater)
March 8: Los Angeles (Palladium)