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)