Here's the thing about cartoon bands: They're nearly impossible to take out on tour, mainly because they only exist in two dimensions (but also because they have ridiculous riders built into their tour contracts).
So despite the Gorillaz's recent chart success (their sophomore album, Demon Days, debuted at #6, selling more than 107,000 copies in its first week), it seemed rather unlikely that they'd be hitting the road anytime soon. But when MTV News spoke with Gorillaz vocalist Damon Albarn at March's South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas, he promised that fans would, in fact, be seeing his animated pals "live" onstage this summer. He was just a little short on actual details.
"Well, there's a lot of stuff that's going to happen this year, but I really feel that the band are going to be pissed if they see this and if they see me talking about them, you know?" he joked. "But you can expect something definitely — in the summer, with all the characters, and all the people who help them out."
Turns out Albarn was telling the truth. Kind of. Rather than taking the stage, they're storming the airwaves, taking over radio stations across the country.
Their so-called Demon Detour kicked off Monday night in Seattle, when the Gorillaz showed up on the doorstep of radio station KNDD-FM. After fighting past security, Murdoc, 2D, Russel and Noodle barged into the studio and treated listeners to a "live" set of tunes from Demon Days and a skanked-out version of "Clint Eastwood" from their 2001 debut. They were joined in the studio by former Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder, who contributes vocals to the Demon track "DARE," and De La Soul, who rapped their way through a funked-up version of the Gorillaz's current single, "Feel Good Inc."
The Gorillaz's Demon Detour landed at three more stations on Tuesday and will hit another 36 over the next month. And they're going to be pretty busy, because on certain dates they're playing as many as seven radio stations on the same day (since the laws of physics don't apply to the animated).
Gorillaz Demon Detour dates, according to their publicist:
- 6/8 - San Diego, CA @ XTRA-FM
- 6/8 - Santa Barbara, CA @ KJEE-FM
- 6/9 - Reno, NV @ KRZQ-FM
- 6/9 - Phoenix, AZ @ KEDJ-FM
- 6/9 - Tulsa, OK @ KMYZ-FM
- 6/10 - Tampa, FL @ WSUN-FM
- 6/10 - Orlando, FL @ WOCL-FM
- 6/10 - West Palm, FL @ WPBZ-FM
- 6/13 - Atlanta, GA @ WNNX-FM
- 6/13 - Charlotte, NC @ WEND-FM
- 6/13 - Richmond, VA @ WDYL-FM
- 6/13 - Washington, DC @ WHFS-FM
- 6/13 - Philadelphia, PA @ Y100-FM
- 6/13 - Monmouth, NJ @ WHTG-FM
- 6/14 - New York, NY @ WXRK-FM
- 6/14 - Providence, RI @ WBRU-FM
- 6/14 - Boston, MA @ WFNX-FM
- 6/14 - Portland, ME @ WCYY-FM
- 6/15 - Burlington, VT @ WBTZ-FM
- 6/15 - Albany, NY @ WEQX-FM
- 6/15 - Rochester, NY @ WZNE-FM
- 6/15 - San Jose, CA @ KCNL-FM
- 6/16 - Pittsburgh, PA @ WXDX-FM
- 6/16 - Detroit, MI @ CIMX-FM
- 6/16 - Denver, CO @ KTCL-FM
- 6/17 - Grand Rapids, MI @ WGRD-FM
- 6/17 - Columbus, OH @ WWCD-FM
- 6/17 - Cincinnati, OH @ WOXY.COM
- 6/18 - Nashville, TN @ WBUZ-FM
- 6/18 - St. Louis, MO @ KPNT-FM
- 6/18 - Kansas City, MO @ KRBZ-FM
- 6/18 - Milwaukee, WI @ WLUM-FM
- 6/20 - Chicago, IL @ WKQX-FM
- 6/21 - Chicago, IL @ WKQX-FM
- 6/21 - Madison, WI @ WMAD-FM
- 6/21 - Boise, ID @ KQXR-FM