Half of what was the "old" Blur, and three quarters of what is the "new"
Blur played what was supposed to be a buzz generating gig last night at the
Bowery Ballroom in New York City. Blur's new record, Think Tank, drops on
Virgin Records in May, but it was recently leaked on the internet
despite the label's obscene security measures and this gig, along with a
surprise show on Thursday at the South By Southwest Music conference, were
booked to get hype machine started.
The new-new Blur, with the Bonehead-ish Simon Tong on guitar, fill-in
bassist Chris Traynor, three back up singers and an additional percussionist
played an energetic set that featured most of the new CD, but Damon and
company also dusted off some old classics like "Girls And Boys,"
"Beetlebum," "Popscene," and an amazing, show-closing version of "This Is A
Low" which haven't see the light of day since Blur's self titled tour in
The new material was pulled off effortlessly and ranged from the electronic
based tracks like "Brothers and Sisters" and "Crazy Beat," to the punk laced
"We've Got A File On You." The entire band was in amazing spirits and
Damon in particular seemed to be actually enjoying performing, in contrast
to the ill-advised and disappointing 13 tour shows.
Mr. Albarn has definitely become one of the more egotistical and brash pop
stars around, and it has become increasingly easier to find reasons not to
like him, but when you can pull off a show like they did last night with two
fill-ins, and have an album of amazing work debuting in a records store near
you soon, you gotta give him the respect he deserves.
Source: Patrick Schmidt, Guest Reviewer