Gorillaz Bell Stage, Quebec City QC, July 15

Gorillaz Bell Stage, Quebec City QC, July 15
Photo: Rick Clifford
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The amount of star power that Gorillaz are able to deliver on one record is the most immediate takeaway of their latest disc, Humanz. But when it came to their headlining slot at Festival d'Été, bandleader Damon Albarn was initially the one to watch in a set that was an audio-visual feast.
 
With the presence of guest vocalists Vince Staples and Popcaan reduced to digital versions on the massive screen, the spotlight was left to Albarn, who was raring to get people moving in the early going by roving the stage himself.
 
The presence of a stagehand was a constant, feverishly feeding Albarn more cord for wherever he decided to take his guitar, keytar and microphones, sloshing bottled water on the first few rows before jumping into the sweaty madness with them later on. A calmer moment saw him lead the sizable band in playing "On Melancholy Hill" in its entirety.
 
Albarn's own antics set the stage for a selection of his collaborators, first bringing out Kelela to sing "Busted and Blue" amidst a cellular starfield from the audience. Albarn then left the stage alone to Kelela and Danny Brown, who finally got the reception he deserved with his verse on "Submission."
 
Peven Everett was a force in delivering "Strobelite" with purpose and forceful projection, returning again in the encore to soulfully belt out the late Bobby Womack's parts on "Stylo," while the crowd also fed off Jamie Principle running manically along the stage front and centre aisle during "Sex Murder Party."