Damon Albarn is deep into touring for his first solo LP, Everyday Robots, and has been breaking out a handful of classics from his expansive discography along the way, including a smattering of Blur hits. That said, the man’s attentive Monday night (June 9) crowd in Boston wouldn’t likely have seen it coming when he and his crack solo band launched into a rare rendition of the ecstatic and inescapable 1997 hit, “Song 2.”
How rare? As Pitchfork points out, a rep confirms that the video you see above captures the very first time in history that Albarn has played the song without Blur. Of course, you wouldn’t know it from watching the gleeful, strobe-filled performance.
The U.K. songwriter busted out another old favorite in New York City this weekend at Governors Ball — Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood,” aided by rising Chicago rapper Vic Mensa, who capably delivered his own verison of Del the Funky Homosapien’s original verse. You can watch that video below, though the performance isn’t nearly as rapturous as that “Song 2” clip above, via Vanyaland.
Lastly, if you can make it out, peep Albarn’s odd elephant hat. According to NME, it came from a fan, though we’d like to think it’s at least partially a tribute to the inspiration behind his Everyday Robots track, “Mr. Tembo.”