Thundercat was the first to join Damon Albarn and co. on the titular Coachella Stage, performing the title track from Gorillaz’ just-released ‘Cracker Island’ album. Shortly thereafter, the band were joined by Peven Everett (for their performance of ‘Strobelite’), Jamie Principle (for ‘Hollywood’) and Bootie Brown (for ‘New Gold’).
After a few songs played by themselves – including ‘On Melancholy Hill’, which was dedicated to Albarn’s daughter Missy – Gorillaz welcomed Brown back out for ‘Dirty Harry’, before doing ‘Momentary Bliss’ with Slowthai and ‘Rock The House’ with Del The Funky Homosapien.
De La Soul then came out to perform their part on ‘Feel Good Inc.’ (with the song dedicated to late member David ‘Trugoy The Dove’ Jolicoeur, who died in February). Straight after, the set was wrapped up with ‘Clint Eastwood’, for which Del returned to the stage.
Have a look at some footage from the set below:
Llegó el turno de Gorillaz, Damon Albarn y Thundercat en Coachella 2023 🤘🏼así suena “Cracker Island” pic.twitter.com/eeoaewjgbs
— CNXN Oficial (@cnxn_oficial) April 15, 2023
— ミソジニストは洋楽好き (@BadMothaFxcka) April 15, 2023
— richryan (@richryan182) April 15, 2023
Damon Albarn from Gorillaz performing “Tormenta” ft Bad Bunny with his Official Visualiser of the song in Coachella. 🎡🎶 pic.twitter.com/mziRSEPO5c
— Access Bad Bunny (@AccessBadBunny) April 15, 2023
Gorillaz’ full setlist from weekend one of Coachella is:
1. ‘M1 A1’
3. ‘Cracker Island’ (with Thundercat)
5. ‘Strobelite’ (with Peven Everett)
6. ‘Hollywood’ (with Jamie Principle)
8. ‘New Gold’ (with Bootie Brown)
9. ‘Skinny Ape’
11. ‘On Melancholy Hill’
12. ‘Kids With Guns’
13. ‘Dirty Harry’ (with Bootie Brown)
14. ‘Momentary Bliss’ (with Slowthai)
15. ‘Rock The House’ (with Del The Funky Homosapien)
16. ‘Feel Good Inc.’ (with De La Soul)
17. ‘Clint Eastwood’ (with Del The Funky Homosapien)
‘Cracker Island’ arrived back in February as Gorillaz’ eighth studio album, with a deluxe edition following just a week later. In a four-star review of the album, NME’s Thomas Smith wrote that “Albarn and his team appear unburdened by living up to a concept, and instead turn in a consistently enjoyable record that shows why they remain relevant so far into their career”.
The first night of Coachella 2023 is almost over, with the last handful of performers including The Chemical Brothers, Ashnikko and Bad Bunny. Tomorrow’s (April 15) roster features Blackpink, Boygenius, Charli XCX, The Linda Lindas and The Kid LAROI, among many others – you can see the full line-up here, with info on how stream every set live here.
Today has been rather eventful, with an early highlight coming when MUNA premiered a new song called ‘One That Got Away’. Later in the evening, Blink-182 played their first set since they reunited with Tom DeLonge, and Blondie welcomed Nile Rodgers out to perform two songs during their set.
Coachella’s first weekend will wrap up on Sunday (April 16), with the second running over April 21-23.
Check back at NME all weekend for more reviews, news, interviews, photos and more from Coachella 2023.