Gorillaz took over New York’s Times Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus for two augmented reality (AR) shows in celebration of new single ‘Skinny Ape‘ this weekend- check out fan-shot footage below.
The animated band announced the concerts earlier this month (December 8) with fans needing to download a special app to view the AR performance, which combined real world and computer generated imagery.
According to a press release, the shows would allow fans to gather together to witness Gorillaz “play in real life as Murdoc, 2D, Noodle and Russel literally tower over them, playing in the midst of two of the world’s most iconic skylines.”
The performances were directed by Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett and the Emmy nominated director Fx Goby, and created by Nexus Studios which utilised Google’s ARCore Geospatial API, which uses Google Street View to build AR content in 86 different countries.
Tune in to the @gorillaz immersive and larger-than-life performance in NYC, featuring the ARCore Geospatial API.
Get the details. → https://t.co/iau09fBjd6 pic.twitter.com/6UVNAh0HLj
— Google AR & VR (@GoogleARVR) December 14, 2022
Ahead of the performance, Murdoc said: “To all our followers, get ready for the biggest Times Square takeover since that other gorilla smashed the place up. Bigger in fact cos there’s four of us. Thanks to the techies at Google, we’ve created the music video event of the century, so don your pink robes and come see Gorillaz like you’ve never seen us before. The future is nigh!”
Check out fan-shot footage of the events below, which took place yesterday in New York (December 17) and today in London (December 18).
GFANS 🦍🛐 🎇Times Square
via @nexusstories pic.twitter.com/a4zsZ4RTmu
— Gorillaz BR ✰ (@gorillaz_br) December 18, 2022
went to piccadilly circus today :)) #gorillaz #skinnyape pic.twitter.com/jawa0Kti8p
— midnight 🙂 (@midnightmerry12) December 18, 2022
some cool pics i took at the gorillaz AR at piccadilly circus 😀
(more in thread) pic.twitter.com/19Fofy27Od
— quackshay ⚔️ (@shayLVJY) December 18, 2022
Bonus shots of the #SkinnyApe performance. It should stay active for a few months, so grab the Gorillaz Presents app, if you’re in the area. There’s also a home version of the performance, if you don’t live near NYC or London. #Gorillaz #GorillazPresents #TheLastCult pic.twitter.com/OaKrirOkpx
— Jason Halter (@ereboros) December 18, 2022
The @Google x @Gorillaz AR experience live in Time Square yesterday. So cool in person. Kudos to @elevenmgmt @nexusstories @OutfrontMediaUS @OceanOutdoorUK @Totemko + all teams involved. pic.twitter.com/LXpocSbfIr
— Michael Kauffman (@michaeljoel) December 18, 2022
More from today @gorillaz #AR performance at @TimesSquareNYC pic.twitter.com/xj0Xt72dkk
— Oscar 🎄🎅🏻 📲 (@OscarSalguero) December 18, 2022
Fans have until June 2023 to visit Times Square or Piccadilly Circus to view Gorillaz’ AR performance. Alternatively, people can view the gig from the comfort of their own home as Gorillaz come to them, via the App which can be downloaded for iOS or Android.
Gorillaz are currently gearing up to release their eighth studio album, with ‘Cracker Island’ coming February 24, 2023.
The band have already shared four singles from the record including ‘Baby Queen’, ‘New Gold’ and ‘Possession Island’. The record features appearances from Stevie Nicks, Adeleye Omotayo, Thundercat, Tame Impala, Bad Bunny, Bootie Brown and Beck.
However according to Damon Albarn, Gorillaz‘ collaboration with Nicks was originally meant to be sung by Julian Casablancas.
Albarn went on to say that collaborative projects have become “somewhat generic” of late, adding: “So this [song with Nicks] is the antithesis of that. This non-generic collaboration.”