When they originally decided to live together in 1998, Blur's Damon Albarn and 'Tank Girl' creator Jamie Hewlett probably never envisioned they'd create one of the world's biggest pop bands -- especially not out of cartoons. Twelve years and three albums later, Gorillaz have become one of the more recognizable faces of modern pop, most notably for their willingness to blend different elements of '60s-inspired psychedelia, afro-beat, hip-hop and dub within grand scale orchestral arrangements, making for a band that has a myriad of styles and sounds yet is globally accessible.
After a five-year absence, Gorillaz resurfaced in spring 2010 with their third album, 'Plastic Beach,' a loose commentary on a culture where excess is a priority. In typical Gorillaz fashion, the album features a who's who of special guest performers: Bobby Womack, Mos Def, Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed, the Fall's Mark E. Smith, Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys and the Clash's Mick Jones.
For their Sessions taping, Gorillaz had just come off one of their most epic concerts, a headlining spot to close out Coachella 2010, and both Albarn and Hewlett were still riding high off performing for 70,000-plus screaming fans. Albarn and company were joined by none other than Mick Jones himself on guitar and the songs featured a range of vocals from Albarn, from the sweeping sounds of 'On Melancholy Hill' to the more skatting approach of 'Rhinestone Eyes.' Watch their performance and you'll see there's nothing cartoonish these days about a live Gorillaz performance.