In his 7 out of 10 PopMatters review of Blur’s “comeback” album The Magic Whip, their first since 2003’s Think Tank, Evan Sawdey writes, “All The Magic Whip tries to be is nothing more than the band in their purest form, deprived of all commercial considerations so that their eccentricities are all that remains. Well, guess what, boys? Mission accomplished.”
As part of their promotional tour for the record, Blur performed a free gig at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg on 1 May. The gig was meant to be a surprise, but given the wave of anticipation leading up to The Magic Whip, in addition to a buzzed-about performance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, word got out pretty quickly. Based on the palpable energy of the audience in the video captures below, Blur fans in New York City felt it was more than worth the wait. Of the 500 tickets available for the gig, tens of thousands of fans applied, only to find that all of the tickets were snapped up in a quick 60 seconds.
Below you can watch performances of “Ghost Ship” (from The Magic Whip) and “Song 2” (from 1997’s Blur), as well as a brief trailer for the Music Hall of Williamsburg gig.
The Magic Whip is out now via Parlophone.