Blur + Courtney Barnett Played MSG (Photos) + Blur's 'New World Towers' Documentary Coming Soon
Blur's bi-coastal arena shows beckoned fans far and wide as the band performed songs from The Magic Whip and lots of other hits and rarities. Their documentary New World Towers is part of the DOC NYC festival this Sunday.
After a one-off small show in New York earlier this year, Blur fans were wondering when Albarn and co would be returning to the States. Fortunately, when they did, Blur returned with two massive arena shows, one in Los Angeles and one in New York to really give their fans a taste of The Magic Whip, their well-received 2015 "comeback" album. Blur's show at Madison Square Garden was their biggest in NYC ever and they brought along Australian upstart Courtney Barnett to open for them, giving her the opportunity to reach her biggest audiences yet. Barnett's debut Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit will be sure to land in many top 10 album of the year lists and her energy was great on stage as she smashed through choice album cuts like "Depreston" and "Pedestrian at Best".
Blur themselves were in fine form. I first saw Blur over a decade ago at Field Day Festival. At that time, I wasn't as knowledgeable about their music as I am now. I didn't realize that "Tender" was their song, I must have heard it on the radio or something (it is pretty long so would they have played it on the radio?) but when they played it, I was one of thousands singing along. Since then, I've wanted to catch Blur again. Madison Square Garden was a great place to do it.
As Rolling Stone reported, "Blur frontloaded their long-delayed sold-out debut at the Garden – part of a quick North American victory lap in venues, like the Hollywood Bowl three nights earlier, that would have been way beyond their reach even at the height of Britpop – with enough material from their strong return to record, the eerie electro-R&B modernism of The Magic Whip, to qualify as substantial, deserving resurrection... Blur at the Garden was also a victory earned – celebrated with perfect timing."
"Earlier this year, iconic Britpop band Blur surprised their legion of fans with the release of a new album, The Magic Whip, their first as a foursome in 16 years. Blur: New World Towers goes behind the scenes to reveal how an unexpected break in Hong Kong during their 2013 reunion tour inspired the chart-topping album, recorded in secret, and the particularly pivotal role guitarist Graham Coxon played in the process. Sam Wrench's intimate film explores the band members' enduring friendship, spontaneous creativity, and candid reflections on celebrity and the band's future while showcasing more than a dozen of their songs in spectacular concert performances in Hong Kong and Hyde Park."
Courtney Barnett 10/23/2015 setlist
Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go to the Party
An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York)
Pedestrian at Best
Blur 10/23/2015 setlist
There's No Other Way
End of a Century
Coffee & TV
Out of Time
Country Sad Ballad Man
Thought I Was a Spaceman
To the End
This Is a Low
Girls & Boy