UPDATE: Blur have announced two rare U.S. shows this fall: October 20th at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl and October 23rd at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Ticktets for both shows will be available starting June 20th on the band’s site.
Blur performed their first New York-area gig in nearly 12 years on May 1st when they hosted a free concert at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg. At the intimate gig, played for a fraction of the fans the band will play to while headlining European music festivals this summer, the Britpop icons ran through their stellar reunion album The Magic Whip in its entirety (minus “Ice Cream Man”). Rolling Stone exclusively presents one cut from that small club performance: The album’s first single “Go Out.”
As Rolling Stone noted in our review of Blur’s Brooklyn show, Magic Whip songs like “Go Out” and “Lonesome Street” are unmistakably Blur tracks, featuring “a sound and an energy” that no other Damon Albarn side project can replicate. That’s thanks in large part to guitarist Graham Coxon, who is back in the Blur lineup for the first time since 1999’s 13. Coxon’s impact is apparent on “Go Out,” and as evidenced in their performance, the single’s guitar-heavy punch is perfectly suited for a sweaty rock club as Albarn saunters around the stage.
In addition to playing The Magic Whip, Blur also performed a trio of classic cuts as an encore at the Converse Rubber Tracks Live show: Parklife‘s “Trouble in the Message Centre” and two singles from their 1997 self-titled album, “Beetlebum” and “Song 2.” Prior to the Brooklyn show, Blur also stopped by The Tonight Show, their first late-night U.S. television appearance with Coxon in 15 years, to deliver “Ong Ong,” as well as an acoustic, backstage rendition of “Tender” with Jimmy Fallon.