As an unexpected turn to my evening yesterday, I had Dirty Mike fork over some tickets to see Gnarls Barkley at The Tabernacle here for their final US homecoming tour date in Atlanta.
Dirty Mike showing us tickets to a concert he will never see.
My partner in crime, Drifter (the Val Kilmer look-alike shown proudly posing with the free tickets we scored) and I arrived to the venue as the opening act was finishing their set. As to be expected, it was a packed house, standing room only. The crowd was a very cool and broad hodge-podge of different ages and demographics. As soon as the enormous Gnarls Barkley banner dropped from the ceiling to provide the backdrop for the band, the whole place cheered wildly.
After waiting for the roadies to prepare for the arrival for the main event…the arena went dark. Fog filled the stage. The lights came up. The band was on stage pounding out a cover of “We Are the Champions” by Queen as Cee-Lo Green joins them on stage dressed in a Centurion General’s costume waving a plastic sword all around. Danger Mouse and the remaining members took their places all dressed in togas, sandals, and Roman Empire-esque armor. Cee-Lo took the mic and announced, “Gnarls Barkley could not make it tonight. So instead, we have on stage the hardest working band in showbiz – Chariots of Fire.”
A plethora of songs were played from the infamous St. Elsewhere including Transformer, Necromancing, The Boogie Man, The Last Time, Feng Shui, and Crazy (naturally), plus a few others. (By the way…listening to their songs on CD or the radio hardly does these guys any justice at all. The talent and raw energy of hearing the soul and rock fused together in a no boundaries kind of performance in front of you is easily reminiscent to Sly and The Family Stone or Parliament. It’s just something you need to hear on stage to really get a grasp of everything.) The big surprises came when Gnarls Barkley did some cover tunes from The Greenhorns and The Doors in between the songs they were already expected to play.
And since this was their homecoming appearance, Cee-Lo gave a quick shoutout to his son celebrating his birthday and to The Dungeon Family as Outkast joined them on stage to say howdy to the fans.