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The dynamic duo of Cee-Lo Green
and Danger Mouse

Gnarls Barkley
Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard (Summerfest)
Milwaukee, WI
June 26, 2008
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Story and photos by Matt Schwenke

With the indelible Stevie Wonder officially kicking off Summerfest's 10-day stretch of headliners on the main stage just hours before, Gnarls Barkley, with full band in support, ended the first night of talent on the free stages in high fashion with a set full of variations from their studio offerings.

Donning sparkly suits and dark glasses, the dynamic duo of Cee-Lo Green and Danger Mouse came out with measured intensity for "Surprise" from their sophomore release The Odd Couple, raised the intensity another notch for their take on the Violent Femmes' "Gone Daddy Gone" and reached their most furious pace in the new hit "Run [I'm A Natural Disaster]." Settling into a summer stroll for the carefree "Blind Mary," Gnarls Barkley made full use of the band in "Just A Thought," from their 2006 debut St. Elsewhere, with Cee-Lo screaming above the powerful rumblings of instruments. Danger Mouse was especially powerful in the breakdown of the new tune "I'm Going On," while Cee-Lo created a near-angelic refrain.

With the crowd worked into a frenzy, Gnarls Barkley delivered a number of drastically different takes on new and old studio work-- "Neighbors" from the new album was slowed down half-time with Cee-Lo's voice taking the song into more exotic grounds, the otherwise hard-driving thump of "Transformer" was slowed to a plodding mix of sound with Cee-Lo's striking vocal range on full display, and even the already-eerie "Boogie Monster" was delivered with an extra dose of strange.

Related articles:

Red Hot Chili Peppers / Gnarls Barkley - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - Feb. 2007
St Elsewhere CD review - Aug. 2006
Lollapalooza 2006 - Festival review - Chicago, IL - Aug. 2006

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