For those people lucky enough to have grabbed a ticket for the week of the Gorillaz live experience back in November, there was only one contender for gig of the year.
The Pixies may have rocked Reading and Leeds, Arctic Monkeys may have created chaos up and down the country, but nowhere was there quite the sense of occasion that Damon Albarn's cartoon chums managed to create in Manchester.
It was a staggeringly ambitious project for Albarn to undertake - to recreate the whole Demon Days album he needed the full range of guest stars, a children's choir, a gospel choir, a 14 piece string section, and the talents of Gorillaz cohort Jamie Hewlett to create ever changing backdrops. He could have easily have fallen flat on his face, but the resulting five nights were something of a triumph.
As befits a gig that's destined never to be repeated in quite the same way again, the whole thing was filmed for DVD, and thus makes the perfect souvenir for those who were there and the perfect present for those who weren't.
A whole range of cameras are employed on the DVD to ensure the full experience is captured - from an aerial shot showing exactly how many people are crammed onto stage, to shots of the delighted audience reactions, not one camera is wasted. The excellent picture quality also demonstrates the stunning light show to its best effect - especially the deep blood red which the stage is bathed in during Kids With Guns.
All the album's guests appear, with the exception of Dennis Hopper and MF Doom. Neneh Cherry makes an early appearance, and despite being restricted to just two lines, she looks like she's having an absolute ball. Indeed, the camera often focuses on her wigging out in the wings, so enthusiastic is she about the whole project. De La Soul also receive an almighty cheer during Feel Good Inc, while Roots Manuva looks slightly spaced out during his duet with Martina Topley-Bird on All Alone.
Ike Turner also milks his appearance for all its worth, but the biggest cheer is reserved for hometown boy Shaun Ryder - all he has to do is look rather befuddled and bellow "It's DARE" down the microphone to have the Manchester crowd going delirious. He may be the size of a house these days, but the man's star quality is undeniable.
As those who saw the show will know though, the whole evening is stolen by the children's choir who bounce onto stage during Dirty Harry - bodypopping, breakdancing and wonderfully choreographed by the excellent Wayne Hernandez, their performance was a joy to behold.
It's a credit to Albarn that he stays literally in the shadows throughout, being centre-stage yet framed in silhouette. It's only during the encore performance of the beautiful Hong Kong that he comes to the front of the stage, receiving a well deserved standing ovation.
The DVD also includes a bonus feature which allows the viewer to watch all of the animated backdrops created by Hewlett without the distraction of the live performances - especially useful when it comes to the excellent sketch used for El Manana or even for checking whether that bewildered looking tramp during White Heat really is Manchester's own Badly Drawn Boy (it's not).
Although no live DVD can really recreate the excitement of seeing the show live, Demon Days comes pretty damn close. As the Gorillaz' live performances appear to become ever more complex (there's talk of 3-D holograms next time round), this is a pretty much essential purchase for any fan of the world's best cartoon band.