Childish Gambino concert review
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
I never thought I’d be able to experience the Donald Glover—Childish Gambino—live, in the flesh. Luckily for me, when he announced his departure from music with his “This Is America” tour, I finally could. The initial concert date of September 30, 2018 was postponed to December 8 due to an injury.
The concert was held at Rogers Arena and the opener, Rae Sremmurd, was just as phenomenal. Rae Sremmurd’s set featured iconic party hits such as “Come Get Her,” “Swang,” “Powerglide,” and even a cover of French Montana’s “Unforgettable.”
Glover has had a large following for a long time, from before he played Troy Barnes on the television show Community, although that is where I was initially introduced to him. Despite his numerous musical attributes, beginning with his 2008 mixtape Sick Boi, a majority of Glover’s setlist was derived from his more recent albums and singles, such as Awaken, My Love!
His stage presence was demanding, exhilarating, but most of all intoxicating as you simply could not look away. His dancing was just as amazing, if not more so, in person as in his music videos.
“2018, goddamn, you’re doing a lot of shit. I had maybe the worst year of my life. I’m dead serious,” Glover said to the audience, relaying his outlook on the coming times.
“The future used to be romantic […] it used to be like ‘Oh shit, we’ll have flying cars!’ Now it’s like, ‘I wanna get off. I wanna get off the ride.’”
Prior to performing “Riot,” a song he stated was about “trying to get off the ride,” he told the crowd that whenever the song hit, the audience should focus on enjoying themselves.
During “This Is America,” he had a multitude of dancers dressed in school uniforms relating back to his music video. They all appeared to freestyle on stage, a performance that felt very personal.
“Terrified” had the greatest stage setup, featuring two large lit blocks where it appeared to be Glover in one and a woman in the other, struggling to keep from drowning.
Alongside his powerful vocals, his rapping was on the mark—steady and record-fast, just like his studio versions.
Though disappointed that his career in music is now over, at least for the time being, it is exciting to wait and see what Glover will produce next and in what art form.