Childish Gambino (with Rae Sremmurd) | The Forum | Inglewood, CA
I've watched Donald Glover evolve over the past several years and I remember first hearing that he would try out rapping for shits and giggles, because why not? Not only was he very good at it, but he transformed himself entirely as a musician. His run as Childish Gambino is now coming to a saddening end and I was able to barely catch him as such (potentially) before he goes back to being Donald Glover, the everything-else man.
Being a stan of Glover's since 2006 in his Derrick Comedy days, I couldn't believe that I was finally getting a chance to see him in person 12 years later. I've waited nearly half my life for this moment and it was nothing short of spectacular. He kicked his set off with some unreleased music, which sounded great within The Forum walls, and went straight into some quick Because the Internet stuff before hitting us with an extended break of "Awaken, My Love!".
From beginning to end, Gambino was dressed in nothing but the Jim Crow pants he was wearing in the "This Is America" music video. Shirtless. Exposed. Powerful. We were also with him literally the entire time, which was refreshing to see. During intermissions, a camera and his crew would follow him backstage to show us where he was headed to next, signal us to make some noise, and prove to us that he needed zero breaks in order to keep up the insane amount of energy he embodied. The dude is superhuman.
He ensured the crowd multiple times that we weren't just at a concert, but we were at church and he was just there to lead the gospel. We followed along and most of us followed his direction when he told us not to pull our phones out (I know he hates that). Gambino created an experience that you were supposed to fully immerse yourself in, just like his PHAROS shows that he did in Joshua Tree and New Zealand.
The only critique I have is that it was a short set. He barely performed for 90 minutes, but I wish it would've been double that. Nothing from Camp, no "Freaks And Geeks", and not enough from Because the Internet. Come to think of it, that's not really a fair critique. That's just me having a wish list. However, I understood his overall vision and appreciated the production of the show, and for that, I am forever grateful that I was able to be in the center of it all. ★★★★½
★★★★★ Legendary | ★★★★ Great | ★★★ Good | ★★ Fair | ★ Poor