Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 05:41 pm est

Childish Gambino proves a multifaceted performer in dual show

Posted on April 3, 2014 | by Adam Kargenian

Adam Kargenian for WSN

Donald Glover has showcased his talents across a diverse array of mediums since his graduation from NYU, and while his role on NBC’s “Community” is maybe his most notable, his longest standing and most controversial act has been his musical career, which he began under the stage name of Childish Gambino.

Performing at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday night, Gambino drew quite a number of fans from a variety of demographics — all three balconies were packed. The moment Gambino took the stage for his set, it was easy to see why thousands of fans came out for the show.

On stage, Glover’s acting background shone through — he knows how to channel emotion when he performs. He jumped around, pounded the keys and got downright groovy with his moves. He hid nothing while owning both the stage and the crowd. He was wired.

At other times he seemed softer, as heard in the lyrics of “3005,” “I’ve lost all hope of a happy ending/Depending on whether or not it’s worth it, so insecure, no one’s perfect.”

Yet in the same set he showed his vigor. In a fit of rage during his song “The Party,” Gambino ordered several girls who were lounging on couches in the performance to get off the stage. He rapped a line about having multiple girlfriends, then stared wide eyed at the crowd, as if saying, “Yeah, I can’t believe I did it either.”

After working through the majority of his latest album “Because the Internet” and singing an exceptional version of “Urn,” Gambino exited the stage to the crescendo of “Earth: The Oldest Computer.”

Afterward, he returned for an encore, but he might as well have come on for another set.

Gambino went back to his “Culdesac” mixtape, rapping “Do Ya Like” over Adele’s looping croons and performing a mashup of “So Fly” and “I Got This Money.” Steve G. Lover, Gambino’s brother, also came out to perform “One Up.”

In total, 10 songs were performed during the encore. Gambino finished with a fiery rendition of “Bonfire” before spitting a freestyle and exiting the stage a second time.

As great as the set was, the real magic happened in the private after-show at The Cutting Room.

During the private set it seemed as if the rapper’s mask had been lifted. He was not Childish Gambino — long gone was the serious, wide-eyed, smirking persona that had electrified Hammerstein two hours ago. He was a smiling Donald. Perhaps it was the company he had invited. Glover invited rappers Ab-Soul and Joey Bada$$, as well as the singer Lion Babe, to the event. Each artist performed one of his tracks over a jazz backdrop before collaborating with Glover on other songs. The highlight of night was the cover of Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You,” which Glover sang with Lion Babe.

Yet, for most of the after-show, Glover sat against a pillar to the right of the stage, letting the others take the spotlight. A small smirk crept onto his face, growing into a full grin that the crowd could not help but mirror.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, April 3 print edition. Adam Kargenian is a contributing writer. Email him at music@nyunews.com.

Comments

  • Bobbie

    I was one of the few random fans at the after show, it was the most amazing experience of my life

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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

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News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

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Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

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Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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