Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 06:53 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.


  • Bobbie

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

profile portrait
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.

Ann Schmidt

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.


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.

Hannah Luu

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.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.