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There is no other way to describe the effect Childish Gambino’s performance had on me last week at The Standard other than, ‘MY EMOTIONS! MY EMOTIONS!’
Formally known as Donald Glover, the man has become a pop culture icon with his ability to be a pure genius at everything he touches. From Community to Childish and everything in-between, every guy wants to be his best mate and every girl wants to, for lack of a better term, do him.
This was more than evident last Wednesday night for his Big Day Out sideshow at The Standard, where the venue reached capacity long before Gambino was scheduled to start. With the crowd packed tighter than sardines, the anticipation was tangible whilst support act, Miracle, lubricated the crowd with his energetic vibes and cheeky rhymes.
Teasing the masses, a pre-recorded voice-over of Gambino’s signature white/black kid accent emanated before he leapt on stage with his band. The cheers that followed were deafening as the ground literally shook beneath my feet. Wasting no time, he jumped head first into a slew of hits, including Outside, Firefly and Freaks and Geeks. All around me the audience was chanting his lyrics word for word like some kind of Gambino cult army, whilst he jumped furiously on stage with his band, giving House of Pain a run for their money.
Despite feeling like a sauna, Gambino satisfied the sweaty masses by playing for a solid hour, highlighting his latest album Camp. From a show full of winners, one of my standout moments came in the form of his cover of John Legend’s cover of Adele’s, Rolling in the Deep mashed into Jamie XX’s remix (cover-ception?), which effortlessly led into the explosive All the Shine. The energy literally ate me up and I became part of this machine, uncontrollably losing my shit.
Exiting the stage briefly, he came back in full force for a Royalty-heavy encore, bringing his brother Steve G Lover on stage. Hyping the crowed, they engaged in a freestyle battle that truly showcased Gambino’s quick wit, slyly revealing his stand-up persona with lines like ‘bitches be treating my dick like a chapstick’ before ending on a high with Lights Turned On.
Before seeing Childish Gambino, I actually thought there was no way I could be more impressed by Donald Glover. But I have to say I left the venue feeling even more in awe of the man that can do everything.
(Photo By Ed Watson)