Upon arrival, fifteen minutes early to the doors opening, the crowd had spilled down and around the corner of the Entertainment Quarter’s main strip. These punters chose to forego Sunday’s penultimate episode of Masterchef for one man, Donald Glover, but known for the night as his rap pseudonym, Childish Gambino. ‘The Deep Web Tour’ is following the release of his second studio album Because the Internet and the demand for the show was not lacking, seeing it change venues from the smaller Big Top at Luna Park to a sold out Hordern Pavilion. Just off the back of his Splendour in the Grass performance the actor slash musician proved to all there that night that he’s not just playing the part, he is the real deal.
Opening act, Levinz, warmed up the crowd with a hip-hop DJ set. He joyfully bounced around the stage whilst spinning tracks and successfully filled in time until Gambino arrived.
Before the man took the stage there was a fade to black and a bunch of futuristic graphics grabbed your eyes on a cinema-sized screen, which provided artistic visuals for the whole show. A verse of prose to no music was spat by a familiar voice but still with no sight of Childish Gambino. Chants of “Worldstar!” erupted in the audience, a reference to his popular song and the viral World Star Hip Hop videos on the Internet. Anticipation was building for what was to come.
Suddenly ‘Crawl’ kicked in and an energetic Glover exploded into sight and the over-crowded mosh pit morphed into one energised body. Highlights included crowd favourite ‘Sweatpants’ and the radio-dominating ‘3005’ turned into a sing-a-long for all involved. It must be mentioned that Gambino’s melodic vocals were a welcomed surprise even to those who know his albums by heart.
Glover conducted not one but two encores including a curtain-closing freestyle session with his live band. He called out peers Drake, Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar putting himself at the top of the heap. Modest no, but after that performance few could argue.
Here he is doing his thing at Splendour in the Grass on the weekend