[Photo Credit: Mark Brown]
Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover, aka Lando Calrissian, aka Simba) has prompted widespread freaking out with the news that he'll be reviving his PHAROS show for some dates in New Zealand. The unique live experience has only been performed three times before, in the US in September 2016, so Gambino's loyal followers are understandably buzzing after this announcement. Fans are already totting up the cost of tickets + flights, and everyone is collectively losing their shit, but what is PHAROS?
Attendees of the 2016 shows, at Joshua Tree, California, described the event as akin to a trip inside Glover's mind - a visual realization of his inner creative impulses. Taking place in a large dome, with LED lights covering the ceiling, and a strict no-phone policy, PHAROS is a unique rejection of social media concert-going in favor of genuine intimacy. You shouldn't be distracted at a show, you should be immersed. Conceived by Glover and his regular cast of creative collaborators, the success of the initial run of shows has given the group confidence to further develop their ideas this time around.
One of the most exciting things about this announcement is the mention of new music. At the last PHAROS shows, fans were treated to early performances of tracks from "Awaken, My Love!", months before the release of the Grammy-nominated album. If the roll-out of Glover's next album, rumored to be the last under the Childish Gambino moniker, follows the pattern of that release then we may have to wait until 2019 for the final Gambino record. The potential of a long wait for the next LP hasn't dampened spirits though, with fans already booking flights to New Zealand and happily taking the financial hit in the hopes of a once-in-a-lifetime live music experience.
Glover is everywhere right now. The second season of his show Atlanta returns to television tonight, and in a couple of months you'll be able to watch him live out a childhood dream - when he stars as Lando Calrissian in the next Star Wars movie this May. With Glover's considerable creative muscle at the helm of PHAROS, it's easy to see why fan expectations are so high, and with the roll that he's on, who would doubt his ability to deliver the goods?
You can experience the VR performance of "Me and Your Mama", from the one of the first PHAROS shows, below.
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