"This is not a rap concert, this is a black rock concert."
Donald Glover returned to New York with a bang kicking off his two night concert series in Central Park's Summerstage. The day was filled with on-again, off-again rain storms but the night could not have been better for the outdoor concert. It all came together too perfectly. As the last opener left the stage, the clouds parted, allowing concert goers one last glimpse of the sunset over the Manhattan skyline before the show started. Childish Gamino's set included filling the stage up with fog before his entrance, creating a dense atmosphere of anticipation.
From the second Childish came out in jeans, white tee and black leather jacket it was clear he was ready to perform. His raps were articulate, as they always are, and his expressions were never blank. The intensity he brought to the stage was unlike anything I have ever seen from one man on such a big stage. With his acting background, Gambino captures the audiences attention so intimately that it made it impossible to take your eyes off of him. He never missed a beat, even when a venture into the crowd seemed almost irreversible as his fans were only to eager to pull him closer. He rolled back on stage staggering only for a moment before continuing with the same attitude that had carried his set up to that point. His band was energetic and dynamic, consisting of a keyboard, bass, violin, and a multiple drums divided throughout the musicians. Rounding out the band's line-up was Luwig Göransson, Gambino's producer on Camp.
The set was always changing to fit the track playing and the lights were never repetitive, creating an energetically engaging show from start to finish. Although Childish Gambino and band have left for Europe, make sure to catch them when they return to the states. Trust me, it's a must!