Friday Night: Childish Gambino At House Of Blues

Childish Gambino House of Blues April 6, 2012

"Real G's only; don't fuck up my alphabet." -- Childish Gambino, "It's On"

Childish Gambino is Donald Glover and Donald Glover is Troy from a television show called Community and Troy from a television show called Community is funny as eff and that's generally problematic if you're a rapper but Childish Gambino who's Donald Glover who's Troy from a television show called Community is good. Really good.

He performed Friday night at House of Blues. And since a criticism of his has been that he tends to drive clever into the ground, and since he has a neat line about the alphabet to his credit, let's go A-B-C-style notes for the review and try not to fuck up his alphabet.

A: A lot of people showed up. Actually, it sold out. And there was a bushel of people outside trying to figure out a way to sneak past the pregnant ticket-checker. Pregnant women might make the most diligent door watchers of all-time.

She was having zero of that sneaking-in shit. You'd have done better trying to sneak into the cage they kept Deena in between filming episodes of Jersey Shore.

B: Black people were, as it were, the minority in the crowd.

C: Caucasian people were, once again, the majority.

D: Dudes, when Gambino performed "Bonfire," which is basically a three-minute-long fire alarm, the place went fucking bananas. FUCKINGBANANAS. He had a light wall behind him (band too) that played different things during the show. For "Bonfire," it played a fire that grew brighter as he became more animated. Very cool.

E: Every time the beginning of a song wiggled out of the speakers, people lost their shit. He performed everything people wanted him to (i.e. Camp mostly, though some F&G too), and that's good.

F: For maybe two full minutes, I watched a guy at the edge of the crowd on the stage's left side play Draw Something. Only, he wasn't playing it, he was just scribbling the words out for the other players. The whole time I watched him I was like, "So YOU'RE the motherfucker that keeps doing that?" That shit is the worst. I actively rooted for him to drop his phone. He didn't. There is no God.

G: God, why didn't you make him drop his phone? Why? WHY?

H: "Heartbeat" is super-effective in concert. It's hyper-funky, which is a little unexpected when you consider the rest of his catalog, but he manages it without hiccup, which isn't unexpected at all because, again, he is exceptionally talented. Now, if you'll help me up to my knees, please.

I: I don't understand why people don't like Gambino. I mean, I get that he (mistakenly) designated himself the non-posturing rap martyr even though that role had been filled by a handful of forward-thinking rappers years prior, but beyond that, what grievance is there?

Is it his walk? He does kind of walk like a dick onstage, but c'mon. Disregarding his skill set because he walks away from the end of each song like Barry Bonds walked away from the home plate after each time he'd crushed a ball into the ozone doesn't seem an equitable swap.

J: Just because they make clothes in your size doesn't mean that you should buy them. For real. If your kneecaps are less kneecaps and more knee divots, maybe leave that short neon skirt on the rack, is what I'm saying.

K: ?... Kangaroos like to jump?

L: Look, I know kangaroos have nothing to do with a Childish Gambino concert review, but whatever. There are only, like, eight words or some shit that start with K and none of them worked any better than "kangaroo." I just plugged that in. Sorry. You'll be fine. Fwd.

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Shea Serrano