This post has been a long time coming. In fact, it’s been in the works for more than three years, and it’s finally happening.
Childish Gambino live in concert.
And how do we make it just that little bit better? We add Mia into the mix.
I’ve loved Childish Gambino for close to four or five years now. Heck, he’s got a dedicated space on my wall, among four other artists who I look up to and am inspired buy (check that out HERE), and he’s become one of the most talked about musicians ever. Whether it’s his music, his comedy, his acting/writing/directing, he’s become a well known name and whether you’re calling him Gambino or Donald, he’s made some impact in the societal sphere, especially within the last two or three years.
Which is why, finally getting to see him in concert, after years of rapping his songs in my room, singing or dancing along with my friends, talking about his cultural influence and critiques; seeing him in concert was something I had been waiting for.
There was also a certain weight to Gambino finally coming down to Australia. I think he’s been injured twice and had to cancel, and the last time he announced a tour I didn’t even get tickets. Which made his final concert so incredible and energetic.
PLUS. The fact that I went for the concert with Mia??? Mind-blowing. If you have the time, keep scrolling to some of my first posts and you’ll eventually come across quite a few where the comment section is purely just Mia and I (and homegirls Chloe and Fiona) fangirl-ing over Donald. And that’s before she moved to Australia. So obviously, huge significance with the fact being the first time I get to see him live, it’s with that gal.
I met up with Mia in the city, and after grabbing a drink to pass the time before the concert, we headed into Rod Laver Arena, obviously peer pressuring each other to buy a T-shirt at the merchandise stand beforehand.
It took a little while to start filling up, though Channel Tres did his best to get everyone hyped up. His set was a little hit and miss for us, with some songs being absolute bangers and really getting our attention, and others falling a bit flat. However, it made the wait for Gambino a bit more bearable.
When he finally came on, it was with little to no theatrics, just him walking to the front of the catwalk, and bowing his head, a move that’s become almost signature. He played a huge plethora of songs, some that had me jumping up and down, dancing and rapping along, others that gave me some space to just watch him and his incredible band.
Summertime Magic came pretty early in the setlist and it brought some warmth to the cold Melbourne night. It was such a fun song to see live and dance along to, which of course Mia and I did.
He performed so many killer songs, like The Worst Guys, Worldstar, Me and Your Mama, Boogieman, Have Some Love, pausing in the middle of these killer tracks to perform another fan favourite, Feels Like Summer and continuing to just give an amazing overall performance, one I’ve literally been waiting years to see.
One of the most commendable parts of the show, was a moment when he completely disappeared from the stage, only for a live feed to be brought up onto the big screens, following him around the underground of Rod Laver Arena. When he finally emerged outside in the front of the arena doors, walking past the merchandise stand, food stands and bars where we all were before the show began, everyone went nuts, searching for the door he’d enter through. He finally appeared, right at the top of Rod Laver Arena, and made his way down through the seats, cool as a bloody cucumber, giving cues to his band back on the stage to solo and really get a moment to show off how amazing they all were as musicians.
This Is America was always going to go absolutely mental, and to have it played live in front of us was something from a completely different planet. The signature dancers were lively and energetic up on the stage with him, and he somehow managed to match their energy seamlessly, still rapping every word, aside from those he prompted the crowd to scream back at him.
When he finally went off stage for a moment, the roar for the encore was deafening as Mia and I tried to think of all the other songs he could possibly play during the encore. Ya girl had personally been holding out to hear Bonfire or IV. Sweatpants, so my fingers were crossed.
It’s hard to be upset when the first song of his encore was Sober, which once again set everyone in the audience absolutely off, and the transition into V. 3005 was seamlessly, continuing the stream. He was phenomenal to watch, and it was like he somehow managed to bring his energy and commitment up a notch during this encore.
I nearly shrieked when IV. Sweatpants started and Mia and I probably pissed off everyone sitting next to, in front of or behind us from how much we jumped and screamed. I mean, this was one of the songs we went absolutely ham on during our roadtrip for Falls Festival, so it’s our song. Of course, he had to tease me a little with the intro to Bonfire playing as a lead up into Redbone.
Watching him kneeling down on the stage, singing the song even better than the studio version, then jumping off the stage to wade through the moshpit?? A moment. I wish I had some photos to include in this post, but honestly I don’t. I was literally so enthralled by the absolute magic going down.
Childish Gambino was literally more than I ever could have imagined. It honestly didn’t matter that we weren’t in the first row or down in the mosh pit – he had the entire arena in the palm of his hand.