I’m tired of children – teenagers specifically; all ages concerts to be even more specific. The only reason why they exists is because the artists know that if it’s a 19+ show, they won’t sell as much, but this isn’t a rant about my dislike of them, because I wasn’t annoyed as much with the others show I went to, but this one? It took the cake, bar none. I know what the concert environment is like. I’ve been to music festivals where the real mosh pitting happens; I’ve been to 2 Odd Future shows where practically everything gets destroyed, but this one? Deep Web? Another level of foolishness, and it’s one of the factors the resulted in me not enjoying the show as much as I would have liked to, but I don’t want that to take away from the actual show itself and the performance put on by Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino, presented by WordPress, and backed by a live band. And what do I always say? ‘Live bands do it better,’ and I’m glad more artists are working with live bands.
The Deep Web Tour is inspired from his most recent album, Because The Internet, which has been essentially a continuation from his creative approach to how he presented the album. First it was the random short movie, then there were the random pop-ups all over North America (including Toronto, where I was present), then it was the script that you could follow along with the album. I mean, it was all ingenious, but to cap it off with a tour that not only was internet inspired, but he had his own app that you could send messages and draw, prior to Gambino entering the stage. It was hot, the shoving was happening, and blood levels were raising to the point where people were going to start getting into fights (or at least a few elbows would be thrown/swung). The DJ (Stefan Ponce – also a producer for some Childish tracks) did his part with keeping the energy high (although I thought he was talking more than he should have been), and by the time Gambino came out to the piano and start playing the piano melody for Playing Around Before The Party Starts, it should be pointed out that the Vic Mensa voice drop of “welcome to Innanet” was used a couple of times, which I thought was cool (along with playing some Chance The Rapper records).
The set was made up so that some of his friends (groupies/entourage) were sitting on couches on platforms behind (or beside) the band as they watched the show. A little different, but it was cool nonetheless. Gambino wasted no time getting into the music, to which he started performing a good majority of BTI, and while I was in the midst of an over-caffeinated, intoxicated, and horny crowd with 80% being teenagers, that couldn’t take away the appreciation of the digitally inspired lighting sequences, and also the Her inspired voice that was actually using dialogue from the screenplay that corresponded with BTI. I must say, I was very impressed.
Crawl, WORLDSTAR (moshpit disasters ensued), Telegraph Ave, The Worst Guys, Sweatpants, 3005, The Party, Zealots of Stockholm, Urn, Shadows, Pink Toes, and Earth: The Biggest Computer were among the tracks from the album that were performed, and when he performed Urn, I didn’t think that he’d sing that well, live – I was really shocked. The man can sing his ass off and hit those notes. What he did out of appreciation of the fans (and take in the fact that it was the 2nd night of the Toronto stop because it sold out in about 5 minutes), was take it back in his catalogue to perform songs like Black Faces & One Up (from the Royalty mixtape), Heartbeat, You See Me, and Bonfire (CAMP album), Yaphet Kotto, Do Ya Like, and the oh-so-popular, and the first song I ever heard from Gambino, Freaks & Geeks. It was great to see that the people knew the words to practically everything that was performed, and to conclude the evening, himself and Steve G Lover freestyled over the band’s soulfully conjured up beat. It was all top of the dome, but Childish had a dope flow to it, and considering that he was losing his voice on stage, I credit him for going as long as he could (it was a 2-hour set, so I can’t even be mad).
Overall, and obnoxious crowd aside, the show was great, but I think my days of All Ages concerts are numbered unless it’s an outdoor festival (or maybe I’ll just chill in the balcony and watch, if it’s at Sound Academy). Gambino has excelled on both television and music; his last show he did, Frank Ocean had a show the same day, so with this being the first show I went to of his, it was crazy to see the turn out, and to have both shows sell out in Toronto in a matter of minutes, shows off the strength of his fan base, in which many people thought he didn’t have. He’s not the best rapper, but he can make some damn good music, and that’s what he displayed that night; glad I was able to witness it – but these bruises aren’t as forgiving as my soul is. Until the next show,
That’s My Word & It STiXX