A few thousands people that likely tune in to NBC on Thursdays to watch actor Donald Glover on the show Community missed him on the small screen last night, but that’s because they were busy checking him out in person, as his rap alter ego, Childish Gambino, played a sold-out show at Terminal 5.
The multi-talented 28-year-old has cultivated a strong following in recent years through his stand up comedy, viral videos, starring role on NBC and burgeoning rap career. But last night’s presentation in front of 3000 screaming fans was just about the music. Backed by a live band that included a violinist, drummer, keyboard player and bassist, Gambino won the crowd over early with fan-favorites like “Freaks and Geeks” and “Do Ya Like,” from his two most recent releases, March’s EP and Culdesac, from July 2010, respectively. Later, he bounced to cuts like “My Shine” and “Lights Turned On.”
Prepping to release his first retail project, Camp, due November 15, Gambino also treated fans to new tracks from the album, including “Backpackers,” “Heartbeat,” “All The Shine,” and lead single “Bonfire” (above), as the house excitedly tuned in.
Once his set time crept past the hour mark, Gambino signed off, much to the chagrin of the screaming teens and twenty-something year olds, who began to chant his name incessantly. Eager not to disappoint his adoring fans, the star of the night soon reemerged, grabbing the mic for another fifteen minutes, kicking off the encore with a remix to Meek Mill’s hit “Ima Boss” and “Firefly,” off of Camp, before wrapping up with EP‘s closer, the honest and triumphant “Not Going Back.” —Adam Fleischer