The more moving parts you have, the more likely that something goes wrong. Donald Glover’s ambitious IAmDonald tour, stopping April 30 at the Hard Rock Café, had technical and logistical problems, which marred an otherwise solid show from the Community actor and former 30 Rock writer.
Glover did a half-hour of comedy before using video segments to segue to the rap portions of his show under nom de hip-hop Childish Gambino. Unfortunately, strange placement of the video screen to the side of the stage and problems syncing up the audio and video forced a speed bump into the middle of the set. Once he recovered with turns through “Let Me Dope You” and a frantic sing-along performance of “Freaks and Geeks,” the ship was righted—for a time. Glover’s frenetic name-dropping style extended to video interludes from James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem), John Legend and Reggie Watts. Each time, though, it seemed to suck a little more energy from the crowd, particularly through the Watts interstitial where Glover did half of “Put It in My Video” in concert with the pre-recording, before doubling back and doing the entire song live.
Fortunately, a first-time-live performance of “Break (All of the Lights)” and “The Longest Text Message” got the audience moving again, paying back the manic, bug-eyed stage presence that Glover carried through the musical set.