Concert Review: Childish Gambino

The Chelsea, May 2


Photo by Erik Kabik/ Retna/

Progressing from elaborate to minimal production, Childish Gambino’s Deep Web tour stop doubled as commentary on the distractions and demands of the Internet. To begin, Gambino performed his 2013 LP/web-only screenplay, Because the Internet, in near entirety, accompanied by “error” messages and winding matrices to reflect the album’s motif. He sang the ballad “III. Urn” behind a sheath of CGI rain, interrupting himself with an onscreen poll that asked users of his tour app to complete the phrase “this is making me feel” with responses including “wide-eyed emoji” and “Roscoe’s Wetsuit”—a phrase he coined last year to generate hype about his album on social media. Gambino later delved into hits from his debut, Camp, and mixtapes Royalty and Culdesac, in front of a simpler campfire projection before delivering a near-eight minute freestyle with no backdrop at all. Once stripped away from heavy production, Gambino made it easier to appreciate the reason fans fell for him in the first place—his clever lines and technical skill. ★★★★✩


Playing Around Before the Party Starts
III. Worldstar
Dial Up
Worst Guys
I. The Party
Death by Numbers
I. Flight of the Navigator
II. Zealots of Stockholm [Free Information]
III. Urn
III. Telegraph Ave. (Oakland)
I. Pink Toes
V. 3005
II. Earth: The Oldest Computer (The Last Night)

So Fly
Do Ya Like
Got This Money
Yaphet Kotto (Freestyle)
One Up
Black Faces
All the Shine
Freaks and Geeks

Complex Party House Freestyle

Photos by Erik Kabik/ Retna/