Concert Review: Childish Gambino at House of Blues

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Donald Glover isn’t just another actor who mistakenly thinks he can sing. Rather, one of the stars in the very funny sit-com Community, Glover, who dubs his hip-hop alter ego Childish Gambino, has some serious microphone skills. The guy is a decent rapper and has assembled a tight live band to back him up on his current tour. Glover, who brought Childish Gambino to the House of Blues for a sold out show on Saturday night, certainly put in a good effort as he sustained a high-energy performance over the course of the 90-minute show.

Glover has certainly spared no expense on this tour. Strobes and giant LED lights were nearly blinding, and a huge video screen projected a variety of images throughout the course of the concert. When song lyrics were flashed on the video screen, audience members sang along. But these fans knew Glover’s material so well, they often sang along with him even without prompting.

Opening with “Outside,” the lead track on last year’s Camp, Glover manically jumped up and down as he sang the autobiographical song about how hard his parents had to work to send him to a “white school.” Whether performing to a remix of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” that featured soul man John Legend or cracking jokes about “Asian girls” in “You See Me,” which he introduced by remarking that “Cleveland is not short on white girls,” Glover displayed much of the same personality that he brings to Troy, the smartass character he portrays on Community.

While some of the “new shit,” he played during a four-song encore didn’t connect with the crowd as deeply as the songs in the main set, that’s perhaps a mere by-product of the tunes’ unfamiliarity. But despite that, Glover’s enthusiasm never waned, suggesting his commitment to hip-hop career is more than just a passing fancy.

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