Farewell Childish Gambino, hello Donald Glover


Erin Harper

Earlier this year, Donald Glover, more commonly known by his stage name Childish Gambino, released one of the most thought-provoking and materialistic-oriented song and video that I’ve heard in a long time. “This Is America” was not only influential and powerful, it was significant because it also symbolized his break from his moniker “Childish Gambino” to his birth name, Donald Glover. Although Childish Gambino will no longer be around, after seeing the “This Is America” tour at the Capital One Arena on September 19, I think the world will, ironically, love Donald Glover just the same. Of course, being his last concert under a pseudonym, Childish Gambino had to go out with a bang, and I think having the hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd as an opening act was a great way to set the ambiance for the show. Complete with psychedelic laserbeams, crowd surfing, and earsplitting high notes, the “This Is America” tour was definitely a show to remember.


I’ve been to a lot of shows at the Capital One Arena, but this was one of the most crowded and diverse concerts that I’ve ever seen. Not only was the show sold out, but it was also overbooked, leaving a lot of fans standing off to the side. Nevertheless, it was still one of the most hyped up shows I’ve witnessed. Rae Sremmurd bounded out onto the stage and immediately connected with the crowd. Even if you were just there to watch Gambino, you couldn’t help but bop your head to the beat and hum along to their lyrics. Performing bangers such as “Come Get Her,” “Powerglide,” “Black Beatles,” and, my favorite, “Guatemala,” Rae Sremm performed so well, for a moment I think we all forgot about Childish Gambino. Another great way for artists to interact with the crowd is to actually come down into the audience to greet the fans, and that’s exactly what they did. For a good 15 minutes, Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi took photos with fans and danced among the crowd all while performing, which takes a great amount of talent and respect. By the end of the performance, Rae Sremm had left us all screaming, “SREMMLIFE!”


All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, Childish Gambino ran out on stage, shirtless, with laser beams shooting down from the ceiling. All I can say is, he knows how to put on a show. Some of the songs he opened with, such as “Algorythm,” “Stand Tall,” and “Boogieman” were not songs that I am familiar with. But the fact that he performed so well with such precision, I can tell I’m going to start listening more to him.


I admire how much Gambino loves his fans and wanted us to cherish every moment without using a screen. After he noticed how many fans were videotaping his performance, he abruptly stopped singing “All Night,” and asked fans to put their phones away because, and I quote, “You paid for me to perform, you could’ve stayed home if you wanted to see me perform through a screen.” I completely agree. I respect how he is joining the movement of many artists such as Jack White and Adele, requiring fans to get off their phones and into the show.


If asked to pick my favorite Gambino song, I couldn’t do it. It’s hard to pick a song out of the many hits he has. There’s the ever-classic “V. 3005.” Then you have the light and airy “Sober.” Mixed in with the sultry “Redbone.” Added with the new era of “Summertime Magic,” and finally topped off with the infamous, “This Is America.” And these are just the popular songs. I don’t think I was ready for the level of precision and effort that was put into this concert.


While this will be the last Childish Gambino concert, the era of Donald Glover has just begun. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us.