REVIEW: Childish Gambino – This is America Tour – Gila River Arena

Coverage By Julius Aguilar

“This is not a concert, this is church”, Childish Gambino exclaims at his show in Glendale, AZ on December, 15 2018 at the Gila River Arena. In his well known attire, shirtless with pants, Childish Gambino had his Arizona fans in the palm of his hands; standing, cheering, dancing and singing along with every word of each song. With having postponed this show from the original date of October 5, 2018, due to a foot injury he sustained in Texas, Gambino provides the Arizona audience with not just a show but an immersive experience. Exploiting every aspect of his talents this experience was a marvel to be appreciated; the appreciation comes in the polished details of how the show progressed. 

To start, the contrast between Vince Staples and Childish Gambino’s showmanship helped with progressing the crowd into a frenzy. Staples providing a rugged, gritty and brovado filled set, with the lighting and the stories that showed in the background screens, in the form of security footage playing, that followed through Staples performance. For most of Staples set the setting was black and white, emphasizing the lyrical content and visual emotional aspect of what he was portraying to the crowd. Staples pulled the crowd into his world for an hour warming them up for what was to come from Childish Gambino; performing songs such as “Relay”, “Don’t Get Chipped”, “Run The Bands”, “Tweakin’” “Yeah Right” and many more.

With the crowd warmed up, Gambino takes the stage with the help of a laser light show pulling the attention of the audience to center stage. A bright blue light streaming down behind Gambino with the track “Atavista” playing as a voice over, begins his set. Gila River Arena fills with a sea of the audience screaming in excitement then Gambino starts into his next track “Algorythm”. Gambino’s set is filled with moving walls, an astonishing light show, a choir providing backing vocals for most songs and the little touch of rock n’ roll guitar solos that pushes his stories forward into the evening. 

The highlight of the event which shows the amazing talent that Childish Gambino is and the attention to detail with the experience he wanted the crowd to have, was during the song “Late Night in Kauai”.Gambino steps backstage and the monitors turn on for the crowd to see a live video feed of Gambino walking out onto the vendor platform, in the lobbying area fans purchase food and drinks. With the camera going around him in a cinematic fashion, he turns down to section 102 and begins his descend down the stairs through the cheering crowd performing the rest of the song and slowly makes his way back to the stage. 

Gambino promises an experience and delivers on his promise throughout the show. Songs he played throughout the evening were “Summertime Magic”, “Worldstar”, “Boogieman”, “Riot”, “Feels Like Summer”, “This is America”, “Sweatpants”, “Redbone” and many more. 

This Is America Official Video.

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