Childish Gambino shows growth with Boston show

A review of Childish Gambino at Bank of America Pavilion on June 21, 2012

, Managing Editor

Donald Glover recently admitted in a now infamous Twitter rant that his hip-hop persona Childish Gambino started off as a joke. Jokes are actually what Glover is best known for, as he found success as a comedian, writer, and actor before rapping. However, Childish Gambino is no joke because Glover has some serious talent on the mic. Last Thursday, he stopped off at the Bank of America Pavilion for his biggest show in Boston to date.

Childish Gambino’s latest tour shows just how far Glover’s rap act has come in recent years. After doing clubs with a comedy and music show for his “IAMDONALD” tour, Glover hit larger clubs last fall for Gambino shows and now is filling up outdoor theatres this summer. Much of his recent success is propelled by his first studio album Camp (also his first album to go on sale) and hit single “Heartbeat” which has received some radio play.

There is one issue with Childish Gambino’s shows growing larger, as the bigger venues tend to have permanent seating. Glover likes to create a club atmosphere with dancing and plenty of energy, which is why he was vocally disappointed in the Pavilion’s layout. Before “Firefly”, he declared, “This is not supposed to be like an Adele concert. Don’t let the chairs get in your way”. Fans really didn’t let it bother them as they bounced to the beat of “Freaks and Geeks” and “Difference” amongst many others.

Believe it or not, Glover has actually been releasing music as Childish Gambino since 2008, but his focus was largely on his most recent material. Three of the most lively jams off of Camp, “Heartbeat”, “You See Me” (his amusing ode to Asian girls) and lead single “Bonfire” took the show to the encore where Gambino was joined by opener Danny Brown for new tracks, as well as a lengthy freestyle.

The show at the Pavilion may have been Childish Gambino’s biggest in Boston yet, but judging from both his performance and the peek at his newest stuff, they’re only going to get bigger here, and everywhere else.

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