Photo by Ava Tunnicliffe – Childish Gambino performing during the 2011 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.
March 24th, 2014, a day marked in most attendee’s calendars as they prepared to see comedian, actor and rapper extraordinaire, Childish Gambino. Eager fans stood along the road in front of the infamous Sound Academy excited to see the multifaceted performer take the stage for his first of two shows in Toronto as part of his “Deep Web” tour. This would be the second show Gambino has ever performed in the city since his first headlining tour back in 2012 with the now popular Chance The Rapper.
As the doors opened at 7:00pm, fans seemed more then excited to finally head inside after waiting countless hours in the cold. As the DJ spun some of the best from the ‘90s, fans began to settle in as the stage lit up with live messages from Twitter as well as encrypted messages from Mr. Gambino himself. This grew the anticipation as the audience broke into loud screams and chants including “Worldstar.”
The messages were halted as the stadium became pitch dark and a matrix appeared before the audience with a semi irritating telephone ring that continued to be disconnected with a long dial tone. Out walked Gambino wearing a black sweatshirt and camouflage shorts with his head held high as he walks straight to the piano in the middle of the stage. He begins the show by playing the first few notes of “Crawl” on the piano before raising himself up to really get the show going. Songs like “Worldstar”, “The Worst Guys”, “Sweatpants” and “Shadows” followed as fans recited every lyric to every song in his sets.
The performance to “Freaks and Geeks” was one of the more outstanding ones of the night. Before Gambino could jump into the first verse fans roared the lyrics with zero hesitation. It was unbelievable watching the whole stadium rapping their hearts out to the music. This is exactly what they waited for as he continued with “Heartbeat” and more hits from his Culdesac and Camp EP’s.
It took everything Gambino had this night as he stood before the audience and spoke about his adoration for the fans. Even with a cold Gambino put his all into every one of his songs. His whole show showed his remarkable talent and his thought process into executing the perfect show. The visuals for the show were ones like no other and you can tell that the whole show was thought through precisely down to the very last details including the 5-piece live band that fit into the show perfectly.
The show ended with a respective freestyle from the rapper before he swiftly walked off stage. For a show at the Sound Academy Childish Gambino tore down the house. From his falsettos down to the last punch line, he made sure that every fan in the crowd enjoyed themselves and the music he provided.