Lost in the Deep Web

Actor, rapper, comedian, writer and product of a Wu-Tang Clan name generator, Donald Glover a.k.a. Childish Gambino was in Montreal this past Wednesday night at Metropolis for his Deep Web Tour promoting his most recent album, Because The Internet.

Prior to Gambino’s arrival, fans were preoccupied with the Deep Web Tour Android and iPhone applications that allowed fans to express their sentiments about the rapper’s songs. Some of the most popular were “Lost,” “Some type of way” and “Roscoes’ Wetsuit”—a cryptic yet amusing phrase known among Gambino’s fans.

Keeping with the theme of Because The Internet, the show featured interesting and interactive online components of the Deep Web Tour application. The app allowed fans to send in tweets and drawings that Gambino’s friends and band mates could then respond to.

Through the app, fans praised him and expressed longing for the rapper’s return to the NBC sitcom Community, a show he left this past year. Spectators also tweeted at other users, hitting on one another and exchanging phone numbers. Some also used fake aliases such as characters from Community, the Quebec premier Pauline Marois and the president of the United States, Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, Stefan Ponce, the producer of Childish Gambino’s “3005” from Because The Internet, served as the opening act, DJing a set featuring old and new classics that got the crowd moving. Ponce also previewed some unreleased material from Gambino and fellow rappers Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa. Ponce did lose some favour, however, when he referred to the crowd as Torontonians and not Montrealers.

Once Ponce made way for Childish Gambino, however, all snubs, tweets and crude drawings were cast aside. The crowd got lost in the deep web spun by Gambino and we were willing to hold on for the entire ride.

When Gambino finally arrived on stage, his energy, songs and even choice of clothing made for an electric 90-minute set. After playing around on the piano, performing “Around Before the Party Starts,” Gambino broke out into “Crawl,” sending the crowd into a frenzy.

Gambino joined in on the party with goofy dance moves onstage throughout the night. Whether or not the performance was drug induced is another matter, although he did look pretty wide-eyed for a great deal of the show.

Fortunately for Gambino, he was comfortable in his sweater and shorts while the rest of the audience had to jump around and step on one another’s feet with little space to manoeuvre at Metropolis. Could they have sat in the balcony upstairs? Perhaps, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun.

In addition to his most recent material, Childish dove into his repertoire and performed some old goodies, notably tracks like “Firefly” and “Heartbeat” from his debut album, Camp. Of course, Childish performed “Freaks and Geeks,” much to the delight of audience members, who rapped along the opening lines.

Gambino’s trip down memory lane could have used a few more tracks from the R O Y A L T Y mixtape, as he only performed “One Up,” alongside Steve G and a snippet of “Black Faces.”

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