Despite having no official sideshows scheduled in – no doubt to give the Listen Out crew the exclusive show they’d be wanting to pull ticket sales – there were three “intimate one-off” gigs planned for Sydney, Newcastle and Canberra throughout his stay.
Said gigs were not ‘Childish Gambino’ per se, but rather billed as ‘R O Y A L T Y’ and featured Steve G (his brother), Fam (Famuel Rothstein), Swank (Jo Swank) and Ibra (Ibra Claude Ake) from the regular crew; evidently, some attendees took issue with this.
via our inbox.
I happen to live with a person who lives and breathes Donald Glover – a person who has kindly instilled in me a deep yearning to discover why Roscoe? Why *his* wetsuit specifically? – and we both hoofed it up to Newcastle to see them play. At the risk of pissing off a Cambridge Hotels’ worth off Newcastlers still coming down, from start to finish the absolute worst part about the gig was the crowd.
Generally speaking it was pretty fucking feral, and I witnessed multiple instances of groping, elbowing and general crushing. To be fair, though, it was only a small group being overtly aggressive in the general direction of the stage.
And then today seeing supposed fans become so militant about tearing him down, I cannot help but be reminded of an article Fam wrote for Pigeons & Planes, ‘Being Angry And Black On The Childish Gambino Tour‘, where he says: “Let’s be real, Donald is an easy target for most people, specifically white critics.”
The actions of last night’s crowd does make it hard to resist the urge to come in just as hard in his defence. I could give anecdotal evidence of how gross some of them were, but in an attempt to stay somewhat neutral the hurt feelings can definitely be mostly put down to miscommunication. The venue and many punters obviously didn’t fully realise what the the references to royalty actually meant.
How the Sydney and Newcastle shows were advertised (Canberra was cancelled earlier this week):
But that’s none of my business.
The official statement from the venue:
To everyone who came to see Childish Gambino show last night we are as disappointed as all of you. We had the…
As for the gig itself, it wasn’t all songs from the 2010 R O Y A L T Y mixtape; he also played ‘Fucks Given’, ‘No Small Talk’, ‘Pop Thieves (Make It Feel Good)’, ‘Retro (Rough)’ et cetera from S T N M T N / Kauai, and the crew were taking cover requests. Donald asked what song people wanted to hear, and when the last song was called and people really started acting up, he cleared the stage and nailed an a cappella ‘U Don’t Have To Call’ to the fucking wall.
In my personal opinion they k i l l e d it, their set wasn’t advertised as a because the internet playthrough, and ‘he didn’t #PlayThePopularSingle’ is no excuse for the abuse being hurled.
There’s something so supremely fucked about booing – unlike applause, it doesn’t come without fail at an allotted time in a show; people tend to listen out for what other people are doing, so they can respond en masse. Because it’s inherently cowardly.
So, to those writing ‘fuck you’ on FB pages or who booed a stage of performers: go home to your parents and ask them why they failed so spectacularly in raising you right + you have brought dishonour to Australia + you didn’t deserve what Donald was putting down, flipping and/or reversing.