I still remember watching Derrick Comedy in high school during those good old days of YouTube and being amazed to see that Donald Glover went on to land a big role in what would become one of my favorite TV shows of all time, Community. I remember when he launched Childish Gambino and how cool it was to see him branch out even further. Even then, I never imagined just how far his career would come, with his new TV brainchild Atlanta, a starring role in Solo, and with Childish Gambino becoming a trademark name is music with two headlining performance at Madison Square Garden.

We caught the sold out first night on Friday, September 14. Glover took some time after a few songs to address the crowd reminiscing about all the rap acts he would catch at The Worlds Most Famous Arena back when he was a student at NYU. He remembers that rap wasn’t quite at the level of massive popularity that it is today and how amazing it is to see such a diverse group of people gathered in the venue together to see him play. He asked fans to try and forget about recording and broadcasting the show on their phones and cameras, claiming that this performance wasn’t a show, but rather “church,” and said it was for us, not the people, who bought tickets to the final Childish Gambino tour. He even made the show slightly more intimate for some fans when he entered a section of the lower bowl to perform the first half of “Stand Tall.”

One can imagine that Glover isn’t going to just step away from music forever just as he reaches maximum popularity and critical acclaim, but it seems like he will find a new musical identity and possibly shift gears going forward. Even so, it was a treat to watch this absolutely massive live show unfold, still pretty surreal to see Glover taking center stage and such a big show and bringing down the house from the minute he appeared to perform new songs “Algorythm” and “Summertime Magic.”

The night was spread evenly from Awaken, My Love! and other new tracks like “Feels Like Summer,” “Spirits” and of course, “This Is America,” which featured some great backup dancers who Glover left alone on stage to have the spotlight all to themselves just prior to the four-song encore that followed.

He turned it back a bit for “Day 1 Gambino fans,” delivering older favorites like “3005” “Sweatpants” and “Worldstar,” which got just as feverish a reception as the stunning show-closing finale of “Redbone” that put a magical live performance to bed in perfect fashion.

If this is the final time that we see Glover don the Gambino persona live, this was one hell of a way for it to go down. We’re excited to see what the future holds next and are with him every step of the way.

Childish Gambino setlist:

1. Algorythm
2. Summertime Magic
3. I. The Worst Guys
4. II. Worldstar
5. Late Night in Kauai
6. Stand Tall
7. Boogieman
8. Have Some Love
9. Riot
10. Terrified
11. Feels Like Summer
12. Spirits
13. This Is America

Encore:

14. Sober
15. V. 3005
16. IV. Sweatpants
17. Redbone

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