Multitalented performer Donald Glover put on a barnburner of a performance Saturday night at the Governors Ball festival in New York City.
Glover, who performs under the moniker Childish Gambino, announced at the beginning of the show that it would be his only concert in North America in 2017, perhaps unsurprising given that the writer/actor/musician/-showrunner is currently filming multiple movies and TV shows, including a new season of his hit semi-autobiographical TV show “Atlanta,” and the untitled Han Solo-focused “Star Wars” movie.
Glover left the fans begging for more as he played an “Epic AF” set that seamlessly blended the brilliant funk-rock of his December release “Awaken, My Love” with the anxious, smartass rap from his previous albums, “Because the Internet” and “Camp.”
As Noisey’s Alex Robert Ross put it, Glover showed he “can blur the lines between hip-hop and pop and funk not just by throwing them together on a track, but by mastering all three.”
Glover looked in his element for the entirety of the performance, shifting between different facets of his talent at will — from impeccable falsetto and his distinctive speed-rap to humorous banter with the crowd, doing his best James Brown dance impression, and leading a full band ensemble and choir in improvisational versions of his new album.
At one point during the show, in a rare vulnerable moment, he told the crowd they were “exactly what I needed.”
But nowhere was the breadth of his talent more apparent than in the final moments of his set. Audience members had been calling for him to play his hit single “Redbone” for the entire show, and he delivered in typically hilarious fashion: by launching into a six minute sketch about his love for attending house parties.
Glover walked the audience through his fake house party setup and all the things that go with it — taking drugs, macking on a girl, dancing with said girl, and having to flee when the police arrive to break up the party — all while dancing to songs that he thought fit the moment, like V.I.C.’s “Get Silly” and Rihanna’s “Sex with Me.”
He then pulled out the kicker: The girl pulls him into the bathroom to hide from the police and the “perfect” song to make-out to comes on. And then he launched into “Redbone.”
Here’s video of the last part of the sketch:
It’s all a perfect setup, but it’s made even more perfect knowing that the sketch is based on a popular internet meme about the song that cropped up last month when Twitter user Chloestixx posted this “remix” of the song:
What Redbone would sound like while you’re making out in the bathroom of a house party pic.twitter.com/1X4T7jFvZc
— chloé (@chloestixx) May 14, 2017
Users have since posted tons of their own riffs on the meme, which you can see more of here.
It looks like the notoriously self-aware, internet-conscious artist has added his own. Glover did name his second album “Because the Internet,” after all.
And for a bonus, here’s the end of the “Redbone” performance:
— Harrison Jacobs (@Harrisonxjacobs) June 4, 2017