Childish Gambino’s Deep Web Tour Hits Vancouver [Review]
Vancouver, BC – Childish Gambino hit Vancouver’s PNE Forum last week to a sold-out crowd of ecstatic barely legals on a warm Vancity night. The Deep Web Tour had an interactive social media element before the show began where fans could login and send messages to cyber space that appeared on a feed, projected onstage during the early hours before Gambino hit the stage.
Under-agers finished their bottles in the parking lot and filled the Forum decked out in short shorts and crop tops (gotta love a pre-mature Vancity summer) – a few with “Bino – Be my baby daddy” sported across their chest and back in some surprising fan girl behaviour. Not that Gambino isn’t deserving of a sold-out 4k room of tweens but surprising because his past visits to Vancouver’s 19 + venues were a lot more…intimate.
The Deep Web Tour DJ rocked Jay-Z and Drake tracks mixed in with a few Childish Gambino cuts that confused the eager crowd into thinking the man of the hour was about to hit the stage – boy, they were wrong. A painfully long busy signal followed by a dial tone repeatedly rang through the Forum for an uncomfortable amount of time. Really? One of the most insanity-inducing introductions I’ve come across to date but when Gambino hit the stage, all was forgotten.
Because The Internet tracks kicked of the evening and “Worldstar” had the kids on one shouting “worrrrlldstarrrr” while Gambino took the stage with a full live band and stage projections that varied from a cozy, fireplace lit living room to cyber space, neon lines and lights.
“This song is about sex” he mentioned as the beat for the Chance assisted “The Worst Guys” dropped and a racy silhouette of and obvious some 3-some projected behind him. Definitely blurring the lines of PG and R rated but if there’s one thing besides rap, comedy and acting that this guy is good at, it’s breaking out of the box.
Aside from all of the graphics and fancy stage set up, Childish Gambino’s obscure dance moves and on-point vocals could have easily held their own with this crowd, but the gimmicks were appreciated and at times a little confusing. “Get the fuck out of my house” he jokingly shouted at a handful of people who were invited to watch the show from on stage. That was a little weird but very cool to see a full live band on a huge stage with fans surrounding either side – relaxed, unpretentious and quite a different sight to see at a hip-hop event.
“Pink Toes” and “3005” made the crowd go bananas that eventually lead the man to the last half of the show, dedicated to the older Gambino cuts. “So Fly”, “Got This Money” and “Bonfire” made the day-one Childish Gambino fans feel warm and fuzzy as he announced “this is my last show on tour, Vancity”.
“Heartbeat” ended with a little switch-up from the usual lyrics: “…but not really though, ’cause I got head on Hastings Street” said Gambino. Let’s hope he meant West Hastings in a nice high-rise somewhere because if you know anything about Eastvan, Hastings may not be the place you want to announce to 4,000 people that you got a little somethin’ somethin’.
The freestyles continued as Gambino ran through his encores and the people filed out the doors. There’s no doubt that every young female in the building will be drawing hearts around his names on their text books for weeks to come.
Written by KassKills for HipHopCanada
Photos by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada