Concert review – The I Am Donald Tour featuring Donald Glover and Childish Gambino in Portland
Sometimes, I am on the fence about going to some concerts so I will purposely wait until the show to see if tickets are still available. If I go to too many concerts, I get burned out, so I like to keep it fresh. Anyway, if said concert sells out, well, I can’t go because I don’t have a ticket. If it doesn’t sell out, well, I can probably find some type of excuse to not go, but more likely than not I will go.
With Donald Glover, however, that was not the case, and I really wanted to see him, probably even more so after his Seattle show sold out incredibly fast. And by incredibly fast, I mean that it sold out before I even thought about tickets, so I had to settle with driving down I-5 to Portland, which I wasn’t too that upset about. I haven’t been down there since last June, and I was very excited to see my college friends and eat at my favorite Italian restaurant, Piazza Italia, in case you find yourself in Portland, Oregon.
I spent the whole weekend down in Portland (shoutout to my partner in crime, Molly, for hosting me and going out to eat with me) and I could spend like the next 500 words talking about restaurants there, but I’ll skip to the Donald Glover show. I rolled there with fellow UP alumni Matthew, Kelly, and Jason, all of whom are familiar with Donald because of Community, so between the four of us, we knew what Donald was capable of.
To quell any confusion, Donald Glover and Childish Gambino are one and the same, like Peter Parker and Spiderman. I write that, because there were some people unaware of this who left after his stand-up segment.
Anyway, the show started at approximately 9:00 pm and was over by 10:30. He started his show with a video on a projection screen, basically, of random phrases like “Snookie = AIDS,” and segued into stand-up. He probably spent about a quarter of his whole stage time on stand-up, and the rest on music. To be completely honest with you, my dear reader, I probably would have liked to see more stand-up from him. I really enjoy his music, obviously, if I’m going to drive to Portland to see him, but his music set kind of seemed to drag on at times. He performed songs off Culdesac and he recent EP, including my favorite song of his “Freaks and Geeks,” before coming back for an encore that included “The Longest Text Message.” I really wasn’t consciously aware that he had such an impressive catalog to pull from, and even though it sounds like I’m whining, I’m not.
I’ve always enjoyed Donald’s music because it’s clever and funny. After watching his stand-up, I felt like I gained a deeper understanding of who he is as an entertainer, and how it relates to his music, which really felt like an extension of his stand-up, which probably made me enjoy his show even more. In other words, I liked his music more after seeing him perform it live and I feel like I discovered a new dimension to it after seeing him do a stand-up routine. Actually, it was neat to see how he used multiple mediums, the videos, his stand-up, and of course his music, to entertain the audience.
I went to The I Am Donald show with an open mind, not quite sure what to expect, but hoping it would be the “dopeness” that his flyer suggested. And here’s a spoiler alert: it was. Actually, the whole weekend can be described as “dopeness” because I ate at my favorite Italian restaurant and I was able to kick it with old friends (Megan, Molly, Matthew, Macy…I promise I have other friends whose names don’t start with “M”). Anyway, if there’s any question about it, Donald Glover and Childish Gambino #cangetit.
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