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Review: Notes From The Audience At Childish Gambino's 'Deep Web Tour' Stop In

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Childish Gambino Deep Web Tour New York Childish Gambino is not just a rapper. Or a just singer. Or just an actor, writer or comedian. He is a performance artist, and he takes satisfying his audience very seriously.

"The Deep Web Tour is kinda my baby," he told the dense crowd packed into New York's Hammerstein Ballroom last Saturday night (March 29). "I love how much you guys love us."

That they do. I didn't quite know what to expect from my first Childish Gambino concert. At first, I anticipated a moody 'Bino with a skimpy white tee and over-the-knee shorts to perform only in short spurts of energy, remaining somewhat distant from the purchasers of his sold-out show. I was dead wrong. Once he and his frumpy taupe sweater (new outfit!) took the stage, never have I seen him look so connected and in his element.

A man's supporters say a lot about him, so I paid close attention to the 2,000-deep powerhouse behind all his energy. Here are five things I realized about his New York fans while experiencing the multihyphenate that is Childish Gambino. —Stacy-Ann Ellis (@stassi_x)

Photo Credit: Stacy-Ann Ellis Childish Gambino Deep Web Tour New York

They're dedicated and optimistic.

Two brothers in the front row had been camping out in the pouring rain since 11 a.m. to get their spots for the 8 p.m. show (and ended up having to stop by a drug store to replace their waterlogged socks). They were only 16th in line, mind you. But their frozen feet didn't put a dent on their excitement for the show. "I am so ready," one of them said, grinning from ear to ear. "My body's ready." Childish Gambino Deep Web Tour New York

They're just as entranced by web happenings as Gambino is.

There was a huge jumbotron hovering above the stage with a Bitly link in the bottom right-hand corner for the Deep Web app (think if Microsoft Paint and an AOL chat room had a baby). Anonymous audience members digitally tagged up the screen with cuss words, "Free Gucci," song lyrics and giant genitalia as if it were a middle school bathroom stall. Behind me, people reacted with shrieks and laughter, trying to find their chicken scratch on the screen. People were very into it.

"Admin," presumably Childish Gambino, chimed in a few times, even responding to a fan's random Chipotle offering. It was perfect: Him bringing his screenplay role as "The Boy" to life and trolling timelines from behind the safety of an LCD screen. Childish Gambino Deep Web Tour New York

They felt comfortable enough to partake in otherwise questionable activity.

Before the DJ even took the stage, the smell of green was heavy in the air. A girl in the balcony flashed (or pretended to flash) her boobs and the tenors of the crowd cheered and cooed, Worrrldstar! Worrrrldstar! in response.

Then the DJ finally started dropping party bombs like "Bugatti," "Trophies," "Shabba Ranks" and "Worst Behavior" to get the blood rushing. Naturally, the very ethnically diverse crowd sang along to every word, even the notorious N-bombs in A$AP Rocky's "Fuckin' Problems."

White guys at the Gambino concert dropping N bombs with such thrill and ferocity. Lmfao, can't help but chuckle #DeepWebTour

— Stacy-Ann Ellis (@stassi_x)

March 30, 2014

Childish Gambino Deep Web Tour New York

In terms of energy, they can go toe-to-toe with Gambino.

Childish Gambino is a high-energy performer. Save for a few somber moments during "Playing Around Before the Party Starts" and "Flight of the Navigator," 'Bino spent the night sashaying from stage left to right, smiling, laughing, hollering, exuberant, triumphant. One moment he was doing the dougie, the next he was breaking out into Carlton Banks choreography, and other times he skipped across the floor like an auntie preparing to run laps around a Baptist church sanctuary.

His crowd kept up with his hype every step of the way, tossing their bodies about to the pulsing bass of "Zealots of Stockholm" and "3005." Gambino seldom tired, so neither did they.

Childish Gambino Deep Web Tour New York

They really like Camp. Love it, actually.

Music critics have had some not-so-favorable things to say about Childish Gambino's first major release, Camp. But clearly his core followers aren't concerned with poo Pitchfork reviews, because they go batshit when they see the transition from Because The Internet's light show segment to a projection of a cozy campfire scene. "Let's get some old shit, New York," Gambino announces before diving into an almost exhausting set that includes both Camp and sprinklings of Royalty.

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