You can say what you want about Childish Gambino -- actually, he doesn’t really care what you have to say. The multi-hyphenate has been subject to criticism throughout his musical career as he ebbs and flows through various genres. But at the start of his stunning headlining set at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Friday night (April 12), he revealed that none of that seems to have much of an effect.
Gambino, a.k.a Donald Glover, opened his performance with a video compilation where fans and non-fans alike were asked to comment on his artistry. Some were enthusiastic (“I’m thankful to be here while he’s creating art”), but most were quite dismissive. “He’s great at a lot of things, but a master of none,” one festival-goer exclaimed. Another boldly said, “Nobody’s coming to Coachella to hear that.”
With that final statement, the main stage was quickly overcome with ocean-blue light just moments before Gambino unexpectedly popped up in the middle of the festival grounds. Surrounded by stark white lights that jutted all around him like daggers, the singer/rapper began his set with “Algorhythm” -- the same hair-raising song that kicked off last year’s This Is America Tour. There is no joy in sorrow, no truth untold,” Gambino crooned as he slowly descended towards the stage.