In June, Donald Glover announced Pharos, three days of six shows in Joshua Tree, California supporting his new Childish Gambino album. Last night, we got a taste of the future of music, performance, and its delivery while getting absolutely “mind fucked”.
Tickets to Donald Glover’s only 2016 performances had to be purchased through an exclusive app and sold out in a matter of minutes, but did the purchaser really know what they were getting themselves into? The outdoor experience consisted of camping (for people over 21 – our condolences to all the Freshman frat stars in attendance), concerts (a given), and a screening of Atlanta. All this work went into promotion for his third studio album following his 2013 release Because The Internet and 2014’s combined release of STN MTN / Kauai.
Tickets to the “full album experience” cost around $100 and included parking and a campsite as well as a social environment that attendees will never forget. No one knew what was happening but went with it as they entertained themselves with ping pong and cornhole while drinking overpriced beer and wine.
Phones and recording devices were confiscated and locked away in sealed bags that could only be open at the end of the performance, but some people managed to sneak their phones in despite the rules.
As you entered the dome where the actual concert was held, fake stars were projected across the roof. The ticket said the show would start at 12:00 am, but it started at 12:30, making fans aggravated, but of course that all went away when Gambino hit the stage. Performing a total of 12 songs off the upcoming album, the vibe completely changed from previous albums. The new music is more of a funk/jazz hybrid with very minimal rapping. One song about California even had an island feel to it. Projections of skeletons danced across the roof as psychedelic worlds emerged from the stars – immersing the crowd in the mind that is Childish Gambino.
The band supported a tribal theme as Donald Glover rocked a pink and yellow grass skirt with big yellow shoes, glow in the dark paint, and his three foot long braids.
As for right now, the new album does not have a release date, but you can expect new Childish Gambino music in the near future.