By Mary J. DiMeglio
DOVER, Delaware — Childish Gambino‘s adoring fanboys and “Gambino girls” showered the MC with mad love Sunday night, as his rip-roaring, pyro-filled set sent the Firefly Festival up in flames, proving he’s become a live force to be reckoned with.
“We’re the last show, so we’re gonna turn it up, all right?” he asked. “We’re gonna turn it up on a Sunday.”
The crowd’s response showed they were all in. Arms were waving and bodies were jumping all the way to the sound board as the animated MC tore into “Crawl” and “WorldStar,” deftly hitting the high notes and getting his swerve on.
Swooning fans rhymed along to song after song from his latest album, Because the Internet — from “The Worst Guys” to “Shadows” and “Sweatpants.”
“Do Ya Like,” from the 2010 Culdesac mixtape — “Let’s do some old stuff. This is for my Gambino girls” — was a smash.
The disco thump of the 2011 Camp cut “Heartbeat” had hands clapping even louder than the music. And, after satisfying them with “Fire Fly” and a funky freestyle, Gambino clearly had the audience in the palm of his hand, as they were more than happy to comply with his cue to wiggle their fingers “to make it look like it’s raining.”
As Gambino’s sweat-soaked white T-shirt finally came off, “3005″ spawned a rare sight: guys boosted on shoulders to catch a better view of their man crush.
Steve G. Lover graced the stage for his “One Up” verse as the bass vibrated, and “Freaks and Geeks” closed the set with a big, hard rock drum solo.
Even Andre 3000, of Firefly-headlining duo Outkast, is a fan: He brought his son to Gambino’s Governors Ball set.
The alter ego of actor Donald Glover (former star of NBC’s “Community”) continues his world tour, including an appearance at Lollapalooza. Also on the horizon, a joint EP with his buddy Chance the Rapper.