Childish Gambino‘s three-day PHAROS event has just kicked off in Joshua Tree, California, ending months of mystery and speculation. The first night saw Gambino debut twelve new tracks, which we assume to be all, or at least most of his new album. It looks like the concert will be repeated for the next two nights, with a difference audience arriving at the campsite each day (after immediately selling out, the single-night event was extended to three days).
The Joshua Tree festival has been marketed as his only shows for 2016. This is not entirely correct, as he’ll be performing in Australia at Falls Festival across New Years, meaning he’ll inevitably perform on December 31 (and probably December 30) at one of Falls’ four locations. But the exciting news is that attendees of Falls and Field Day will be the next people in the whole world to catch him live – hopefully with his new show.
Real name Donald Glover, Gambino debuted the new music with the added energy of a full live band. According to Billboard he was donning glow-in-the-dark tribal paint all over his face and body, wore a colourful grass skirt and sported long cornrows, which is pretty far removed from his usual attire. It suggests a complete new live show is on its way, and considering the number of tweets about the show’s phenomenal visuals, it’s going to be pretty damn special.
This man came out looking like the main character of an aboriginal Avatar spinoff. Dude had 3ft long fake braids #Pharos
— Childish Cambino (@Mikeyavellii) September 3, 2016
— Vibe Magazine (@VibeMagazine) September 3, 2016
— Alex McCowen (@AlexMcCowen) September 3, 2016
Billboard also describe his new music as, “funk, soul, hip-hop and blues, among other genres, blended together to create a gumbo of audial goodness. It’s feel-good, going-down-memory-lane, being-in-your-feelings kind of music.” No footage or recordings are currently available and the album dos not yet have a confirmed release date (or any other official release information whatsoever).
There was more than music on offer, as attendees were also privy to the first three episodes of his much-hyped new TV series Atlanta. The show, which includes a Migos cameo, aired at an outdoor amphitheatre throughout the evening.
Some people did sneak phones in to capture video footage of the event, but it’s all been swiftly taken down by the powers-that-be across Twitter and Instagram. As much as we’d love to see footage, I totally support and respect this move. The whole point of the live event was to make it, well, live. Exclusively so.
Here’s what people had to say about the new music:
— Aryonia (@aryoniaa) September 3, 2016
just got out of seeing Childish Gambino perform #Pharos
this is a WHOLE different Gambino, you aren't ready for it
— JDX (@itsjdx) September 3, 2016
#PHAROS in review:
• 12 songs
• Concept album with creepy tribal vibe
• Funk/jazz hybrid
• Minimal rapping
• Creatively different
— Michael Artress (@MichaelArtress) September 3, 2016
— Nick Popescu (@NickPopescu) September 4, 2016
For the people at #Pharos 2day you have no clue what your about to witness,all I will say is that it's amazing and absolutely beautiful!
— Aaron Rodriguez (@sqadaaron) September 4, 2016
Not everyone was happy:
— Dayton mercurio (@Spifferson) September 4, 2016
But most of them were.
— MultiPurposeToolMan (@GavenDaFaven) September 3, 2016
— C (@TheLifeofLaly) September 3, 2016
Childish Gambino will not be performing any festival sideshows while in Australia, so make sure to head to Falls or Field Day to catch him live.