Turn The Lights Out

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By: Connor Lenahan

I’ve been waiting for tonight for months. When Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino released his latest album Because The Internet last November, it became apparent that he would be touring to support it. After spending many hours in my dorm room listening to the album on repeat, quickly having it take over my iPod for almost the entirety of my winter holiday, I found out that my assumptions were true. Tonight I will get to see Gambino at the House of Blues here in Boston and I am excited beyond words.

Because The Internet did not immediately strike me as incredible. I liked it after my first listen, but when I was texting back and forth with fellow Gambino fan Isabella Romano, we both agreed that we (originally) liked it less than his previous release, Camp. We agreed this was due to the lack of pure singles on Because The Internet. This was a dense album with a lot going on. We were looking for easily digestible hits like last time. The only real “single” was “3005,” which Isabella and I agreed was our favorite song after our primary listens.

Then we began listening more and more. The album was good, and then great, and then amazing. We began to dive deeper into the narrative of the album to find how intricately constructed it was. There’s a screenplay and short film that accompany the album. This is far from just being a CD. This is an experience. The further you fall into the experience, the better. We also both found that the album is best enjoyed not as a collection of singles as Camp was, but as a full album. That’s when it skyrocketed to the top of my iTunes most played list. My brothers noted that I must have listened to the album almost every day over winter break. They are most likely right in their count.

I’m not just excited to fully experience the masterwork of Because The Internet in person, but also to see some of the best tracks of the past few years performed as well. When I was a junior in high school I was turned to Gambino’s music. This coincided wight he release of Camp. Soon, songs like “Bonfire” not only took over my personal playlists but the culture around me. I believe “Bonfire” made our pre game basketball warm up playlist for two full seasons after it’s release. My friends still play it with regularity to this day. We love it, and we love Gambino.

Yet that’s still not what I most excited for tonight. “Heartbeat” is not only my favorite song off of Camp, my favorite Childish Gambino song, but it is one of my favorite songs of the past half-decade minimum. It’s beautifully told narrative combined with the semi-schizophrenic beat that switches from piano to Earth-rattling bass drops make it a masterpiece. I showed it to my friends constantly in an effort to better educate the world of the musical prowess of Troy from Community. Over a year later my friend Maria Sunick informed me that she had fallen in love with the song after I showed it to her. This remains one of my biggest personal victories in terms of music. Getting to see “Heartbeat” tonight will be the culmination of an almost three year wait. Tie that in with what projects to be an amazing setlist and I cannot be any more excited.

Gambino Day is finally here. It’s time to rejoice.

Connor Lenahan (@ConnorLenahan) is a freshman at Boston University, majoring in journalism. He can be contacted at lenahan@bu.edu