Back in June, Donald Glover unveiled an app titled PHAROS, which merely was a screen that displayed a countdown. Shortly after the app launched, he revealed that the countdown was to a three-night festival event in Joshua Tree where he'd host a “full album experience” for audience members.
This is the weekend that Glover's PHAROS event is taking place, with last night being the kick off night for the festival. Though Glover went on Fallon to talk a few details about the shows beforehand, a lot was still left to the imagination. "I had all these songs, and I wanted people to feel what it felt like to be in them... so I was like, 'oh, I should just invite everybody camping,'" he said on the show. Though what that experience would be like, was really unknown.
Yet thanks to some tweets and videos from attendees before and after the show, we're starting to get a good idea of what it's like to be at PHAROS, and it's kind of mind-blowing.
Firstly, no phones are allowed. Attendees were instructed to lock their phones in a locker for the duration of the concert.
Despite this, some people snuck theirs in (how, we don't want to know), and were able to get videos like these:
As for the actual arena, Glover seemed to be performing in this dome-like building with surreal visuals projected on the inside:
#Pharos was out of this world. What just happened. No pics, they locked our phones. The visuals were unreal in the dome :)— Jobert Adan (@TheJobearReport) September 3, 2016
As promised, Glover performed the album in whole and it sounds like a huge creative step forward for him. Here's how some attendees described his new material:
#PHAROS in review:— Michael Artress (@MichaelArtress) September 3, 2016
• 12 songs
• Concept album with creepy tribal vibe
• Funk/jazz hybrid
• Minimal rapping
• Creatively different
just got out of seeing Childish Gambino perform #Pharos— JDX (@itsjdx) September 3, 2016
this is a WHOLE different Gambino, you aren't ready for it
So #Pharos— MANDiiE MARTiNEZ (@MANDiiEMARTiNEZ) September 3, 2016
-alien tribal vibe... yes it's a thing.
- soulful/funk/jazz.. one song had an island feel
Damn. Audience members also got to watch the first episode of Glover's new series, Atlanta:
But if you're hoping to see Glover perform outside of these PHAROS concerts, think again. Looks like these are his only shows of 2016.