Last week, Chance the Rapper headlined two back-to-back nights at the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens. For a stadium, the venue was cozy and intimate. The last time I saw Chance was at Lollapalooza circa 2014 and I remember being disappointed by his underwhelming performance.
Now, we were both far from Chicago. I'm glad I gave him a second Chance.
Granted, his stage presence mainly consists of running around the stage and jumping. While he's no Bruno Mars, if I wanted to see a Bruno Mars-level performance, I'd go to a Bruno Mars concert. (Or you can just watch the sign language interpreters grooving. They were excellent dancers.) You go to see Chance the Rapper for the emotion, not the spectacle. The highlight of the show was the powerful new song he performed about halfway through his set.
It felt like everyone in the stadium was holding their breath listening to him.
Chance's backing band was none other than the members of Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment. He asked the crowd if they were familiar with their 2015 album Surf (which included quite a few Chance collaborations), saying the true fans would be. It was no surprise that this little bit of teasing was followed up by an enthusiastic rendition of crowd-favorite "Sunday Candy."
No, Chance. Your grandma ain't my grandma. I'm sure your grandma rocks but this is my grandma we're talking about.
The only blotch on an otherwise perfect night was the strange timing of the fireworks. In such a small stadium, pyrotechnics already were a bold move, but add in the fact that the timing was slightly off and you get a very jumpy audience. At the time, I kept joking with my friend that the reason why Chance yells "AH!" all the time in his music is because fireworks are always going off unexpectedly and freaking him out. Luckily, this concert occurred the week before the Vegas shooting and it was fun to let those loud firework noises scare us a little bit.
I felt more than blessed to spend a warm October night in a beautiful venue with beautiful people. It felt like the summer weather would last forever and that tragedies could never touch us. Thanks, Chance.
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