Chance The Rapper is a modern day marvel. A 23-year-old from Chatham, Chicago – a community ranked 10th among Chicago’s 77 municipal areas for violent crime reports – he has already made history in his industry by racking up three Grammy’s for his third solo project, Coloring Book, the first ever streaming-only album to get even one. On April 30th he performed at the Idaho Center to a packed arena. Chance stepped on stage to a raucous audience and opened with Angels before pausing a moment to reflect on the dates special meaning to him.
You see, four years before on April 30th, Chance released ‘Acid Rap’ – his second solo project and the first to start gaining him national attention. Before he could finish asking the crowd if they knew why the date was so special to him a steady chant of, “Acid Rap! Acid Rap! Acid Rap!” worked its way through the arena. Coloring Book’s humble, grateful tone was thus personified by the man himself as he shook his head in amazement. With a billion dollar smile he launched into Cocoa Butter Kisses to the audience’s delight, a brilliant display of energy he’d maintain through the whole concert.
Coloring Book’s gospel tones and divine imagery was represented in his set by glowing, warm lights, a steam machine covering the stage intermittently with clouds and a raised center platform on which he performed Kanye West’s ‘Ultralight Beam,’ which for many of the people there was probably the closest they’d got to a church experience in quite some time. This particular song was also a marvel to hear – UPL’s own staff were beyond amazed at the sound quality and Chance’s own vocal range. The visual representation tied in not only Coloring Book’s heavenly vibes but also that of Acid Rap and even 10 Day. It is a treat to see an artist not just play on his strongest releases, but to also present all his material in a cohesive, satisfying way.
Boise, Idaho might often be seen as a small blip on many headliner’s tours, but to the music enthusiasts and hip-hop devotees, these shows are a welcome escape from small-town (growing-city?) isolation. In many ways you can see the growth through even Chance’s presence here. The first time he performed in Boise it was to a crowd of 800 people. This time, rocketed by his own artistic vision and an audience eager to eat it up, he played an arena of 12,000+.
We’d like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to Sir Chance the Rapper, the Idaho Center, and the PA and sound crew for making this performance, first, possible and, second, off the f&$@%^ charts.