Chance The Rapper – The Social Experiment in Toronto – The STiXXclusive Review

For many who may have missed out on the 19+ edition of Chance the Rapper’s first ever show in Toronto, well he came back, and did he ever come back better than before. The only difference is that this time, the children were allowed to tag along, and by children, I mean those who hadn’t turned 19 yet (the legal age in Toronto in which you can drink alcohol) – you’re toddlers to me to a certain degree. All Ages events are always filled with the hyperventilating, usually high, and occasionally drunk minors and then filled with the people hovering between the early in late 20s (my crowd), but with Chance the Rapper, there was a wide range of people who came out and from different spectrums of shades – it’s a beautiful thing to see that one can have such an eclectic group of fans.

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This was sort of a last minute decision for me to go, but since I was the only one out of my usual suspects of concert going friends (we call ourselves the ‘Super Crew’) to see Chance in July (a late birthday present to myself), I decided that it was only right to go back to see him. This time, it was a bigger venue, which would mean that it would generate a larger crowd – but the question was, what did he have in store? The music was still the same since he dropped Acid Rap, but throw in a feature with James Blake and another with Lil Wayne on Dedication 5, and there you had it. There was a bit of a wait (2 hours from the doors opening), but from the first time I saw him, and the fact that this time he’d have a live band with him, it would definitely be worth it.

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I like the fact that there weren’t any openers, but at the same time, it’s weird that there weren’t any openers. The last couple of shows that I’ve been to, there haven’t been a string of an abundance of local artists opening up for bigger names – not sure what’s up with that, but the DJ kept the house rocking for the time that the people had to wait. By the time Chance came on, Danforth Music Hall was practically full (officially sold out), and the energy was rabid for his presence to commence. Coming out to Good Ass Intro, he footworked his way to the microphone as the crowd erupted and started rapping & singing the lyrics along with him – it was quite the scene to behold since I was writing down the song for my own ledger notes and also taking photos while enjoying the performance (at the same damn time).

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The way that Chance had his performance set-up (which he calls The Social Experiment) was in a way where he turned it up, turned it down, and then turned it up again. It was constant way to keep the crowd into it, and he really took the time out to carefully craft his set. While performing some songs with only the help of instrumentals: NaNa, Brain Cells (from the 10 Day mixtape), Pushaman, Juice, Favorite Song, and Smoke Again; Chance often left the crowd as the projector showed video montages that helped set the feel for the next batch of songs, and then he’d come back to perform with the band (a vocalist/trumpet player, a DJ, and a drummer). With said mood setting songs, he performed You Song (from Dedication 5), Everybody’s Something, Chain Smoker, That’s Love, and ultimately as his last song, Everything’s Good. The band even took time out to pay homage to a couple of classic Jay-Z songs by playing Show Me What You Got as Chance took a little break, and when Chance appeared to be finished for the night, the band played Jay’s Encore and had the screen flash ‘Chance’ repeatedly to egg on a chant like how in the song the crowd chants ‘Hova’. That was very cool, I can’t lie. What was also cool (although I didn’t find out what the song was until later), Chance performed Coldplay’s Fix You, as the words flashed on screen.

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Taking the time out to keep it real and thank his fans for supporting him on his astronomical come up over the past few months was very genuine of him and although you couldn’t hear a lot of his mumbles towards the back of the venue, you got an idea of just what he was saying as he was taking his leave. A repeated amount of ‘Thank You’s’ were overwhelmed by an entertained crowd. What I was surprised by was that it was shorter than the last performance at The Hoxton in July. He didn’t perform Acid Rain (arguably the best song on Acid Rap) or Cocoa Butter Kisses, which was surprising since they were really popular songs. I guess he could only fit so much into a window of time, but I wasn’t left dissatisfied and neither were the fans. A lot of people who had missed him the first time were amazed by what they had seen from his performance and they’d surely never forget it. He stepped up his performance game as he continues to show that he can be a future leader in Hip Hop, but also the fact that it only took a few months to grab a sold out show of 1400 people – that’s the more impressive feat. As his career continues to move along, it’s only fair to say that the stages will continue to get larger and the lines to wait for him will be longer. But, until the next show

That’s My Word & It STiXX

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