Editor’s note: The album review is off this week, and instead we bring you a recap from Chance the Rapper’s recent show at Skidmore College.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 by Hunter Johns
On Saturday, rising star Chance the Rapper made his first appearance at the Williamson Gymnasium at Skidmore College. The concert was originally only offered to Skidmore students, with tickets being released to the public early last week.
For those of you unfamiliar with him, Chance is one of the fastest growing acts in hip-hop. Since the success of his “10-Day” mix-tape in 2011 and his most recent “Acid Rap,” Chance has gone on to be featured in some notable tracks like “The Worst Guys” off Childish Gambino’s “Because the Internet,” “Tweakin” off Vic Mensa’s “Innanetape,” and even a Justin Bieber track, “Confident” (which still perplexes me). The high point of his career so far was the enormous turnout Chance garnered at Lollapalooza this last summer, with estimates at tens of thousands of people in attendance. At just 22, Chance can go in almost any direction he wants.
His show at Skidmore proved just how hard he’s been working as of late. Chance has been on tour nearly non-stop for more than a year; when your show is as high energy as Chance’s is, that’ll tire you out. At his Skidmore show, he actually took a moment to catch his breath towards the end of the set, his head down and panting. “This touring s— is tough, man,” he told the crowd. Despite his exhaustion, and aside from this brief break, Chance put on as high energy a show as it may be possible to give, jumping, rapping, and dancing simultaneously. If he hadn’t told us, we’d have never guessed how tired he really was.
Chance’s show at Skidmore was a part of the Verge Campus tour, with two acts preceding Chance on the tour. The first act was Kandace Springs, a soul singer who recently appeared on David Letterman with her song “Love Got in the Way.” Aside from her original material, Springs did a rendition of the Fugees’ “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” which was fitting given the influence that Lauryn Hill noticeably has had on her music (she even looks a little like Fugees-era Lauryn). Springs also had a DJ on stage with her, who she let do a quick exhibition of his skills over Kendrick Lamar’s “M.A.A.d. City” (it was beyond impressive). After their set, Sweater Beats, an EDM DJ, came out and gave a much-too-long set, which started with Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and ended with the crowd chanting “We Want Chance.”
If Chance ever makes it back around to the Capital Region, my guess is he will be even bigger than he is now. For the time being though, it was great to see an MC on the rise to superstardom. If and when he’s back in the area, chances are it will be in something closer to a stadium than a gymnasium.
Hunter Johns covers music for The Lightning Rod, including weekly album reviews published on Tuesdays.