Chance the Rapper | 10.13.15

chanceTR sqFor this near-spiritual journey, he asked the crowd to grab the energy from their neighbor and let it transform them.

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w/Social Experiment, Towkio, Metro Boomin, & Dram
The Pageant, St. Louis

Chance’s “Family Matters” tour lived up to its name by being full of his extended family and making the fans feel as if they are family, as well. Two of the other Midwest-based performing artists referred to the headliner as their “blood brother” during their sets. With this being Chance the Rapper’s fourth St. Louis performance and his second at The Pageant, the audience automatically expected a level of amazement exceeding the previous three concerts—and this one was almost 20 times better than the last. It might be because I’m a huge fan of everything Chance stands for right now, or because he is genuinely growing in his artistry, but this show was one of the best I saw at The Pageant, and it just about had me in tears being a part of the experience.

The first artist to come out was Towkio, a rapper and producer hailing from Chicago. You could tell he was new to performing live but he kept his level of energy at its peak, which in turn excited the crowd. He performed his latest song, “Clean Up,” which also featured Chance. Aside from emptying water bottles on the crowd, Towkio also took a shot of Hennessy, which made the crowd even more excited as he performed his popular song “Heaven Only Knows.” Both Towkio and Dram had their own DJ who hyped up the crowd for about 10 minutes before each of their sets.

Durag is Dram’s DJ, and he made his appearance behind and in front of the DJ table by dancing during majority of the songs. One track DRAM did that surprised me was my absolute favorite from the Surf album, “Caretaker,” on which his vocals sounded flawless. He had some inspirational words to introduce his song “Money,” and took time to inform the crowd what Dram stands for: “does real ass music.” During the last song, his whole team came out dancing and doused the crowd with water during the climax of his popular song, “Cha Cha.”

Metro Boomin represented his hometown of St. Louis with a Cardinals jersey. The beginning of his DJ set was from St. Louis artists and that kept the room live. When Metro asked how many people were born and raised in St. Louis, the crowd went wild. He DJ’d all the songs he produced over the years, which ended up being a 45-minute set—not my cup of tea, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it.

The greatest part of the concert was when the Social Experiment came out and amazed us all. The Social Experiment is made up of Chance the Rapper and Donnie Trumpet, along with drummer and keyboardist Peter Cottontale and Nate Fox, respectively. Once Donnie Trumpet was spotted, the crowd belted out, “We love you, Donnie!” The artist followed up with the group whistle that Chance explained as meaning “We want more.” Due to the amazing work of Trumpet’s on the Surf album—or, as Chance tells people, Trumpet’s “project”—the crowd knew of his importance and exactly who he was. Another reason Chance is the greatest: He isn’t afraid to give others the credit they deserve.

Chance performed pieces from every album he was a part of. The crowd’s obvious favorite was “Pusha Man,” which he performed a snippet of but stopped, disappointed in the crowd’s weak enthusiasm. During his encore, he asked audience members to put all their energy into the air by jumping on their feet to show him they wanted him to perform”Pusha Man” in its entirety. Another crowd-unifying activity he did was encourage a group chant for his rendition of Arthur’s theme song, which is already a positive-spirited song. He began by asking a few people in the center to chant, “Everyday it could be wonderful,” and requested that one more person join in with each repetition. For this near-spiritual journey, he asked the crowd to grab the energy from their neighbor and let it transform them, as each person around embodies the saying. It felt like church on a Sunday, and Chance was the preacher.

It’s safe to say that the crowd was soaked, spiritually touched, and absolutely amazed at the show. I’m excited to see what Chance the Rapper has in store for his next album and concert, as well as to watch the music careers of Towkio, Metro Boomin, Dram, Donnie Trumpet, and the rest of the Social Experiment. | Alexy Irving

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