“I’m Back.” Those simple words lit up above the stage on a giant screen, announcing Chance The Rapper’s homecoming for an audience bigger than any I’ve seen at Pitchfork. The hometown boy delivered the goods, announcing “We’re gonna be playing some songs off my mixtape Acid Rap.” The audience went wild, as you might expect considering Chance is the city’s biggest prospect since Kanye moved out of town.
The show kicked off with dancers on the stage as a kind of prelude for what was to come. Chance came out like a lightning bolt binging on Red Bull. He ran from one side of the stage to the other, splashing water all over the photographers and front rows of people. You could tell from his frenzied pace and ear-to-ear smile that this show meant a lot to him.
Like Kendrick Lamar last year, Chance had a band backing him up complete with horns. The live sound suits him well, and his onstage persona has come a long way since I saw him open for Childish Gambino a few years ago.
The fans seemed pleased with what they got, a non-stop thrill ride of a set with very little respite. There were a few moments when Chance thanked the audience and gave a shout out to his mom, but nothing that really slowed his pace. He kept everyone engaged and excited to be here sharing this moment with him. A moment he said he wants to hold onto as he moves into the next stage of his life and career.