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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Chance The Rapper “Be Encouraged Tour” stops at Sacramento Golden 1 Center

JAY GELVEZON / AGGIE

Rap star performs at his biggest venue yet

Chance The Rapper brought the heat both literally and figuratively at the third stop of his “Be Encouraged Tour” Thursday night at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center. Between misspoken lyrics, a multi-piece moving stage, an homage to Kanye West and actual explosions of fire, it was a night to remember.

The Grammy Award-winning artist from Chicago took a six-month break between his last tour — “The Magnificent Coloring Tour” — and this one. During his break, Chance met with politicians, raised money for Chicago Public Schools and, of course, spent time with his adorable daughter Kensli. Needless to say, fans are ecstatic to see Chance perform again.

After acts from two mediocre openers, DJ Oreo and King Louis, Chance finally took the stage around 9:30 p.m. The crowd exploded in screams and cell phone lights. The stage lights flashed onto the 24-year-old rapper as he walked to the center. It was clear by the young artist’s face that he had never performed in a venue quite so large.

JAY GELVEZON / AGGIE

The night kicked off with a performance of his song “Blessings.” Overwhelmed by the 15,000 person crowd, Chance accidentally repeated the line “I don’t make songs, I make make ‘em for freedom” instead of “They booked the nicest hotels on the 59th floor” during the second verse. He restarted the line and apologized for his mistake. A similar occurrence happened on SNL when he repeated lyrics during “Same Drugs” in December.

Chance made up for this mistake with a series of killer songs, dance moves and elaborate set pieces. He went completely off-track from the set list he performed at his San Diego and Oakland stops — an unexpected surprise for Sacramento audience members.

Next, green, yellow and blue bubble letters displaying the word “Angels” appeared on the giant monitor behind him. Chance jumped around the stage as the crowd went nuts.

He continued with music from his older albums, very different than “The Magnificent World Tour,” where he primarily focused on tracks from his latest album, Coloring Book. Songs such as “Everybody’s Something,” “Pusha Man,” “Cocoa Butter Kisses” and “Favorite Song” revved up the old-school fans in the crowd.

The set for this tour was completely different and much more minimalist than the last. Chance was not accompanied by his Gospel choir of colorful puppets, but by a much smaller crew, including Social Experiment members Peter Cottontale, Donnie Trumpet and others. However, the lack of big props on stage made it possible for more elaborate technical elements.

There is no telling how many lighting instruments and sound cues went into the staging of the night. Every song had multiple eclectic projections, lighting colors and electrical elements. Audiences were especially shocked by the large flames and sparks which erupted into the air behind Chance throughout the night.

JAY GELVEZON / AGGIE

During his homage to Kanye West, a big influence in his life, Chance was lifted off the ground by an elevated piece in the middle of the stage. He sang a trio of songs from Kanye’s Life of Pablo album, including “Waves,” “Ultralight Beam” and “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1.”

Chance followed his Kanye tribute with the song that exemplifies his humble roots: “Sunday Candy.” Chance told the audience a short story behind his project SURF. He described that in the broke financial state he and his team were in during the time, they only had enough money to make one music video, resulting in the one for “Sunday Candy.”

Chance announced, “Let’s really get the night started,” and continued with music from his newest album. He pumped up the crowd with an energetic version of “All Night,” followed by “No Problem,” and a slapping version of “Mixtape,” which shook the entire center with a booming bass.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the night came after a soulful performance of “Same Drugs,” when a massive vertical stage descended from the ceiling, spanning all the way from the stage, to the back of the house. In a very holy manner, Chance walked across the stage with thousands of people standing underneath him. He stopped at the edge of the stage, coming nearly face-to-face with the audience.

His face lit up with a massive smile as he performed “Juke Jam,” a nostalgic song about an old lover. Afterwards, he unclipped himself and walked back toward the main stage. One at a time, each part of the three-piece elevated stage flew up into the air.

The short, 90-minute concert concluded with “Summer Friends,” followed by a reprise of “Blessings.” Chance sent tons of love to the Sacramento crowd, thanking them for all their support. He announced that he will come back, perhaps at a smaller venue next time.

The night left a very different feeling than when he came to Davis in October. Perhaps it was the enormous size of the venue, smaller crew or the time he has spent not performing, but the night seemed to lack the sense of euphoria from the last tour. The “Be Encouraged Tour” is still in its very beginning stages, and I look forward to seeing how the rest of it plays out over the next few months.

Nevertheless, Chance’s performance at The Golden 1 Center took the audience on a visual and musical journey. There is no doubt that he loves his music and his fans. Between the mix of old-school classics and the gospel sounds from The Coloring Book, it was a performance, covered in confetti, to keep in the record books.

 

Written by: Myah Daniels — arts@theaggie.org

 

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