One must commend Chance The Rapper. The young Chicagoan emcee has very much trodden his own path thus far in a career which appears destined for nothing short of superstardom. The fact that an unsigned rapper who has only two mixtapes to his name can already count Justin Bieber, Skrillex and James Blake as collaborators speaks volumes about the power of the Internet but also of Chance’s exciting and all-appealing talent which is also responsible for the fact that this show has been sold-out for over four months.

A deafening roar welcomes Chance’s band The Social Experiment as they appear one by one before the man himself explodes onto the stage with the type of energy that could win over any crowd. In this case however, he is clearly preaching to the converted as the packed room displays their adoration by mimicking every exclamation of the rapper’s beloved ‘IGH’ adlib. After a series of incredibly tight stops conducted by Chance, the band jump into Acid Rap’s ‘Everybody’s Something’ which is greeted by a sea of waving arms and a backing chorus. As if there were anyone amongst the faithful that was new to him, Chance introduces himself after a verse of ‘Smoke Again’ and asks who in attendance has listened to Acid Rap – predictably; a large amount have. “Okay, who has listened to 10Day?” he then enquires to a surprisingly louder answer before he gently serenades his faithful with the lullaby-like ‘Lost’.

New material gets an airing also as Chance skips around the stage during his rendition of the Arthur Theme Tune that he’s been performing of late. Those who twig the song after its first line high-five like their dreams have just come true. Recent tracks ‘Home Studio (Back Up In This Bitch)’ and ‘I’m Very, Very Lonely’ are also sprinkled throughout the rapper’s set feeling like old favourites but Acid Rap highlights ‘Juice’ and ‘Interlude (That’s Love)’ still steal the show. The latter ends in downright gospel fashion with Chance galloping around unabashedly telling everyone that he loves them one by one. Next comes the fantastic chorus of other newbie ‘Paradise’ before the band falls into a mash-up of Acid Rap’s ‘Good Ass Intro’ and ‘Good Ass Outro’.

Unable to wait any longer Chance returns mere seconds after leaving the stage to close proceedings with ‘Chain Smoker’ – one of his finest pop songs. This chain-smoking, name-dropping, good-looking so-and-so is going places, and judging by the grin he wears throughout tonight, he sure knows it.

James Barlow

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