Chance The Who?: MSU Auditorium Show

Erica Marra

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When I first heard that Chance the Rapper was playing an end-of-the-semester show at MSU, I was not particularly blown away by the news. Truth be told, I had barely even heard of the 22-year-old Chicago rapper that so many of my friends were gushing over, making me feel incredibly out of the loop. Even so, I figured I might as well give the concert a shot. I mean, what else could I possibly do on a normally mundane Tuesday night?

After purchasing my ticket, I attempted to put an honest effort into familiarizing myself with Chance and his music, constantly listening to his second mixtape, Acid Rap, in the hopes that putting the album on repeat would turn me into a learned expert on all things Chance the Rapper. Alas, those hopes were in vain. By the time the morning of the concert rolled around, all I had under my belt were the lyrics to “Lost” and a good amount of confusion over the exact role of what I now know to be his quite talented band, The Social Experiment, proving me mediocre at best.

Worried that my lack of knowledge would suck the fun out of the evening, I was a bit weary of how the night would play out. Would I be left staring at my feet while the rest of my alcohol-induced peers had the time of their lives dancing away to the sounds of their favorite artist? Or would my experience be salvaged by some sort of musically-inspired miracle?

Lucky for me, salvation hit Fairchild Theater that Tuesday night. Chance, to both my surprise and delight, brought out energy from the moment he stepped onstage to the final note of his, if I recall correctly, third encore performance. His happy-go-lucky attitude and extra involvement with the audience made the fact that I was only a new fan irrelevant; I still felt the connection between artist and crowd, especially when he felt comfortable enough announcing the release date of his third album, Surf, exclusively to the MSU crowd.

The real icing on the cake for me, however, was the fact that the lyrics to a handful of Chance’s songs were displayed on the jumbotron behind him as part of the visual experience of the show, giving me well-welcomed guidance for the tunes I lacked knowledge of.

After such a great time, I can assure you that I have brushed up on my mental discography of Chance the Rapper. For the future, I will be anxiously awaiting his next stop in the mitten state, and rest assured, I will never have to ask myself “Chance the who?” again.