Chance the Rapper in Omaha, Nebraska on May 10th, 2017
I have heard many good things about Chance the Rapper. Well-rounded artist, he gives back to his community, three time Grammy winner and his latest, “I’m The One” hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. So, why wouldn’t I jump at an opportunity to cover his show? Because I would be a fool not to.
We got in a little early and caught part of the performance of DJ Oreo who seemed to be taking requests for songs via Twitter.. a first for me if my observation is correct.
Chance the Rapper is on his Be Encouraged Tour to support his new record, “Coloring Book” which went to #8 on the Billboard album chart without selling a single physical copy. Quite a feat. His entrance to his set was pretty cool as he came into view riding a moped onto the stage. Another first for me. The capacity crowd at CenturyLink Center in Omaha became very loud and stayed loud. From my three song perspective the audience of 14,000 knew all of the words to his songs. I could see him mouth to his band, “This crowd is loud as hell.” He was right, it was really loud.
Not being familiar with Chance the Rapper’s work, I had to do a little research and find what his potential set list would be based on his past few shows. His first song was “Blessings” from “Coloring Book” and this set became very different. There was no DJ behind, but musicians and backup singers. This is kind of an anomaly at most hip-hop shows. “Blessings” is an inspirational song about his faith and family. The second song on the list, also from “Coloring Book”, was “Angels.” The final song, “Pusha Man” was from 2013’s “Acid Rap” which was sadly the last song for me of the night. It was quite a change from the first three songs, but still had a message to deliver.
My only regret for this show, as with most of the shows that I photograph, was not being able to stay for the entire set. Chance the Rapper is energetic, personable, and interactive. He did not stop moving, always smiling and encourage the audience to participate and sing along with him. At times asking them to sing louder, which did not take a lot of effort. It was a huge crowd, a sell out, if I heard correctly. This from an artist, who has not sold a physical record in his career. His success comes from streaming his songs. Another feat.
If Chance the Rapper tours through your town, spend a little cash and catch an amazing artist at work. His final stops in the Great Plains and Midwest Region are:
Friday, May 12 – Xcel Energy Center – Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, MN
Saturday, May 13 – Providence Medical Center Amphitheater – Bonner Springs, KS
Sunday, May 14 – Scottrade Center – St. Louis, MO
Photos courtesy of Winsel Photography in Omaha, Nebraska. ©2017.
Review by The Pitmaster.