Having returned from Glastonbury the other day, I of course watched a vast array of talent from near enough every genre, but there’s one act that I can’t stop thinking about – Chance The Rapper. Unfortunately for me, [and Chance actually] most of my favourite acts all clashed on the Sunday evening- Ellie Goulding, James Blake, Pretty Lights, The Black Keys and Chance himself all clashed. I opted to see the majority of The Black Keys then catch the latter of Chance thus giving the rest the palm and somewhat frustratingly, I’d have to miss them. Even more frustratingly, all of my friends wanted to see Ellie Goulding, but luckily one of them hated Ellie for some reason and had a vague interest in The Black Keys, so luckily I had company throughout the two of them. The Black Keys tore up The Pyramid Stage, and with only a song or two to go, we left and near enough ran over to The John Peel Stage to watch Chance The Rapper where he’d already began Everybody’s Something.
It could have been a completely different song if I hadn’t have known the hook and a few lines here and there, Chance’s full live band in the form of The Social Experiment completely reinvented the track for the stage, and Chance reinvigorated the song into a passionate, fire-filled, high-octane performance that completely contradicts the original’s chilled, laid-back feel. The audience had their arms swinging from left to right, singing along, including my friend who didn’t even know who Chance was, let alone the song. He then played ‘a 10 Day song’ which I didn’t recognise, went back to Acid Rap with Lost, and then declared that was ‘enough slow shit’.
He exploded into Favourite Song which had the crowd bouncing about crazily, almost manically, despite there being about four people in the entire crowd including myself who knew any lyrics outside of Juice‘s hook. Again with compliments to The Social Experiment, the song was reinvented- brimmed with brass and horns once more, creating a perfect segway into a song I knew was coming, having seen him perform it earlier in the year- a spin on the CBBC show Arthur’s theme tune. This perked up the crowd even more than they already were, now they knew some of the words and could sing along and truly get into the groove.
Now my memory is failing on me, but I’m pretty sure Juice and Pusha Man followed. As I mentioned, myself, some kid behind me, and three die-hard asian girls about five rows in front seemed to be the only people in the entire crowd who knew what Chance was about, had Acid Rap and/or 10 Day, and genuinely liked and knew about him prior. It was also bizarrely one of the smallest crowds I’d ever seen at a festival, I don’t know if it was because Chance was such a near-fatal victim to clashes or what, but the crowd barely filled a third of The John Peel Stage. Either way, he didn’t give one fuck, and probably gave the same commitment to the performance as he would had he been a headline act, he belted out Pusha Man, giving the unbeknownst crowd a flavour of what he needed help with- commanding the audience to ‘say UH-UH’ and ‘GODDAMN’ in which they of course blindly followed, when he reached the hook, the crowd was remarkably quick to grasp the concept as you’ll see in the clip below.
Then came my favourite Chance The Rapper song- Cocoa Butter Kisses, which I belted out much to the dismay of a girl stood next to me, I half expected Vic Mensa to be unveiled but with no such luck. Understandably, Chance took something of a breather for a short while- speaking to [presumably] his manager at the side of the stage who told him he had ten minutes left, as well as letting his trumpeter have a little limelight in which grabbing life by the balls, and completely smashing his solo making it one of the many highlights of the performance. Things took a more tender turn following his breather, with Chance playing his most measured track- That’s Love, the interlude from Acid Rap, in which he began by repeatedly telling the crowd how much he loved them, of course we loved Chance just as much.
In closing, I’ve certainly never ever seen someone perform with such passion, energy and intensity, something by friend calls ‘intensergy’, and I think it might just be the best performance I’ve ever seen, topping the likes of Eminem, Green Day, Nas, Skrillex etc. Chance put every shred of everything he had into his performance, despite a minor crowd, and an even more minor following within the crowd, and that’s maybe what why it so incredible. He had the crowd swaying and emotively saying ‘I Love You’, he had them screaming ‘GODAMN’, he had them singing along joyfully to Arthur, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more from a performance. When Chance’s name is in big capital letters at the top of festival’s lineups in years to come, I’ll look back on Glastonbury 2014 when I very first saw him, in which, he well and truly took his Chance.