Review: Chance the Rapper’s ‘Be Encouraged Tour’ promotes self-confidence, individuality

Short performance leaves crowd wanting more


Mira Swartz

Chance the Rapper preforms at Rock the Garden June 2016. Chance returned to Minnesota and preformed May 12 at the Xcel Energy Center.

Izzy Leviton

Tickets for Chance the Rapper’s performance on May 12 at the Xcel Energy Center sold out within hours of being on sale. Approximately 15,000 fans packed the arena on the night of the show. The show was one of 43 on Chance’s spring tour of his newest album, “Coloring Book,” which won the 2016 Grammy for Best Rap Album.

This tour follows Chance’s most successful year, in which he not only won a grammy for Best Rap Album, but also Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance for the song “No Problem.”

DJ OreO opened the show, inviting audience members to comment on his Instagram songs they wanted him to play. This brought the entire audience to their feet while they waited for the main event. DJ OreO’s performance began around 8 p.m. and lasted longer than needed. After two hours, anticipation faded into boredom as the opening act became tiresome.

At around 10 p.m. Chance the Rapper amusingly rode on stage on a minibike, which received immediate praise from the crowd. The stage proceeded to light up with fire as he quickly opened with “Mixtape” and then continued with “Blessings.” The projected images around the stage enhanced the performance, allowing the entire arena to see what was happening onstage.

Chance’s music is famous for its social commentary, and the projected images helped convey the stories told within his songs. As Chance the Rapper introduced the title of his tour, ‘Be Encouraged,’ he emphasized the importance of standing up for what you believe in and individuality.

Not only did Chance perform his music throughout the show, but he also told personal stories, a great way to interact with the audience and connect them to the music.  He reflected on his previous Minnesota performances and was amazed at how far he had come since playing every room in First Avenue to selling out an arena. He also talked about the recent death of his Aunt to breast cancer and proceeded to slow the tempo down, by singing his songs “How Great” and “Same Drugs.”

Although this was the tour of his album “Coloring Book,” Chance also performed some of his older songs from his second album, “Acid Rap,” including my personal favorite, “Cocoa Butter Kisses.”

Midway through his set, Chance the Rapper played covers of Kanye West’s “Waves,” “Father Stretch My Hand,” which he cowrote, and “Ultralight Beam,” which he is featured in. These songs added variety and a surprise to the setlist.

Unfortunately, Chance was only on stage for an hour and fifteen minutes. His energy during this quick performance captivated the audience with his personal stories and engaging special effects, but ultimately left the crowd wanting more.