Chance the Rapper electrifies M.A.C. Center concert

Brittany Rees

Chants of “Chance, Chance, Chance” filled the M.A.C. Center as Chance the Rapper performed for a nearly sold out crowd Thursday night.

The Chicago emcee brought his euphoric, retro hip-hop beats as part of the Verge Campus Fall Tour 2014, which featured the electronic sounds of Sweater Beat and the smooth, jazzy disco melodies of the Young & Sick.

Kent State’s Undergraduate Student Government confirmed last week that floor tickets were sold out for the 7 p.m. show, leaving balcony seating available. With the entire room filled, Chance the Rapper dove into new, unreleased songs while shimmying, tap dancing and moonwalking around stage.

“It was a lot different than I thought it was going to be,” said Philipp Wade, a senior computer science major. “I didn’t expect a full band. I didn’t expect him to be wearing tap shoes.”

Chance the Rapper’s band included a trumpeter and an electric violinist who accompanied him while he performed the majority of his 2013 mixtape, “Acid Rap,” as well as new song “Paradise.”

During the performance, a screen behind the musicians played clips from YouTube, “Saturday Night Live,” “Austin Powers,” and other media while students waved light-up wands above their heads.

Concertgoers agreed that the opening acts got them hyped for Chance’s set.

“Sweater Beats was loud, but he got the crowd going,” said Rose Wintergreen, a sophomore English major who attended the concert with her boyfriend Ryan Rogers.

Rogers said he saw Chance the Rapper at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, but the lights, sounds and energetic atmosphere at KSU was better.

Chance performed the top hits off “Acid Rap,” including “Juice,” “Everybody’s Something” and “Cocoa Butter Kisses.”

“That really got the crowd going,” said Kevin Walters, a freshman education major about ‘Cocoa Butter Kisses.’ “That’s my favorite song.”

Chance’s energy emanated through the crowd as they swayed their hands in the air and sang along. He ended the show by repeating the lyrics, “I love you” to the audience dozens of times before dropping to his knees to thank the crowd.

“It really seemed like he appreciated being here,” Wade said. “I know bands always say, ‘You’re the best crowd ever.’ But Chance seemed like he was actually grateful to be here.” 

The next event USG will host is the Sex Week Drag Show, co-sponsored by Kent Interhall Council, on Oct. 30 in Cartwright Hall.

Contact Brittany Rees at [email protected]. Matthew Merchant contributed reporting to this story.