On September 24, 2016, Chance the Rapper graced 60,000 people on the south side of Chicago with his Magnificent Coloring Day.
A one-day music festival, located at the home of the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, Magnificent Coloring Day featured a star line-up of Francis and the Lights, Lil Uzi Vert, Young Thug, Tyler the Creator, John Legend, 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, Alicia Keys, Chance the Rapper, and Skrillex.
Chance the Rapper exploded with the release of his album Coloring Book in May of this year, and since then he has only been climbing to even greater successes and popularity.
Chance the Rapper hails from 79th street in the Chatham neighborhood of south side Chicago, and this is where he got the nickname “Lil Chano from 79th.”
I am a huge fan of his previous mixtapes 10 Day and Acid Rap, and now Coloring Book, and got my tickets for the Magnificent Coloring Day within five minutes after their release.
I was one of few who showed up to the stadium right when the festival started, and got to watch Francis and the Lights perform its short, 30-minute set.
Francis and the Lights, featured in Chance’s song “Summer Friends,” announced the recent release of its new album Farewell, Starlite!.
Sadly, their talent was overshadowed by the fact that nobody was there to watch them, but when the chorus of “Summer Friends” played and Chance the Rapper stepped out to dance with Francis, the crowd went wild.
Afterwards came Lil Uzi Vert, who surprised me with his performance, and Tyler, the Creator following.
If anybody knows anything about Tyler, it is that he is an incredibly unique character.
Tyler, the Creator started with the song “Freestyle 4,” on Kanye West’s album Life of Pablo.
Maybe he was an omen, foreshadowing something the crowd was not prepared for.
I had never seen a performance that matched or exceeded the energy of Tyler’s – that is until 15 seconds after his set finished.
When the music for “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” off of Kanye’s 2016 record Life of Pablo started playing, I just thought to myself, “No way.”
Tyler abruptly walked off the stage, signaling the end of his set, and then without warning, none other than Mr. West strutted onto the stage.
I had expected Kanye to show up to the festival, but there was always a voice in my mind telling me not to get my hopes up.
I especially didn’t expect him to show up at that time when he had a show in Nashville, Tennessee starting in just a few hours.
I was lifted so far off of my chair that I almost flew right out of my nosebleed seats and onto the field with the rest of the stadium.
Hundreds of people streamed from the ground floor seating sections, over the barriers and onto the field to get as close as they could to Yeezus and join the moshpit.
There was nothing stadium security could do except watch and maybe pick off a few stragglers from the trespassing crowd.
People were running and climbing over each other, so much so that three stretchers had to be brought out to carry away injured people.
Kanye played the songs “All Falls Down,” “Gold Digger,” “Black Skinheads,” and many other fan favorites.
After this is when Kanye expressed how proud he was of this man and what he has become, and Chance the Rapper walked out and embraced Mr. West.
“We don’t want no devils in the house, God,” said the little girl in the intro of “Ultralight Beam.” “We want the lord. And that’s it.”
Jumping into the crowd, Kanye submitted the stage to Chance for his verse.
Few moments in my entire life have exceeded those where I was listening to Kanye and Chance perform “Ultralight Beam.”
Maybe March 20, 1999, the day I was born, but I honestly don’t think even that does.
And only five more hours remained until Chance’s main set at 9 p.m.
John Legend, coming after a hard act to follow, came out and serenaded the audience for 45 minutes.
John Legend welcomed the rapper Common to the stage to perform their Academy Award-winning song “Glory” as a satisfying close to the set.
Common, raised on the south side of Chicago, held up a fist, and the crowd followed suit and joined him.
2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, who were listed together as Collegrove, took the stage afterwards for the longest set of the day so far.
Collegrove is a combination of the names of the two rapper’s hometowns in the southern U.S.
2 Chainz and Lil Wayne rocked the stadium for an hour before they gave it to Alicia Keys.
Alicia Keys put on one of my favorite performances of the night, even though I knew practically none of her music besides the radio hits.
Using her absolutely beautiful voice, Alicia Keys gave Chicago a taste of her home, New York, with a performance of “Empire State of Mind.”
With how the night was going so far, I was half-expecting Jay Z to stroll out on stage with Alicia Keys, with Beyoncé close behind him.
As I suspected, my daydream did not become reality.
Once Alicia Keys finished, 60,000 people waited eagerly and patiently for Chance to come on.
Fifteen minutes behind schedule, Chance rose from under the stage and went right into his song “Angels.”
Chance played songs from all three of his mixtapes to please both the old and new fans.
Throughout his set, Chance didn’t have anybody come join him on stage – no, not even Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz for “No Problem.”
A few of the tracks he performed were “Summer Friends,” “Blessings,” “Pusha Man,” and my favorite song, “Favorite Song.”
Chance expressed an internal struggle during his performance, battling with himself to either play upbeat songs or to slow it down.
After a short intermission, Chance seemed to have reached an epiphany on the direction of his set and was not going to let his internal struggle get in the way of his act.
He even performed an encore of “Ultralight Beam,” in case there was anyone in the audience who missed it earlier.
It was evident that he intended to tell a story throughout his music, representing his professional and personal development.
I could write forever from here on, so what’s the point.
The fact of the matter is that nothing I write can ever translate the energy and magic that was in U.S. Cellular Field that day.
I would give anything to go back and relive that day just one more time, so I could truly appreciate what I experienced.
I guess the point of this article is just to say thank you.
Thank you, Chance, for putting on an incredible festival and giving me the best day of my life.
You are an inspiration to everybody, and watching you develop as a person through music, having a family, and catapulting yourself into unimaginable success is truly a blessing and a gift.
And that is exactly what he hoped to give to his audience that day: to tell a story, and to leave his listeners contemplating what they should really value in their life.
The end is beautiful, but the real beauty lies in the journey. That is what Chance wished to reflect on.
Chance knew the goal of this concert was not just for those in U.S. Cellular Field to have the best day of their lives, although still important.
Before bowing goodbye with the Chicago Children’s Choir and his band, Chance looked into the eyes of all 60,000 people and said this:
“Did you know that your blessing is not at this show? But it’s coming. Did you know that your blessing is not made of flesh? But it’s coming.”