Concert Reviews

Chance the Rapper Shook the Fillmore With Family Matters

"I met my daughter this year," Chance the Rapper told the crowd last night at the Fillmore. The crowd responded with love vibrations that shook the street. His current tour, called Family Matters, is chock-full of sentiment from the 24-year-old Chicago rapper, as he welcomed the birth of his daughter just weeks ago. 

Normally private about his love life, Chance explained to the crowd how happy he'll be to get home after six more stops. This is work, and his newfound family is the reason he does it. He started the show with some of the highest-energy ballads in his repertoire, including "Smoke Again," throwing water out over the crowd, followed by the emotional "Lost," a crowd favorite (particularly with the ladies). Screams ensued.

"Denver, I love coming here," Chance said. "I started my music career in Denver, actually.... It was the first time I ever opened up any type of rap show, with my brother Childish Gambino at the Ogden. We shook the foundation, there was so much love.... You guys have got something special here."
Chance's is a young, wild and passionate following. Everyone in the audience seemed to know every single word. A security guard informed me that about twenty people passed out before Chance even hit the stage. For those who remained standing, Chance delivered with a show of twists and turns that always ended up on a jam. Throughout the night, he played every song fans could wish to hear, from "Pusha Man" to "Paranoia" and even "Juice," which he had sworn off performing live in 2013. His set list also drew from first studio album Acid Rap, as well as newer and most popular radio hits of the year, and his hilarious and poignant guest verse from Action Bronson's "Baby Blue."

Chance tripped over some lyrics in "That's Love," an older song from his first mixtape 10 Day. He also seemed to trip briefly over some fast lyrics unknown to me, likely from tracks that will be coming on his next album. Chance could be coasting on the waves from his previous releases this year: his freestyle mixtape with Lil B the Based God in June, and his right-hand-man Donnie Trumpet's Surf album in May. But no, Cheno seems to always be dropping music, including some of the best guest appearances I've heard on the radio this year, including "Baby Blue," and "Angels" with Saba. 

"I have watched buildings crumble, I have watched the entire foundations of cities shake. That was not enough," Chance said. "I know we're high and we're drunk, but we're not just gonna sway back and forth. No, no, no, Denver. We're going to shake the foundation of the fucking building."

We came close. After dancing for hours, concert-goers emerged into snow that sizzled when it hit their skin.

See more photos in our slideshow from the night. 
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Lindsey Bartlett is a writer, photographer, artist, Denver native and weed-snob. Her work has been published in Vanity Fair, High Times and Leafly, to name a few.
Contact: Lindsey Bartlett