Fastest-selling Bandersnatch concert does not disappoint

Review: Chance the Rapper's performance in the Schine Underground as part of University Union's Bandersnatch Series lived up to the hype.

He said he was better than he was the last time. Hopefully, everyone was listening.

At 9:03 p.m. on Wednesday, Chance the Rapper stepped on stage. The room was dark, but his lanky 6-foot frame and unpicked afro were undeniably identifiable. When the lights rose and the beat dropped, the crowd went crazy.

Photo: Andrew Renneisen
Chance The Rapper performs at Syracuse University's Schine Underground on Nov. 6, 2013, in Syracuse, N.Y.

The artist, brought to perform at SU by University Union as part of the Bandersnatch Series, didn’t dare disappoint the crowd at the fastest-selling Bandersnatch event.

Opening his 50-minute set with “Good Ass Intro,” the first song of his highly acclaimed 2013 mixtape Acid Rap, the audience couldn’t help but sing along. His khaki pants and tie-dye “Acid Rap” hoodie looked just as cool as he did. He bounced around the stage effortlessly to the beat in the Schine Underground. Moving through the song with ease, mixing between his raspy rap tone and his gospel-infused singing voice, he had arrived.

And just like that, the lights changed into a white glow surrounding him, and the mellow mood of “Brain Cells” off his 2011 10 Day mixtape began to play. He cupped the microphone in his hands, and the words danced off his lips, calming the room — but not enough to stop his spectators from being fully captivated by his onstage persona. Clips of black and white images and old movies played behind the music; even a scene from the Nickelodeon TV series Rugrats made an appearance, adding to the nostalgic effect of Chance’s performance.

“NaNa” allowed Chance to revert back into his action-packed stage presence, shouting his signature ad-lib “igh!” over and over.

“Pusha Man” and a slower, jazz- and reggae-infused version of “Everybody’s Something” came blaring through the speakers. The monotone lighting soon changed to that of yellow and purple as Chance performed the hidden track “Paranoia.” During “You Song,” a song Chance recorded a verse for on Lil Wayne’s Dedication 5 mixtape, smoke gathered at his ankles and rose as his energy did.

One of the more memorable parts of the show had to be when Chance displayed more of his artistic side, performing a cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You.”

With the help of his drummer and keyboardist, Chance never forgot to remind his audience to wave their hands and “turn up” along with him.

He performed “Smoke Again” and then left the stage, leaving the crowd chanting his name. Satisfaction settled as “Juice” began and its music video played. The vigor of the crowd was something Chance had to reciprocate.

Demanding that the audience members jump just one time for him as he rapped to “Favorite Song,” they couldn’t help but oblige. He performed “Interlude (That’s Love)” and “Chain Smoker” before he humbly showed gratitude for the crowd’s support of this stop on his Social Experiment Tour.

Finishing off his set with the tempo of “Juke Juke” dubbed with “Everything’s Good (Good Ass Outro),” Chance excited the crowd one last time with some of his fancy Chicago footwork.

The hour and a half between the doors opening and Chance’s presence on stage was well worth the wait. There’s a reason he asks fans to call him Chancellor the Rapper: put simply, he is just that good.

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