Sunday, January 23, 2022 Jan 23, 2022
35° F Dallas, TX
Music

Chance the Rapper Blesses a Jubilant Dallas Audience at the Bomb Factory

The Chicago artist's sold out show was both a rap concert and the world's most joyful church service.
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Photo by Jesus Jimenez.
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Chance the Rapper Blesses a Jubilant Dallas Audience at the Bomb Factory

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Crowds of high schoolers, millennials, and even 60-somethings zigzagged up and down Commerce and Canton streets on an unseasonably balmy evening in Deep Ellum on Sunday night. The people in line waited patiently to see Chancellor Bennett, aka Chance the Rapper, perform a sold out show at the Bomb Factory—the Dallas leg of his Magnificent Coloring World Tour. The 23-year-old artist from South Side Chicago is shaking up the rap industry with his positive, gospel-like lyrics, and by refusing to sign with any label: he gives his music away online for free.

During Francis and the Lights’ brief opening act, frontman Francis Farewell Starlite teased the crowd, telling them that one-third of the way into Chance’s performance they’d realize they were at the most incredible show they’ve ever seen. Starlite’s claim held true.

Chance kicked off his set with the up-tempo “Angels” from his new album Coloring Book. Throughout the night, Chance did what Chance does best: He radiated joy throughout the venue, up into the balconies, and probably out into the alleys of Deep Ellum. His energy, as he moved and danced across the stage, permeated the Bomb Factory. His sincere smile was contagious. When he smiled, the crowd smiled too. Chance’s care for his fans was also clear: security guards were instructed to toss water bottles into the crowd to make sure concert-goers stayed hydrated.

After playing a few songs and introducing himself to the audience, Chance was greeted on stage by an almost life-sized puppet of a lion named Carlos, who would serve as Chance’s MC for the rest of the evening. Chance and Carlos said they hadn’t seen each other since Chance was a boy, which leads one to think that Carlos may have been a favorite stuffed animal or imaginary friend of a young Chance. Carlos was later joined by a gospel choir of puppets.

Chance performed all of the songs from Coloring Book and mixed in some fan favorite such as “Favorite Song,” “Pusha Man” and “Cocoa Butter Kisses” from his second mixtape, Acid Rap. He was joined by Donnie Trumpet for “Sunday Candy,” and he performed his verse from “Ultralight Beam” off of Kanye West’s album The Life of Pablo.

As the show came to an end, the scene at the Bomb Factory started to feel less like a rap concert and more like church. With arms stretched out to the ceiling, the crowd joined Chance in singing, “How great is our God? Sing with me, how great is our God?” from his song “How Great.” Fans also sang along to “Blessings” and an extended chorus of the song’s lyrics, “Are you ready for your blessings? Are you ready for your miracle?” Then Chance asked the crowd to put away their phones.

“I know y’all want to post videos for Snapchat,” Chance said. “And that’s cool. But if there’s ever a moment when I want you to put your phones away and listen to what I’m saying, that moment would be now.”

After (most of) the audience reluctantly put their phones away, Chance began to preach like he was at the pulpit on Sunday morning.

“Your blessing isn’t on my album. It’s not on this tour. It’s not on my mixtapes. But it’s coming,” Chance said in a smooth, melodic tone.

Chance asked the audience if they were familiar with the expression “beating a horse.” He then walked to the opposite side of the stage and told fans that he’s not afraid to do that with the message of his show, before delivering his sermon once again. Chance told the crowd he wanted to drive home his point so hard that no one would forget it: Your blessing is coming.

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