Chance the Rapper
The Ritz, Raleigh

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Last November, Chance the Rapper disappointed North Carolina fans with the news that he would have to postpone indefinitely his Raleigh and Charlotte tour dates. He returned on Tuesday to make things up to his Triangle faithful, though, promising attendees a show that would be different—and better—than the one they missed last year.

The differences were evident before Chance even took the stage. Gone was the trio of buzzing up-and-comers who rounded out the original “Family Matters” tour when it traveled the country last year. In their place was a single opener from Atlanta by the name of Kelechi, who did a respectable job given the fact that few there knew who he was. Still, it wasn’t exactly D.R.A.M. making everyone lose their shit to a performance of “Cha Cha” or Young Metro wiling out to the opening of Drake and Future’s “Big Rings.”

Raleigh fans would recoup those losses, and then some.

In the months between the scrapped November date and Chance’s concert Tuesday night, a little album called The Life Of Pablo debuted at Madison Square Garden, by a guy named Kanye West. A soaring, soulful song called “Ultralight Beam” opened that album; a single, emotional verse stole the song, maybe the album.

And so it was that, with a crowd in front of him chanting “ULTRA! LIGHT! BEAM! ULTRA! LIGHT! BEAM!” Chance turned to his band, spoke with them briefly, then turned back around and made Raleigh the first city in the world to get a live, non-television performance of his verse on “Ultralight Beam.”

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