Last Wednesday in beautiful Boulder, CO, a couple of us Ninjas were treated to one of the more eclectic concert pairings to ever come through such a musically rich and diverse city; and both acts proved to deliver on their global hype. The author of one of our favorite albums of 2013: Acid Rap, Chance The Rapper and Norwegian tropical house sensation Kygo were the main course for what was a beautiful night of distinct and divergent sounds right in the heart of Colorado University- in their football stadium’s adjoining training center, the Balch Fieldhouse of all places. At roughly 4,000 strong and mostly of the college-aged persuasion, there was a sporting match vibe to the night as the trained crowd which was armed with more than enough glowing paraphernalia to light a small village for a few days, would unexpectedly erupt into stadium style soccer chants in support of the night’s fearless artists. It was an exciting one to say the least.


First up for the evening was an artist with whom our TMN faithful should be more than familiar with at this point: Kygo. The 22 year-old sensation has earned an incredible following in a relatively short span behind his unique, melodic and charming take on laid back tropical leaning house structures; such as his intoxicating remixes of The Weeknd, M83 and more, as well as recently inking a major label deal with Sony Entertainment. Kygo’s two-hour set was built upon those feelgood inklings from which he draws such a large fan base as he cycled through a groove heavy sampling of mostly original tunes and remixes. From deeper cuts like Kidnap Kid’s “Animaux” to lighter, but just as effective top-40 fare including Thomas Jack’s epic Of Monsters and Men remix, an edit of Milky Chance’s “Stolen Dance” and Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” (which unfortunately far too many young attendees left us as only a handful of concert-goers to know the words… c’mon!) the light on his performance was certainly a luminous one. Not to mention, it was quite revitalizing witnessing a crowd that large dancing to a more tranquil end of the EDM spectrum rather than just fist-pumping to the standard college diet of big-room electro and house. Once the dust cleared on a lovely performance from Kygo, we quickly realized that most of the night’s music consumers had, in their eyes, placed Chance The Rapper as the night’s most worthy spectacle.

Read the rest of our review and check out more pictures of the event after the jump!


Roars of enthusiastic crowd participants began a deafening cheer of “Chance The Ra-pper” as his road team morphed the girthy scene from a DJ booth into a space wielding two huge synths, a trumpeteer, a drum kit which would make most drummers a little green and of course plenty of stage to command from the Acid Rapper himself. All the while, what we assume was the event’s organizers threw out more shiny, glowing stuff and VIP tickets (which may not have been the safest move) to keep their Nineteen to twenty-something aged room satiated. The night’s enthusiasm was truly a sight to behold, especially for this 25 year-old who just wanted one beer to watch the night’s music with, but quickly realized they don’t serve alcohol at official University functions. Which further amazed us because at this point, their pre-gaming had most likely worn off and thus they were all likely either sneaking flasks to maintain their hype level, perhaps ingested whatever scuzz the kids are taking these days, or were genuinely ecstatic for a banging concert… Probably a combination of all three looking back, but time for speculation is neither here nor there.


Chance stormed out behind his full band, immediately taking hostage of the mic and our ears in the process. The 21 year-old lyricist patrolled the landscape with the kind of live fervor and aplomb we’ve seen other MC’s take countless years to develop and showcase. It was clear why Chance’s ascension skyrocketed so quickly minutes into his stirring opener “Juice”. The Chicago native must have touched every square foot of performance space within his first three tracks, bouncing and gyrating everywhere like a fueled up Mighty Mouse. Track for track we were treated to singles dotting a brief but already expansive catalog including “Cocoa Butter Kisses”, “Lost” and “Acid Rain”; and not to mention it seemed at the conclusion of every tune another article of clothing came off. Unluckily for us, it stopped at a T_Shirt and jeans, but an entranced crowd comprised mostly of Caucasian wel-to-doers gleefully rapped along to his potent lyricism as if they were a part of Chance’s own entourage.

chancekygo4All in all, we had a blast with the off-kilter pairing of musicians and hoards of college students stuffed inside of a gymnasium. We couldn’t have asked for a more interesting night, and the music – which, come on, is always the single most important factor- was absolutely on point. While some of us may prefer a grittier, stripped down venue for shows, both Kygo and Chance delivered a rock-solid slate of performances.



All photos courtesy of Aimee Zawacki

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