Chance the Rapper's Magnificent Coloring Day festival was a crowning achievement for Chicago's most celebrated young artist. The 23-year-old Chatham native threw the day-long festival -- it began at 1 p.m. with Francis and the Lights and ended at 11:30 p.m. with a performance by Skrillex -- at the White Sox's Cellular One Field in the heart of Chicago's South Side on Saturday (Sept. 24). Chance set an attendance record at the park with upwards of 47,000 in attendance, per a rep, marking the first time the park sold every single seat. In one of the country's most heavily segregated cities, throwing the party at "the Cell" was as much of a statement as the existence of the festival itself, the first of its kind in Chicagoland.
The lineup was especially diverse -- comedian Hannibal Buress, who appeared after a performance from John Legend, joked that it seemed as if it was programmed by the shuffle button on Chance's playlist. It also contained its fair share of surprises, including Buress' set, an appearance by Chicago Bull Jimmy Butler, and a guest performance from Common. But the biggest moment was the well-publicized arrival of Kanye West, who ran through a series of his own hits including "Gold Digger," "Black Skinhead" and Can't Tell Me Nothing," and was joined by Chance for a performance of their gospel-rap collaboration from The Life of Pablo, "Ultralight Beam." Kanye's arrival caused pandemonium throughout the park: enthusiastic kids jumped from Porta Potties and past security to get closer to the stage at Sox park, like a bizarro version of the park's famed 1979 disco demolition night.
The unorthodox lineup turned out to be the festival's strength: energy rarely flagged, and Chance's curatorial flair — R&B from stars of an older generation, like Alicia Keys and John Legend, rubbed up against hip-hop from a slightly younger one, like Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, which followed hip-hop from even more recent performers like Tyler, the Creator and Lil Uzi Vert. (Young Thug, perhaps the most anticipated performance from this new era, arrived late and was unable to perform.)