Last Saturday was Taylor Bennett’s birthday, and he decided to celebrate how any musician should: with a concert. Held at The Metro in Wrigleyville, the venue was the perfect size for the artist, who has just begun growing in popularity.
Unfortunately, the concert had a slow start. Bennett had three hours of DJ sets and openers before he came out. The crowd’s energy didn’t help. When rapper Queen Key came out for her opening set, she left after only three songs, angry that the crowd wasn’t giving her the attention she deserved. Her performance was actually pretty energetic and upbeat, so it was a shame that it ended so abruptly.
The show finally began to pick up when opener King Louie hit the stage. With his noisy trap beats and catchy hooks, he brought out this massive energy throughout the crowd that neither the DJs, nor Queen Key could. With the crowd finally hype, the birthday boy was ready to come out.
Taylor was introduced by none other than his brother, Chance the Rapper. That alone was enough to make Chicago go crazy, Chance having a bigger-than-life presence on the stage. After introductions, Chance joined the rest of the crowd to watch his little brother.
The birthday boy’s performance was 100% worth the wait. With a live band and no pre-recorded backtrack, Bennett’s performance felt genuine and charismatic. Trippy visuals of his face distorted in a psychedelic version of Chicago played in the background, making the scene feel surreal.
The most amazing part of the night was the fact that Taylor brought out each feature on his songs in person, including an appearance from Supa Bwe, and a fantastic solo performance from Bianca Shaw.
Finally, to top off the hype, Chance the Rapper returned to the stage to perform “Broad Shoulders” with his brother, the collaboration that put Taylor on the map. The performance was powerful enough to bring tears to the eyes of the majority of the crowd, myself included. After, Taylor and Chance hugged each other on stage, making the crowd go nuts. Although the openers made for a slow start, Taylor Bennett successfully delivered a robust, emotional performance that reminded the crowd that he is not just a Chance clone, rather he is here to do big and creative things of his own.
Happy Birthday, Taylor!