As a first time voter, Monday’s event meant the world to me and all of my friends. It was done as a way to prepare young people to vote, and come together to enjoy the beautiful art of music.
The evening began with Eryn Allen Kane at about 3 pm. I was front and center for her soul-filled set. Personally, I love the sound of exciting horns and saxophones. Also, someone like Eryn who can growl like that deserves all sorts of praise. She (literally) made the audience get down during her set. She also did homage to The Isley Brothers by covering their song Shout alongside live horns and a DJ.
Afterwards, local rock band Twin Peaks began to set up for their 3:40 set. I’ve had the luck of seeing them a couple times, and although the set was shorter than usual it wasn’t any less exciting. The set included songs like Boomers, Butterfly, and Walk To the One You Love. Since the crowd was so amassed with Chance the Rapper fans, a good amount of people were shocked at the power of the mosh pits and headbanging fans.
A moment I remember quite clearly came soon after their set. The DJ began to play Father Stretch My Hands from the latest Kanye West album. With the promise from Chance that there would be “special guests,” almost all of the people around me began to assume that Kanye would suddenly show up. Unfortunately he didn’t, but that hadn’t stopped the crowd from going wild and yelling that song together word for word.
This was followed by sets from Taylor Bennett and Malcolm London. Both of these young men are strong political activists and advocates for young people to “stay woke and vote.” At the beginning of Malcolm’s set, he sent a snapchat of the crowd to his girlfriend for her birthday. From Taylor’s acapella rap to Malcolm’s performance of songs from his new album Opia, I was overwhelmed. Both of these men hold so much passion in their art form and activism. I admire it greatly.
The final act of the evening was none other than Chance the Rapper himself. I became so overrun by excitement that I stood on top of the barrier that was already about to fall over anyhow. The songs performed included Angels, Blessings, and more from his newest album. He paused the music periodically to ensure that everyone remembered the true reason why they were at the show. We were there to vote. We were there to remember our civic duty.
These acts brought together so much faith and hope within us as young voters. The turnout for the show was incredible, as was the parade to the polling location afterwards. It was so much so that the line to vote reached an entire city block on Washington St.
I am incredibly inspired that an artist is able to bring out young people to vote in such a capacity. It is so important that young adults realize how vital their opinion is in this country. Thanks to Chance, I can say that I do not feel like my vote was wasted. Regardless of what happened Tuesday night, there was a moment in which my peers came together to agree upon the importance of voting.
by Morgan Lonergan
photo credits to Will Goff, image taken from here