Photos by Aris Theotokatos
Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment performed at the Taste of Chicago on Wednesday, July 6th, serving as the supporting act for The Roots. The 45-min set featured guest performances from, you guessed it, Chance The Rapper, alongside Save Money's Joey Purp and Virginia recording artist D.R.A.M. (who is featured on Surf and Coloring Book, and brought out Chance with a performance of the project's lullaby track "D.R.A.M. Sings Special"). Turning the pages of exclusively Coloring Book, Chance performed "No Problems", "Ultralight Beam", "Blessings" and "Sunday Candy."
The Social Experiment crew went beyond their classic line-up of Nate Fox (guitar), Peter Cottontale (keys) and Stix (Drums). The Taste Of Chicago was treated to additional performers, included singer Jamila Woods (solo artist, featured on "Sunday Candy"), Thaddeus Tukes (on vibraphone), dancer Ian Eastwood, singer Maceo Haymes (The O'My's), singer Macie Stewart (Marrow, HOMME), singer Sima Cunningham (solo artist, HOMME), bass player Lane Backstrom (Marrow), singer Teddy Jackson, singer and rapper Mike Golden and trombonist JP Floyd (formerly Kids These Days).
In a period of necessarily painful clarity and solidarity, the Taste of Chicago took a heartbreaking moment of silence in memoriam for Alton Sterling, an African-American man shot and killed by two white police officers at point blank range in Baton Rouge, LA. Prompted by bandleader Donnie Trumpet, he asked for reflection dedicated to Sterling and all those killed by gun violence and victims of America's "corrupt system." The moment of silence was followed by a performance of "Sunday Candy", which Donnie Trumpet noted as a "moment of celebration of life" for all those that have been lost.
Band leader Donnie Trumpet, drummer Stix, bass player Lane Backstrom and back-up singer Macie Stewart had previously played the Taste of Chicago in 2012 with the band Kids These Days. And for those who are fans of landmarks, it appears that this was the first time the public had an opportunity to see Chance perform Coloring Book in Chicago, and all for free. As is the case with all the best music, The Social Experiment with Chance the Rapper at Taste of Chicago was a taste of both joy and sadness, a demonstration of musicians and artists that truly care about their community.