Out of a strong field of over 150 candidates, New York emcee Black Dave emerged as the winner of the Vans Share The Stage competition. On Friday, September 14th, he claimed his prize: opening for ScHoolboy Q at the House of Vans in Chicago.
The energy was palpable throughout the intimate West Loop venue: After waiting patiently outside in the fading summer air, a rambunctious crowd filled the warehouse floor with balmy anticipation. It was the perfect vibe and Black Dave didn't waste a second of it for his highly anticipated Chicago debut, stepping off the stage to bounce alongside his fans during “Never Gonna Be Right.” It was a concise and athletic performance, with Dave only pausing twice: to pay tribute to recently departed emcees, and to announce what he was excited to do during his time in Chicago.
His performance perfectly set the stage for ScHoolboy Q, who hardly needed a mic as the crowd offered an assist to every track. Clearly in good spirits, Q flexed for his fans and teased new music he expects to release soon. All night, he took requests from the nearby crowd, which is why so much of the set was comprised of hits like “Collard Greens,” “Gangsta Gangsta,” “Man of the Year,” and “Hands on the Wheel.”
House of Vans has already boasted an impressive pedigree of shows in 2018, but there was something undeniably special in the air Friday night. For Black Dave it was a visible force, “You could really see the energy on everyone’s face…it’s a great feeling…[this experience] made me more sure that I’m doing the right thing, I’m on the right path. I’m just trying to elevate it as much as I can.”