Would you like a tour? Hell yeah, fuckin’ right!
While we missed PARTYNEXTDOOR, we made it just in time to watch GA rapper, Future, perform his set. While his stage setup (or lack thereof) was a little underwhelming, his upbeat performance more than made up for it. Future amped up the crowd as they trickled in to their seats, performing tracks like “Play No Games”, “Racks on Racks”, and his newest “Karate Chop”. The crowd went craziest during the controversial “UOENO” track that caused Rick Ross to be banned from performing in Ottawa back in March. During Future’s most successful track “Turn on the Lights”, fans lit up the arena with their phones and sang along to every word. After Future’s 30 minute set, Miguel rose from the smoke in a black fringed jacket and adorned us with his sultry voice. Things got heated up in the entire arena as he performed tracks like “Sure Thing” and “How Many Drinks” while grinding his microphone stand (could someone get this guy some ice?). Miguel went into a speech inspired by his parents about painting our lives as we choose and passion in what we do, ending his set with his most recent hit “Beautiful”. What a way to open the show.
After waiting a nail-biting amount of time, Drake was set to take the stage. The setup was a larger than life ode to the OVO brand with a circular stage ramp and a matching circular lighting rig above. When the house lights finally went dim, an anxiously awaiting crowd ear-splittingly screamed for Drizzy. The entire stage was engulfed in blue light as a Whitney Houston “I Have Nothing” sample filled the arena. The man himself rose to the stage and began his “Tuscan Leather” intro verse. As he walked down the ramp to stand front and centre, he continued into fan favourites like “Headlines” and “Crew Love”. Donned in a simple tank and jeans, Drake’s Air Jordan V Laney’s looked to be the flashiest thing the rapper was wearing, giving off a very convincing “still-humble Canadian boy” image (however, some of his other tour outfits were designed by Calvin Klein).
Drake riddled through his repertoire including “Fuckin’ Problems”, “The Motto”, “HYFR”, and “Versace” while repeatedly telling his fans “I got 100 of these, let’s keep going!” After manning the stage all on his own, he brought out Future to perform some tracks including “Love Me” and “Same Damn Time”. Days before the tour began, the two had their issues and Future was fired from the tour but soon placed back on the roster. Jhene Aiko (whom was set to replace Future on tour) was the next to join Drake on stage. She brought it with her silky voice and charming dress to perform tracks from Nothing Was The Same like “From Time” and “Come Thru”, marking it the most mellow portion of the set.
Drake attempted to appease the way-back fans by asking the crowd if they’ve been Drizzy fans from the beginning. While only going to his 2009 mixtape So Far Gone and 2010 album Thank Me Later with tracks like “Successful”, “Over”, and “Forever”, we were hoping to get a little more nostalgic than that, Drake (where’s Room For Improvement?).
During “305 to my City”, Drake took to his O-shaped catwalk that took him high above to shoutout everybody in the building. The catwalk generated some of the funniest moments of the night (including getting flashed by “a nice pair of titties”)– oops, we thought this was an all-ages show? We appreciated the appreciation but fans became anxious waiting to finish the nearly 15 minute “thank you” session; the energy kind of dwindled.
The night still seemed to end well as Drake came back with his most recent Michael Jackson/Quincy Jones inspired “Hold on, We’re Going Home” track (appropriate since his next show was set in Toronto). Drake finished the show with his “Started From the Bottom” hit while the video played on the screen behind him. Without an encore, the rapper thanked his second home and walked out to a display of fireworks. Love it or hate it, this show was a celebration of Drake’s ever-growing popularity and success from an unknown Canadian actor to a common household name.