I remember “So Far Gone”, the mixtape that whispered warnings of a storm coming from Toronto, but it wasn’t until attending his show last Thursday did I realize the power of Drake’s impact. My first ever stadium concert, “Would You Like A Tour”, featuring Miguel, Future, and Drake – a desperate housewife’s wet dream showcase. A full house, but that’s to be expected when you have three urban radio tyrants in one room. Truthfully I was late, Future’s set had ended before I could get into my seat, but after a short intermission Miguel was taking the stage. Flamboyantly styled that was obviously Prince/Punk Rock influenced, Miguel and his live band are received with joyous roars, almost as if the headliner had took the stage.
Miguel is either extremely well trained, or finds performing as natural as breathing; the way he moves along the stage, dance, jigs, are harmonized with every note, every drum kick, every verse. He runs through songs with masterful control, there wasn’t a superfluous moment, his energy eye catching and stage charisma hypnotizing. Miguel’s voice flows out the mass speakers the same gifted, melodious crooning the way it’s heard through iPhone headsets; All I Want Is You, Power Trip, How Many Drinks, Quickie, Adorn, the stream of chart-topping singles are intensified by live instrumentation. I see, between splits and high notes, Miguel catch his breath with an interlude of crowd interaction. Confident and a bit cocky of his effect on women, Miguel even tells guys that his music does all the work, just put his CD on and enjoy the reward. If he isn’t already considered a star, I saw the potential, and understand the hype.
A short intermission is quickly concluded, the crowd had little time to become restless, the lights dimmed, and Drake comes out on a looped platform that resembled an alien space saucer. His movements are less sporadic than Miguel; his energy is relaxed, like a king basking in the company of his kingdom. The room radiates this level of excitement that doesn’t dwindle, the entire audience is engulfed, phones are held up to eye level trying to capture every moment. Drake’s catalogue has no flaws; A majority of Nothing Was The Same was performed, standouts like Language, Wu-Tang Forever, Hold On, We’re Going Home, Started From The Bottom, Own It had the roof flying off the Arena. He has reached a plateau where every song is undeniable; women, men, and prepubescent children knew of his existence. Jhene Aiko, the reincarnation of beauty blessed us with her presence to perform From Time, and Future reappeared for a slew of songs.
There was a moment where Drake, riding his flying saucer rose to the rafters, breathlessly shouting out descriptions of audience members. Building a connection with the ones that couldn’t afford floor seats, it was a time consuming, tedious gesture but the enjoyment was pure. Only a tender, sensitive soul would want everyone in a sold out venue to feel that their money is entitled to more than just music. You come to shows and experience, to leave with a feeling that can’t be captured through a CD, a mp3, or radio. “Would You Like A Tour” was a grand show, full of memorable moments to signify Drake’s reign. Atlanta showed him love as if it was indeed his second home, and in return we got one hell of a show.
Photography by X Lewis
The Peach Review®