Last night I walked into Rogers Arena with no idea of what to expect.
I knew Aubrey “Drake” Graham was still riding high from the release of his newest album, Nothing Was the Same. He has become an unstoppable force in the industry, and proven time and time again that he is deserving of every bit of praise.
What how would his talents manifest on stage? Would he rely on who he was to carry him, or would he work hard to ensure the show was as close to perfection as he could make it? These were questions that weighed heavily on my mind.
When I finally found my seat, I was able to catch the last 2 songs of Miguel’s set. He was intense. This guy has been garnering critical acclaim since his 2012 release Kaleidoscope Dream. He worked the stage with an unbridled passion. The audience was absolutely at his mercy. His band was able to build this beautiful wall of sound, that pierced through your defenses and forced you into the mood. It would have been impossible to fight it. Miguel is a larger than life superstar on the precipice of infamy. Don’t miss him, should you get the chance.
As Miguel and his band filtered off the stage, I was left with a perfect window for some people watch. Prior to this night I had thought that foil-embossed shirts and man-purses were a thing of the past. Well this crowd proved to me otherwise. The female contingent was sporting a plethora of off-the-shoulder shirts, wetlook leggings and mascara. It was good to see we were putting our best foot forward.
After my wonderful people peeping moment had ended, the lights faded. I looked around the room and saw hundreds of cell phones light up the arena.
A curtain, which I originally thought was a backdrop, was removed. It revealed a circular stage which was constructed from light-up panels. Drake stepped out from the background and the venue erupted into a sea of screams.
Drake started the night out with Tuscan Leather, and then rolled up into Headlines.
After the initial welcome had worn off, the crowd seemed to be gobsmacked. For the first few songs, the audience seemed mildly impressed. Then Mr. Graham started to pepper in some inter-song banter, and played up his love for our fair city. This cheap-applause tactic worked. Those in attendance quickly became putty in Aubreys’ hands.
The song selection for this night, which is actually the same set for the whole tour, seemed pretty mild in the beginning. Song’s like Furthest Thing and Own it, were just sharp enough to keep the audience excited.
Drake worked the stage, he never stood still, not even for a second. At the eight song mark, he flowed into Pop That, the reception by the crowd was phenomenal, and the delivery and attitude by Drake shifted gears and really brought some heat. It was at this moment the whole house seemed to come alive and everyone was just in awe. It was also at this moment that I saw the fire in Drakes eyes.
The show went on, building momentum. The audience became wilder by each song. 305 To My City and Started from the Bottom were by far the most well received songs of the night.
The show seemed to just end, their was no encore.
I was impressed.
Drake is a talented man, and deserves much of the praise, and now I can honestly say he is also a talented showman.