Drake: Would You Like A Tour? comes to Calgary [Review]
Calgary, AB – On Nov. 30, Live Nation brought Drake to Calgary for a stop along the Would You Like A Tour? concert tour. The performance roster for the evening was stacked to the maximum: up-and-coming Mississauga OVO protege, PartyNextDoor; Freebandz hip-hop heavyweight, Future; R&B’s soulful panty-dropper, Miguel; a guest-appearance from newcomer Jhené Aiko, and – of course – the great Champagne Papi, himself. It was one of the best nights ever. Because when OVO is in the building, nothing is ever the same. See how it all went down after the jump.
At 7 p.m., PartyNextDoor took the stage as the first opener of the evening. He only got 10 minutes to perform. He should have had more stage time, because his self-titled debut EP was fire. But he got to host the official OVO after party at Black Betty in downtown Calgary after the show. And the after party got downright unruly. So ultimately PartyNextDoor did end up putting the “party” back in to “PartyNextDoor.”
Shortly after 7:15, Future took the stage for his opening set. Dude is a total lady killer. He’s got those high cheekbones, and that luscious mane of dreads. And he was wearing shiny red pants, so the steez-factor was off the charts. He should have been one of the most hyped up performances of the evening. But the crowd was still filtering into the venue when he got on the mic. Future was under appreciated. And it evidently killed his vibe. Even though he joined Drake on stage later on in the evening to perform “Same Damn Time,” the performance was a little lukewarm. His ego had taken a serious blow from the lack of fan love. Next time, I’m going to have to make a homemade sign that says “I Love Future.” That, or I’ll just start propelling undergarments on to the stage. Future deserves that.
Miguel was the final opener of the evening. He’s one of the hottest things in R&B right now, but he’s also a total rockstar. He had a fringe jacket on that looked all dramatic and fancy with the backing smoke machine and stage lights. And his stage presence was flooring: he flicks his tongue out, he dances around like a diva, and he knows how to work a crowd. He also gets mad props for actually having a live band on stage with him.
At 9:30 p.m., the full-on NWTS experience kicked into high-gear. Drizzy emerged onto the stage, decked in an all-black wardrobe ensemble. He started things off with “Tuscan Leather” and transitioned into some of his older material including “Headlines” and “Crew Love.” Drake’s jacket was removed before the end of the third song, to reveal a tank top and the muscular supremeness that is Drizzy arms. I could write a very lengthy essay about Drizzy arms. They are the arms that dreams are made of. In hindsight, “Would You Like To See Drake’s Arms?” would have actually made for a solid tour name. Mid-way through the set, Drake took a few minutes off-stage to change from his all-black ensemble into an all-white ensemble that was exactly the same as his black ensemble. Except it was all white. There was likely some deeper metaphorical realness to this wardrobe change – possibly to show the progression from “started at the bottom” to “here.” Or maybe it was meant to convey the conflicting soft and hard (i.e.: less soft) parts that make up Drake’s persona. Or maybe the dude just sweats a lot. Then Drake brought Jhené Aiko on stage and the duo performed “In Time.” Jhené is a total goddess. And all of the girls in the audience wanted to be her.
And – of course – no performance of “Hold On, We’re Going Home” would be complete without a signature Drizzy fan-serenade. It would seem that Drake just tells his crew to randomly select a girl from the audience to join him on the stage. If this were the case, it would also seem that the OVO fam decided to punk Drake. Because the lady that came on to the stage was old enough to be kicking it with Drake’s mother. And she seemed supremely tipsy. Nonetheless, Drizzy serenaded the lady and pulled out all of the fast-stops: he told her she looked like she was straight out of Vegas, he gave her a kiss, and he let her hold his hand while he sang to her. As she left the stage, he made some remark about her downing a full bottle of Absolut. It was pretty hilarious, because it was probably true. He should have said, “You’re drunk. Go home.” and it would have been that much funnier. Because he had just performed “Hold On, We’re Going Home.”
Drake wrapped up his performance with an ode to the great Hova. That is, he had himself suspended above the crowd on a really large architectural structure and spent a painfully lengthy amount of time validating the existence of his fans (this is how Jay-Z concludes his shows). Drizzy pointed out individual Drake-heads in the audience: the guy in the OVO shirt, the dude in the grey hoodie, the girls shaking it, and then some. There’s nothing more fulfilling in life than getting a shout-out from Drake. But then Drizzy took a moment to focus in on one particular couple (who appeared to be in the beginning stages of their dating relations). It was one of those very uncomfortable moments where Drake is telling you to mack on a girl who’s obviously not into you. And because Drake is putting on the peer pressure in front of a really large audience, you lean in for a kiss with said girl. And she’s obviously not feeling it. No offence, Drizzy — that was bad wingmanship.
Written by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
Photography by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada