So, Drake took to the stage in Manchester during the weekend of 11-12 February. As you would expect from someone like him, it was sold out! Manchester Arena is the biggest arena in England sitting 21,000, I’m sure that didn’t faze him at all.
He arrived with his full band and the party starter Started from the bottom, which got him a Grammy nomination in 2014. Drake managed to cram about 40 songs or so in his slow, delivering each with style and consistency.
As ever, fans got the broody Drake, running around the stage doing a few moves whilst vibing to his music. The R&B Drake, part of his musical locker, would creep out every now and then expressing how much he loved Manchester. I found this funny as I’m sure he says this to every city he goes to. Having seen him perform at Wireless Festival in London few years ago, he again expressed his undying love for the fans and the city. Perhaps jealousy gets the best of me here.
Unlike the London shows, or even main land Europe, there were no surprise guests who came out during his show. However, the likes of DVSN and Young thug were artists who supported him before he make his stance on stage. I have to say I expected much more from Young thug. If you are clued up about his music you would expect better from such a character. Some say he was completely drunk and others claim he was high up in the clouds… If you know what I mean.
Production wise, It’s hard to put into words how good it was. Drake for sure loves fireworks, like genuine fireworks that come out when he is rapping to his songs. It was impressive to say the least, with the array of spherical lights that rise and fell from the ceiling as he performed, creating undulating patterns. It was beautiful to look at, more like an art installation than a stadium light show.
But nothing got the crowd up and dancing when Drake was in rap mode, he’s mastered going from mellow R&B to a rap flow. The energy he held throughout the performance of over an hour was impeccable. When the show went off script he would speak to his piano player and tell him to stop, which all but nothing looked rehearsed. Which also involved him walking from one stage to another singing, “I need some love from the left side”, then “I need some love from the right side.”
He is far from a finished artist, this is just the beginning of a long career that he has set himself for over the last decade or so. Last year he managed 4.7 billion streams on Spotify alone, far from finished.
Here’s to his album which is due to come out in a few weeks, as he confessed during the show: More life.