On Thursday the 9th of March I got the opportunity to hit Drake´s european tour in the city of Berlin. This is his third main tour overseas since the 2012 Club Paradise Tour after his second studio album Take Care and the 2014 Would You Like a Tour after his third studio album Nothing Was the Same. So three years later and after the release of If You´re Reading This It´s Too Late and Views he came back, just a few weeks before the release of his next record More Life.
I have to say that this show was one of the most impressive live acts I have ever seen. No doubt we could say that Drake is one of the biggest not just rappers but also pop stars right now after dominating 2015 and 2016 the way he did. And that is the reason why it was so important to me to visit this tour because I do not think he is going to be in such a privileged position next time he comes. In 2015 he dropped a Mixtape (If You´re Reading This It´s Too Late) which sold like a regular album, he starred in one of the biggest rap beefs (against Meek Mill) of the decade to date (lets see how far the Nicki Minaj and Remi Ma goes), he came out of it victorious with a Grammy nominated song (Back To Back), he put out the quick recorded but statistics breaker What A Time To Be Alive with Future and in 2016 he dropped his long awaited 4th album Views from the 6 which broke every stream record with songs such as One Dance. Lets not forget that he also collaborated with Rihanna in Work and that his OVO Brand has already physical stores in Toronto, New York and Los Angeles, it has collaborations with the Jordan Brand (on Jordans X and XII) and it has grown to be a music Label with artist like PartyNextDoor. And all of this in a time gap of less than three years, pretty impressive, maybe enough arguments to say he is THE biggest rapper in the game. To this we could add that his Summer Sixteen tour in the US and this one in Europe belong to the best life performances ever put on by a rapper, obviously Mr. Kanye West has been playing in another league for years, but you know that he did not come to Europe for The Life Of Pablo and he also cancelled here his Yeezus tour, so Drake´s The Boy Meets The World his definitely one of the best rap shows to ever touch european floors.
Another show that I have been in the last couple of years and that was pretty impressive too because of its special effects was A$AP Rocky´s 2015 Sixteen Day Trip with Wiz Khalifa, he performed for as long as 40 minutes behind a screen where you could only see the reflection of his shadow. The reason why I mention this is because I also like Rocky very much and his 2015 At.Long.Last.A$AP is one my favorites albums period.
But back to Drake; his performance took place in the Mercedes Benz Arena (a Stadium with capacity for 17000 people were the games of the Berlin Ice hockey team take place). The effects of his show were amazing: he brought up the same light balloons that we have also seeing in the Summer Sixteen tour, which floated up and down from the ceiling in different choreographies. And to this he added a bigger one in the a platform in the middle of the venue were he projected the moon at the beginning and then the sun.
The doors of the Stadium opened at 18 hours, but the first acts started around 19.30. We used the time to get some merch and to found our seats. In the merch booths they got old stuff from Views and the Summer Sixteen tour and also everything of the More Life european exclusives. The prices were 70 Euros for the hoodies, 35 for caps, 30 for short sleeves and 35 or 45 for the long sleeves (ironically More Life long sleeves were 35 and the ones with the Revenge and Summer Sixteen prints were 45). My brother and I copped a Revenge hoodie, a white Views cap and a white More Life long sleeve (variety is key).
The first acts included performances from the young T Jizzle, Pressa, SD and Baka. I did not knew any one of them. After them came DVSN, who is signed on OVO and sounded pretty good (Bryson Tiller style). He also sang Faithful from Views in which he is featured on. The last preact before Drake was the jamaican Changeover . And then the main act: Torontos very own Drake.
His performance was incredible and he was continually interacting with the crowd, which sang every single word. He even had a toast which he took from the front row wishing more life for everybody’s families and friends.
Up here a few spoilers take place, so do not keep reading if you are going to visit the tour!
He started with Trophies, Started from the Bottom and Headlines. Then he performed HYFR, Still Here, 0 to 100 and 9 on platforms of the stage that started to elevate. He sang Childs Play and Feel No Ways but he came quickly back to the bangers with a Medley were he just sang the hook of song such as 6 God, Worst Behavior, We Made It, Blessings, All Me, Versace, Pop That, Over, I´m On One and Crew Love. Then he started with his more radio friendly hits: Hotline Bling (he sang it directly to one of the balloons hanging from the ceiling) and Hold On, We´re Going Home. After that he walked to the platform in the middle and performed The Motto, My Way, For Free and Jumpman. He returned to the main stage to sing his latest biggest hits: Work, Take Care, Too Good (with the support of female dancers), Controlla and One Dance, just before he disappeared. When he came back, the huge ballon on the middle of the venue was ready and he started to non stop run around it while he performed Pop Style, Know Yourself (with Mosh pit of the crowd included), Fake Love and Energy. He ended the spectacle with Legend. So as you see he did not left any of his big songs behind (maybe just Back To Back, but is understandable).
After this experience I am really looking forward to More Life, also because in the interlude between One Dance and Pop Style he did not sing but he put on the speakers a song I believe featured by Giggs, that sounded pretty unreal.
At the end he talked about how fans from all nationalities and cultures unite and show love in his concerts, saying that this is definitely the way to bring people together, by showing love. This was an appropriate comment according to the times we are living in and also because it is clearly related to the concept of the new tape: More time with family and friends, More Life.
While writing this I saw the news that More Life is dropping next Saturday, the 18th.