The much anticipated weekend of the year finally arrived! On Saturday, September 17, Vancouver welcomed Drake, along with fellow rapper Future, for the first of his two shows on his Summer Sixteen tour. The excitement surrounding Drake’s long-awaited concert for the past few months was worth it; Drake did not disappoint.
Being a Canadian, Drake was extra excited to be back in his home country and did not fail to show off his Canadian pride. At the beginning of the concert, he came out, draped in a Canadian flag, and proclaimed how proud he was of being Canadian. The singer did not fall short of connecting with his audience as he continuously engaged with the crowd and added “Vancouver” and “Van City” to his lyrics. He also consistently spoke to the crowd and pointed out certain fans throughout the concert. Drake was not only there to perform his set, but he also wanted to connect with his fans and followed through on that promise throughout the concert.
Drake’s energy filled the arena and had everyone on their feet and dancing for the whole night. Even though I felt as if the concert lasted longer than most I had been to, Drake always kept the crowd wanting more. The excitement and energy was not only because of Drake’s performance, but because unlike many concerts that have a similar stage set for each song, each one of Drake’s songs had a unique spin to it. The stage would not only change in decorations, colours, and visuals, but the Summer Sixteen tour took a step further to add fireworks, foam, and bursts of fire on stage, not only once but many times throughout the night. One of the most notable stage effects was the round balloon-shaped decorations in the air that descended and formed into a large “6,” referencing the nickname given to Drake’s hometown of Toronto. However, the best part of the night would definitely have been when Drake ascended into the air on a platform suspended by cables and went through the crowd, waving at fans while performing “Hold On, We’re Going Home.”
Drake had a long set list composed of songs old and new. From current hits such as “One Dance,” “Too Good,” “Pop Style,” and “Hotline Bling,” to more dated tracks like “All Me,” “Started From The Bottom,” and “HYFR,” which had gotten the crowd even more excited than his current songs on Views. The rapper also covered songs he was featured in, such as Big Sean’s “Blessings” and “For Free” with DJ Khaled, but his songs with Rihanna caused an uproar. This was partly because word was going around that Rihanna might have been in Vancouver filming for her role in Bates Motel and might have been making a surprise appearance for Drake’s concert. Drake asked the crowd multiple times how much we loved Rihanna, making it seem as if she might appear on stage. Unfortunately, she did not make an appearance.
Someone who did join Drake towards the end of the concert was Future. Future’s music was upbeat and he was a great addition to Drake’s tour, adding even more energy to the crowd. Future’s best songs of the night would have been “Commas” and “Low Life,” with “Low Life” being the best song of his set. However, even though Future was a great performer, he definitely did not outshine Drake. Nonetheless, one of the best moments of the night was when Drake joined Future as they sang their most notable song, “Jumpman.” Furthermore, Drake and Future’s friendship was evident on stage which made all of their performances even more enjoyable. The two artists didn’t seem like colleagues performing together, but two friends having fun on stage, which in turn helped the audience have even more fun with the both of them.
After Future left the stage, Drake continued on with a few more of his songs, ending his set with fireworks. However, the most memorable part of the end of the concert would have been when Drake once again took out the Canadian flag, waved it in the air, and proclaimed that no matter how many other cities he visits, Canada will always be his home. I appreciated the fact that no matter how successful Drake is, he is still humble, shows pride for his country, and tries to make his shows in Canada extra special for his fellow Canadians. In the end, it wasn’t only the songs, the stage, or the effects that made this concert extra memorable, it was also the love that Drake showed for Canada.