Last week, I attended Drake and Future’s stop in Edmonton for the Summer Sixteen Tour. Yes, that’s right, I went again! What can I say, I’m a huge fan. The duo performed two nights on September 20 and 21 at Rogers Place, which officially opened for business the same week. While the show was no comparison to OVO Fest, I still had a great time and the new arena is absolutely gorgeous! I’m definitely looking forward to covering more shows at Rogers Place. Here’s my review, on behalf of HipHopCanada, below. Enjoy!
Edmonton, AB – Full disclosure: This was my second time attending the Summer Sixteen Tour. The first was combined with OVO Fest in Toronto this summer (I was off-duty and it was LIT). That being said… going into night one of two shows at Rogers Place, I had an idea of what to expect. Or what not to expect, for that matter (I think Kanye and Rihanna must have been busy this time around).
While Edmonton didn’t receive all the bells and whistles that’s usually included in OVO Fest, Drake and Future still put on a hell of the show for their elated fans in a sparkling-new arena.
The show opened up with up and coming OVO artists Roy Wood$ and dvsn, along with fellow Canadian T Jizzle. Dvsn brought the most to the stage among the openers, despite technical issues (thanks sound guy), you couldn’t deny those pipes. He later came out a second time to join Drizzy for “Faithful.” Well played.
Photo by Andy Devlin for Rogers Place
In true rapper-fashion, Drake was 40 minutes late for his set (his tardiness was repeated on night two, or so word on the street says). Fans were becoming restless, chanting “We want Drake!” as they waited. Let’s talk about those fans while we’re on the subject: the demographic was young (like “my mom just dropped me off” young), white (because Edmonton), and if they didn’t look like their mom dropped them off, they were dressed like they were ready for the club (then again, so was I).
Alas, the 6ix God finally graced the stage, repping Connor McDavid’s coveted Oilers jersey and opened with “Summer Sixteen.” Naturally, the crowd went nuts. From Views to Thank Me Later, Drake smashed hit after hit on his two-hour set. Whether you were a day one or new fan, he performed a little bit of everything. “Hype”, “Childs Play”, “Back to Back,” “Energy”, “Worst Behavior”, “Headlines”, “The Motto”, “Up All Night,” the set list went on and on. The kid’s got receipts and most definitely proved it that night.
If anyone attended Drake’s Would You Like A Tour? in 2013, then it’s undeniable that he’s exceeded his growth as live performer. The stage set up was fire (literally), complete with pyrotechnics, rising platforms and a larger-than-life LED backdrop screen. He maintained an energetic presence throughout, even during those sentimental jams that the Champagne Papi is known for.
“Hold On, We’re Going Home” and “Hotline Bling” included a ceiling of floating orbs, changing from pink to blue as Drizzy hovered over the crowd on a platform, pointing out his fans. “I see you in that Raptors jersey,” “I see you in the Blue Jays hat,” etc. That’s brownie points. Everyone loves a shout out, especially one from Aubrey.
While Future’s appearance was one of my personal favourites of the night (I LOVE the ratchetry, I can’t lie), the crowd seemed a little in different once he came on for his set. Rogers Place erupted when Future rose from underneath the stage to assist Drake in “Grammys” but then started to fade once Drizzy left him to do his thing (it was the Drake show after all).
Again, I for one, thoroughly enjoyed the co-headliner’s set. Give me “Wicked,” “Stick Talk” “F*ck Up Some Commas,” “Same Damn Time” and some back-up dancers doing the most, then you’ll have me out of my seat. Say what you want about mumble rap, but for the last three years Future has consistently brought those joints that make the clubs go up and that’s why he stays winning.
After Future performed the Weeknd-assisted “Low Life,” Drake returned to the stage where the duo performed What A Time To Be Alive‘s “Big Rings” and “Jumpman” the crowd went all the way OFF. As they should.
Drake closed out the night with “Know Yourself,” “Energy,” and “Legend.” He thanked the audience for the love, claiming Edmonton had the most energy of all the shows he’s done (Hmmmm? But we’ll take it). He also shared the excitement of performing in the new arena (Drizzy was the third artist to hit stage at Rogers Place).
For Drake to close out the final two days of summer in a BRAND new arena, it couldn’t have been more fitting for the City of Edmonton. For the next three days I couldn’t help but notice the Summer Sixteen merch being sported by teens and young 20-somethings all over the city. The love for Drake isn’t just in his hometown of Toronto, everybody loves Drake.
From Degrassi alumni, to mixtape rapper, to world wide superstar status – Drake is it. He has the entire industry in the palm of his hands and Canada can proudly say that we claim him.