With only one album and a mixtape under his belt Young Money artist Drake managed to sell out New York City’s legendary Radio City Music Hall two nights in a row. The rapper played at the venue on September 28 and 29th as part of his Light Dreams and Nightmares Tour to promote his debut album Thank Me Later as well as performing songs from his mixtape 2009’s So Far Gone.
In a interview that Drake did before the opening show on the tour in Miami he stated that he was inspired by the legacy of late rock icon Jimi Hendrix in developing the concept for the tour. This was definitely apparent with the use of strobe lights which changed color at different parts of the show, and multi-colored pyrotechnics during Fireworks. Drake managed to effectively create a vibe representative of a “dream” or a “nightmare”, simply by first drawing in spectators with the design of the show itself.
Also noticeably different is whereas on previous tours such as his small scale Away from Home Tour, Drake decided to open the shows on his Light Dreams and Nightmares tour with his song 9 AM in Dallas(which hasn’t even been released as a single yet) rather than Forever. Drake made his grand entrance during the Radio City Music Hall shows shortly after 9 pm, about a half hour after fellow Young Money rapper Tyga finished his set. After finishing Up All Night, Drake spoke to the audience saying,”I came here to further our relationship.” He then welcomed his fans to call him “Drizzy Drake,” or “Aubrey Graham” if they were fans of his character Jimmy when he starred on the tv show “Degrassi.” Drake then followed up, by saying that he was going to share with the audience his life, his dreams and nightmares and that he “wouldn’t sugarcoat it”.
Throughout Drake’s hour and 45 minute show he performed over 30 songs and brought out numerous guest. Drake brought out Birdman to perform “Money To Blow”,Mack Maine and Tyga for the Young Money hits “Every Girl” and “Bedrock”, Fabolous for “Throw It in the Bag” remix, Trey Songz for “Can’t Be Friends”, Jay-Z for “Light Up” and “one to the Next One” and Swizz Beatz for Fancy.
Besides the numerous artist who showed up to perform with Drake, as well as performances of hits such as Successful, Best I Ever Had,and a Night off, it was the rapper’s interaction with fans that stood out the most. During a segment of the show where Drake performed a version of the remix to the Alicia Keys song Un-Thinkable the rapper brought a female fan on-stage and after taking her jacket off and kissing her neck and arms, he gave her a Blackberry “as the first gift of their relationship”. Throughout Drake’s interaction with fans he showed off his humorous side, messing around with the audience. During the segment where he brought the female fan onstage the rapper told the audience, “I forgot to do one thing,” asking his fans to please shut off their cameras and recorders for a second. “How old are you?” he asked the young girl. “24,” she declared, to which Drake replied, “That’s all I needed to hear. It’s all good!” At another point of the show Drake pointed out people in different sections of the crowd,commenting on what they were wearing, doing, and the signs they were holding up,from the people in the audience to the people all the way in the top back row of the venue. Also throughout his performance Drake noted kept looking up at the audience members in the balcony rather than simply focusing on those he were directly in front of the stage for the whole show.
Another high point of the show was a tribute to late R&B singer Aaliyah, in which before launching into “Unforgettable”, which features samples from Aaliyah’s song One in a Million, Drake told the audience, “New York City, everybody sitting down, stand up and put your lighters up one time.”
Drake also made sure not to forget about his “brother” Young Money founder Lil Wayne who Drake refers to as Weezy and noted that Wayne was the one who gave him the nickname Drizzy. He playing homage to his friend Wayne who is currently serving time at New York City’s Riker’s Island prison facility Drake instructed the audience, “Tonight’s special to me because I’m in NYC.” We gotta make sure we’re the loudest we’ve ever been to prove to my brother Wayne [that] New York City still loves him.”
Drake launched into his finale by performing “Find Your Love”. But just when everyone thought the show was over, Drake pulled one other surprise. “They’re telling me my time is up and that I have to leave the stage,” said Drake. “But I waited way too long to short-change my New York City family like that. So, on behalf of Drizzy Drake, can you please tell these people it’s far from motherf***ing over?”
The backdrop of the stage was lit ablaze again by fireworks and Drake performed his song Over. Before leaving the stage Drake made his closing remarks, “I wanna say three things,” he said. “Young Money all motherf***ing day. I wanna let you know when I was told I was allowed to play at Radio City for the first time, I was a little nervous. But, I wanna thank you and tell you I will do this again some time. Get home safe, and thank me later!”
Well the crowd most definitely Thanked Drake for the show, which after exiting spectators were still talking about the show all the way down to Times Square. It takes a certain type of artist to perform at Radio City Music Hall and be a success, and with this being Drake’s first major solo outing he lived up to the hype.