Live Review: Drake – O2 Arena, London (March 27, 2012)
Drake touched down in London town for his second 'Club Paradise' show at the O2 Arena in Greenwich last night, where he performed to a crowd of around 18,000 people. Supporting the emo-rapper was Labrinth – who delivered a smooth, futuristic set to compliment his debut album, 'Electronic Earth'...
Looking suave and supported by great visuals, the singer was received well as he performed 'Let The Sunshine' and 'Last Time' – the latter certainly being the best song of his set – with the Quincy-inspired sounds sounding indulgently rich. However, it was when the super-producer performed 'Earthquake' that the crowd went totally nuts, thus kicking in our adrenaline for the headliner himself.
As Drizzy hit the stage, dressed simply in all black everything, he kicked off the show with ‘Lord Knows’, which seemed as a surprising choice of introduction given that he rarely records heavy hip-hop sounds. Drake has kick-started a transition in rap, introducing a more emotive, humble approach to rhyming that has actually been embraced by the hip-hop world. What was evident from the show is that the Canadian artist is midway through a transition of his own.
Taking a Jekyll and Hyde approach on stage, the 25-year-old Young Money star frequently switched up the contrast from the emotional, love-obsessed, brooding character to the arrogant persona that we have been seeing more frequently since his status has risen so phenomenally. Whilst performing 'Take Care', he danced around the stage as if he couldn’t believe he was actually living his dream. Soon after, he stood emotionless in the middle of the stage, hands open and taking in the applause like an alcoholic does wine.
Being the emotionally open character that he is, Drake makes no apologies for the way fame has affected him. In fact, it only went in his favour, giving him an edge of realness that sometimes lacks in popular music today. This allowed him to effortlessly blend tracks from 'Best I Ever Had', 'Practise' and 'Shot 4 Me' to more rugged sounds like 'Stay Scheming' and 'I’m Goin’ In'. Highlights on the night were 'The Motto', 'Take Care' and 'Crew Love', notably being some of the fans' favourites.
Drizzy took (perhaps a bit too much) time shouting out audience members, including the ones "in the glasses who can’t see a mother f**king thang!" The set in itself seemed rather rushed, perhaps pushed by Drake’s own adrenaline. The rapper hasn’t had years of experience connecting to such large audiences, which showed because he was unable to keep the large crowd of people captivated consistently throughout the show.
The concert seemed to end quicker than I would have liked, but I assumed that this was because time flies when you’re having fun. But was I in Club Paradise? Very nearly. After his final London show, Drizzy went down to West London’s popular club, The Low, where he relaxed and partied with his buddies, which included Rihanna.
Words: Maz Khan (@MazHalima)
Photo credit: Choice FM
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)