On a cold Saturday night in February, things soon heat up when Drake’s “Boy Meets World Tour” hits Manchester (or “Galchester” as he calls it halfway through the show due to his love of Manchester’s ladies). This is technically not my first time seeing Drake live – I witnessed him turn up to Rihanna’s “Anti World Tour” at Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester as a surprise guest to perform with her. It is therefore clear that Drake has a strong relationship with his Manchester fans and at this concert, it is not hard to see why.
After four support acts with only one of whom I would go as far as labeling as fantastic, Drake gets on stage at around 9.20pm. For the next eighty minutes the Canadian rapper takes us through the hits off his No.1 album “Views” such as “Hotline Bling,” “9,” “Feel No Ways,” and “Still Here,” as well as past fan favourites such as “Started from the Bottom” and “Hold On We’re Goin’ Home.” His energy remains intact throughout, as does his ability to connect with a crowd. However, the latter does get a little annoying at times when he keeps pointing out various people in the crowd and what they are wearing, saying things like “Girl in the River Island top I see you,” rather than just simply carrying on through the remaining half of the song.
One thing that I never expected Drake to be able to pull off is the pretty immense stage visuals – the different coloured lights and pyrotechnics add to the thrill of the show, all whilst Drake makes sure that they did not conceal him as he gets the whole crowd involved in jumping up and down to “Jumpan” and waving their hands to “Controlla.” Eventually, after a cover of Rihanna’s “Work”, comes the moment which everybody has been waiting for. Yes, you guessed it: “One Dance,” which spent a whopping 15 weeks at No.1 on the UK singles charts last year and it is not hard to understand why, based on the audience’s roaring reaction.
By the time this concert reaches its climax, a massive globe (or “world” in order to fit in with the title of the tour), rises above the stage as Drake encourages the crowd to raise their middle fingers in the air to any haters holding them back in life, as he makes his way through one of his more recent rap offerings “Fake Love.” Drizzy is also good enough to clear up the accusations made of him making fun of a Muslim woman’s hijab at one of his London gigs earlier in the week, saying how important it really is to him to respect people of “all races and all faces,” especially during this dark political time in the world. This time last year I thought the Drake hype may have been slightly overrated. However, through witnessing his performance, I am convinced that this rapper shows no sign of disappearing from the music scene any time soon.