Live Review: Drake — Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Irvine
Wed, 09 May 2012 08:26:02
"You have officially gained entrance to Club Paradise," Drake smiled from the stage at the sold out Verizon Wireless Amphiteater in Irvine, CA.
Drake's current Club Paradise headline tour ebbs and flows like any unforgettable evening at one of the world's hottest night spots. He serves as the audience's guide, and it's quite the ride, to say the least.
The curtains surrounding the stage unveiled massive L.E.D. screens and lights that punctuated the show's inherent emotion masterfully. Drake took the stage and immediately launched into an airtight rendition of "Lord Knows" from his second masterpiece Take Care. On stage, his unwavering flow proved to be both sharp and staggering. He's one of the greatest rappers that the game has ever seen, and his live delivery upholds that status.
"Under Ground Kings" boasted a similar punchy grit that hit hard in tandem with the entrancing production. "I'm On One" shimmied from a southern groove into another booming break from the MC that maximized the intensity all around. A stadium-size guitar solo blazed through the beats, expanding the sound further. Just before "Over", Drake conducted the lights as if he were conducting an orchestra. They shone from below the stage, surrounding him and further pulling the audience into this trip.
A true paradigm of 21st century charisma, he can move with smooth swagger or he can vault across the stage with infectious vitality. Either way, Drake kept the surprises coming. "She Will" elicited a massive sing-a-long as did "Marvin's Room" and "Take Care". Each of them showcased another dynamic from Drizzy. He managed to capture those swirling indie electronic flourishes within his sound, while exuding stadium-size bombast.
Midway through the set, 2 Chainz invaded the stage for a particularly incendiary rendition of his current single "No Lie" with Drake. 2 Chainz's undeniable robust rhyming perfectly countered Drake's irresistible chorus, making for a monolithic collaboration that's remarkable and untouchable. 2 Chainz then shot into "Spend It" igniting movement throughout the venue. Like Drake, he's one of the genre's best and brightest verses, and he's also got uncontainable energy that was instantly felt. Then, Waka Flocka Flame assaulted the stage keeping the mood intense and infectious.
At point during the stunning set, Drake made an important remark. After running through his tour of the Club, he enthusiastically declared, "The most important fucking thing to me is the music."
That was crystal clear throughout the night. Everything came back to Drake's mind-blowing catalog of songs, and he brought them to life flawlessly live. At the end of the day, he's constructed one of the best tours of the year in Club Paradise. It's a place you'll want to visit over and over again.
Earlier in the night, J Cole brought the crowd deep into his breakout album, Cole World: The Sideline Story. "Dolla and a Dream III" rolled with a tangible excitement bolstered by J Cole's inimitable and impressive skills behind the mic. He stalked the stage during "Cole World", inciting the audience to groove and join in on the massive refrain. "In the Morning" flaunted a hypnotic bounce carried by the rapper's towering talent. The Paula Abdul-inspired hook on "Work Out" elicited more ass-shaking, and J Cole emerged triumphant.
It was a night of triumph all around though from some of the biggest, brightest, and best stars in the world.
Were you there? What's your favorite Drake song?