Drake & friends bring the ‘club’ to Comcast Center
A review of Drake, J. Cole at the Comcast Center on June 17, 2012
Regardless of what may or may not have happened with Chris Brown last week, Drake brought none of his personal issues onto the Comcast Center stage. In town on Sunday for his “Club Paradise” tour, the Canadian rapper promised his fans the best party in town and delivered.
Drake started with snippets of “Lord Knows”, “Underground Kings” and “I’m On One”, which provided a dramatic entrance. From there, he quickly went into 2010 hit “Over”, one of the few songs he performed from his 2010 debut album Thank Me Later. Drake’s high enthusiasm never wavered throughout his almost two hours on stage, most of which was dedicated to his latest release, 2011′s Take Care. Even during more subdued songs like “She Will”, Drake jumped around the stage like a little kid.
Despite being a rap concert, Drake’s background musicians got proper time to show off their skills. Guitarist, and Lil Wayne doppelganger, Adrian Eccleston, riffed on “Trust Issues” as well as Drake’s collaborative performance with Meek Mills on “Ima Boss”. Drummer Adrian Bent was the anchor, impressing throughout the night and evening stealing the spotlight from Drake on crowd favorite “Forever”.
Drake only vaguely referenced his recent incident with Chris Brown, choosing to spend more time on his music and friends. The majority of the show’s opening acts eventually joined him on stage to party and perform. Displaying more energy than he did earlier in the night, Atlanta’s 2 Chainz made an early cameo to perform the duo’s recent collaboration “No Lie”, along with his own song “Spend It”. Waka Flacka Flame followed to deliver “Round of Applause” with Drake before the headliner returned to his solo set for “Marvin’s Room” and “Take Care”, which didn’t falter despite not having Rihanna there to sing the hook live.
Opener Meek Mill surprised the audience when he joined Drake for “Amen”. While leaving the stage after, Drake pulled him back to perform a something special for the people of Boston. They two performed Meek Mill’s song with Rick Ross “Ima Boss” to the delight of the crowd and people on stage.
Drake finished out his main set rewarding the audience, which he called “his friends, not fans”. He performed his verses of Rick Ross’ “Stay Schemin” and then his song “Miss Me”. During “Make Me Proud,” he spent quality time with the audience. Impressively he called out to tons of people in the audience, whether it was the girl in the green shorts or the guy who came all the way from Vermont. This act may have grown tiresome after 20 minutes but it was nice to see huge rapper call out and appreciate the fans in attendance.
As he closed in on the venue’s curfew, Drake forewent a proper encore and instead launched into his last three songs: current single “H.Y.F.R”, “The Motto” and “Headlines”. The closer provided both the right love letter to fans and a fitting end to the party. The night was both a celebration of his young, but successful career, and his many supportive and devoted fans.
The only opener to not join Drake on stage later, J. Cole, made great use of his 30-minute set. With little time to spare, J. Cole cut the stage banter and spent most of his time on the music. He started with the rousing “Dollar and a Dream”, showing this would be just as much a rock concert as it was a rap concert. A killer drum solo and 80′s style chorus on “Nobody’s Perfect” quickly made it a highlight only half way through the set.
Despite a weird auto-tuned segue, “Work Out” was an all-out sing-along and also featured J. Cole doing some effects with a keyboard. He then performed his verses from Beyonce’s “Party” remix. Despite collaborating with Drake on the studio version of “In the Morning, J. Cole performed it solo on Sunday. Considering the two could have performed it live later in the night, it was a disappointing move. J. Cole recovered with a solid take on “Can’t Get Enough” before making a grand exit.