Drake with Miguel and Future
Sprint Center, Kansas City
Saturday, December 7, 2013
For the full slideshow featuring Drake and Miguel, click here.
On Saturday night at the Sprint Center, it didn't matter that temperatures outside were meanly low or that the wind was snapping angrily about. There was an astonishing amount of scantily clad ladies tottering around on impossible heels, packed in the arena among the almost-sold-out crowd for Drake's stop on the lengthy run of his Would You Like a Tour?
in support of his third studio album, Nothing Was the Same
This was, clearly, a highly anticipated show for Kansas City (far more important than, say, Kanye's Tuesday-night show at the same venue, which drew an abysmal 4,500 people). And the 27-year old Grammy winner was determined to let everyone know exactly how much that meant to him, how much he wanted to, you know, keep it real for ol' KC.
The stage setup was fairly elaborate: a large circular platform set at an angle, with the center hollowed out for Drake's DJ and band, set up in front of a massive, curved screen. There would eventually be various smoke machines and even live fireworks. At the beginning of the night, Drake rose up, dressed in all black, from the back of the circle and launched immediately into "Tuscan Leather," stalking around the platform. (Later, at some point - I lost track of when, exactly - Drake would disappear briefly to change into an all-white ensemble.) He pumped out the first few songs quickly, saying nothing in between but dancing with a joyous face.
"Don't stop the music," Drake directed his band after "Connect." "Just give the people what they came for. I don't want to do no long talking when Kansas City is all into shit like that."
From there, Drake ripped into "Pop That." The crowd was beside itself. It was on its feet for the entire evening. When Drake wasn't rapping or doing his little Drake-dance (you know the one), he was pinching his eyes tight, playing an imaginary piano or conducting his hidden band.
The show kept a steady pace. Future, Drake's first opener and a notable MC in his own right, joined the headliner onstage for "Love Me" and "Same Time." Two songs later, Drake brought out vocalist Jhené Aiko to sing on "Come Thru" and "From Time." She stepped onstage barefoot, wearing a flowing, sheer skirt, and her look matched her ethereal voice.
To his credit, Drake did let the music dominate most of the evening, save for a few gratuitous lapses. After Aiko left, he pulled up a young, relatively conservatively dressed female fan named "Keetah" to the stage and told her she looked sexy, then serenaded her with "Hold on, We're Going Home." He looked deeply into Keetah's eyes as he held her hand and sang to her, and Keetah was rewarded further with a hug from the young star.
The female jealousy was palpable in the arena, but the insincerity of Drake's remarks - "I think I got a hotel room here, right?" he asked his band, and "We're all gonna watch you walk away," as Keetah left the stage - were perhaps more distracting than the awkwardness of being sung to in front of an arena full of people.
"I just want to put it in Keetah's life, just for one night," Drake told the crowd seriously once Keetah was gone (the audience responded with massive cheers). "But there are so many sexy girls here tonight. It could be any of y'all. I'm not picky, as long as you're funny and shit. As long as you're funny."