SCOTIABANK SADDLEDOME – NOVEMBER 30, 2013
I have never been more aware of my ovaries than during Drake’s Calgary performance, mostly a result of those screaming, female-identifying individuals around me.
After recent OVO Sound signee, PartyNextDoor, and Atlanta rapper, Future, performed minutes-long sets for an under-whelmed crowd busy getting tipsy in time for Drake, L.A. R&B darling Miguel made away with the stage like a flamboyant space bandit in his ostentatiously fringed, all-leather outfit. Re-worked, extended versions of hits “Sure Thing” and “Adorn” placed equally leather-clad guitarist Dru Decaro on a pedestal as he wove prog-y solos into Top 40 singles. “That pussy is mine, baby,” falsetto’d Miguel and, as the perfectly coiffed babes beside me spilled their $8 stadium beer as they hopped up and down, squealing, I instinctively crossed my legs protectively over my nether regions. Proclamations of genital ownership aside, Miguel’s pipes were absolutely sensational. Every falsetto note was a butterfly in an insectarium and he pinned each of them to that Styrofoam with conviction, especially during the incendiary “Lotus Flower Bomb.”
Alas, the Fallopian serenade approached its apex as Our Lord and Saviour, Aubrey Graham, emerged resplendent in custom black Jordans. Vertically bookended by gargantuan ringed structures of chrome and light above and below, he wasted no time springing into Nothing Was the Same opener, “Tuscan Leather.” Later, as smoke jets went off and silent cartoons of Felix the Cat looped on the giant screen behind, the 26th date of Would You Like a Tour? seemed more and more like the trippiest, most expensive, most exhibitionist solo dance party ever. But no one was complaining. Future came out for “Bitches Love Me” as the individual beside me wailed, “I love this saaaaaaaaaawng!” Holy shit, I thought. Is someone getting tarred, feathered and dragged through the streets by their eyelids? Nope. Drake is crooning one of homegirl’s Top 25 Most Played. It’s fine.
But the most magical part of the display occurred with the emergence of the ethereal Jhené Aiko amidst white fog for “From Time,” for which Drake (appropriately) took a literal seat onstage to look up at her. Soulfully lingering on every cloud-dipped note, she filled every one of the 19,000 seats with herself. Most strikingly enough, she still kept her hands crossed in front of herself in a sort of reservation, leaving one to wonder if the cosmos would implode if she unleashed everything she had upon it.
This was still the Drizzus Christ show, though. A DJ spun early-mixtape classics before Hare Drizzna came up for “Take Care” and a tired-sounding rendition of “Hold On, We’re Going Home.” For “305 to My City,” Paramahansa Drizzananda mounted a white bridge suspended in the air and proceeded to personally shout out (mostly female) audience members from each section according to what they were wearing. This time, Drizz the Baptist anointed the masses in white Jordans. A penultimate mini-set of “Fuckin’ Problems,” “The Motto” and “HYFR” preluded the hallowed “Started from the Bottom” amidst a fireworks show. The house lights blinked on, signalling that Drizzhartha had already called himself out for his own encore.
As a young woman violently, drunkenly retched onto the floor a couple of rows behind me, the heavens reverently whispered, “Hail Drizzy, full of grace.”
By Andrea Rojas
Photos: Andrew Williams