Drake, Auckland Concert Review with Live Photos!

Photos by David Watson

Photos by David Watson

By Lisa Diedricks

Artist: Drake

Date / Venue: Friday November 3rd, 2017 - Spark Arena, Auckland

Just fair warning, I’m currently writing this with a very distinct loud ringing in my ear still. So, if I randomly type in capitals, that is clearly out of my control. DRAKE ladies and gentleman, Drizzy, Champagne Papi, OVO Sound, the list keeps going, but the man remains as legendary as ever.

Last night, Drake kicked off his Boy Meets World Tour, in none other than Auckland New Zealand, and the crowd was just as excited as him. I had never been to a Drake concert before, so my expectations for the show was not as high leveled as many of the others I attend, so let me tell you, if you ever see me standing still at a concert, it’s for either two reasons, either I’m bored as EVER and I’m just trying to get through the night without completely sitting down on the floor, OR I’m so immersed in the show and the artist that it’s taken me to stand still to really capture the moment and think to myself “WOW”. And yes, if you’re still wondering which one I was last night, it’s numero dos! I have never been to a show in which the stage production literally made me say “HOLY SHIT!” Yes, there’s the odd few that you expect to be part of the artists performance, or every now and again artists bring a little bit extra to their set, but I was told that Drake’s previous tour here in NZ in early 2015, was merely him on stage with his MC and some minor lighting, so you can imagine my shock when the man arose of the middle of the stage with smoke, lights and fireworks!

If any of you have been to Spark Arena you know how it is typically laid out, but this time, it was far beyond my expectation. Drake’s tour and stage managers really outdid themselves to give us Aucklander’s the real OVO experience, with the stage sitting bang in the middle of the arena, that extended out in a rectangle shape to either end of the venue, Drake was able to interact with ALL of his fans, and it was so much better for the fans to be able to catch the performance from all angles. So, whether you were sitting right at the top or down low in VIP, you were always able to see Drake in the middle of the arena, on the stage, running around and hyping the HELL out of Auckland City! I think what really got everyone so mesmerized was the lights that tricked us in believing they were balloons, now know that may sound weird to anyone reading this, that wasn’t at the show, but wait till you see the pictures and videos of the night and you will soon be on the same level with us!

The stage production to say the least was by far some of the best work I’ve seen an artist and their team put together, from lasers, to HD screens wrapping around the stage, and the lights molding and folding to whichever way they wanted by a press of a button was seriously so dope!

Drake didn’t leave the crowd disappointed when it came to bangers all night, from hit tracks from his first album like “Over” and “Unforgettable” to some of his best sold records like “Started from the bottom” “One Dance” “The Motto” to his most recent album, with chart topping hits such as “Signs” “Fake Love” and “Passionfruit”. The show was not in any part boring, even though some may argue that his melody interlude that commenced for about a good 20 minutes of the show was “settling dust” or “I wanted to keep dancing” attitude, probably didn’t realize that Drake is actually quite an amazing singer as well as a rapper, and if you’ve been a fan since the Thank Me Later album, you would know that the man likes to wear his heart on his sleeve and likes to interact with the audience in these times. This time round was no different, as Drake took to the stage with a mic stand and broke it down for the fans.

Scaling the stage to find a couple and singing to them sweetly, and in the end getting them to make out in front of the entire arena was honestly so great, wishing them a lifetime of happiness and getting the crowd to celebrate love with a round of applause! Drake has always been the artist in the industry to push the boundaries and has never been you stereotypical rapper, by means of fashion or musical collaborations, with multi nominations and wins from Soul Train, Grammy, VMAs and MTV Awards, it’s not hard to see that the industry love when Drake is involved in a production of some sort. I guess you can’t really say you know what it’s like going to a Drake show, as it seems like every time he brings a tour out, there seems to always be something new and inventive that his team surprise us all with!

One of last night’s spectacular props was a HUGE inflated ball, that when lit up turned into a symmetric overview of the world in numerous colors, from white and grey to red and white, to red and orange, it sat directly in the middle of the stage, while Drake performed the last few songs around it, sort of like a metaphor in the sense that, his music is loved and can be heard and seen from all around the world.

Some of the most loved tracks that Drake performed last night, in my opinion was “Headlines” “Work” “Jumpman” “Controlla” and “Doing it Wrong” the way he performed these tracks had to dancing and singing all night long. I’ve always been a Drake fan, but I found myself slowly moving away from him in the last few years, due to the fact that his songs weren’t really speaking to me as much as they used to – I’m more into the singing Drake than the rapping Drake, I started slowly coming back, when he started releasing dance tracksand started featuring on more lyrically inclined songs, so my love was starting to creep back on me, and last night, seeing him performing all of my OG tracks and seeing such incredible stage production just ignited that spark back in my life. I always say, that once you see an artist live in concert, no matter WHO or WHAT they mean to you, you get this undeniable sense of respect for them.

There’s something about seeing the songs you hear on the radio or even in your bedroom, live on stage that does something to your soul! At the end of the concert, I had realised that I had not sat down ONCE the entire show, Drake had me standing and in awe of his presence and music integrity on stage all night, with having him thank us fans all night at every chance he could get, was so humbling to watch, even when he took a triple shot in front of the arena to salute us all for supporting him!

The audience ranged from all different cultures, sexes and ages, and it was awesome to see all aspects of the music industry coming together for a night to enjoy a truly spectacular show, a bit more younger kids than I was expecting, I’m pretty sure there was an 8-year-old sitting behind me, but at the end of it all we were all there for one thing, and I think it’s safe to say that no one was disappointed! Drake’s second Auckland show will be tonight at Spark Arena, and to anyone that is attending tonight, be sure to be blown away!