LIVE: Drake @ SPAC, 6/14/12

Drake

Drake

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Come on, Drake, get it together. You had the audience eating out of your hand from the first note of the first song, but after the first two or three songs, you started a monologue that featured the “F” word in all its possible usage: a noun, a verb, etc… Sometimes it was used as an adjective for its own sake.

Hmm…

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Yeah, we all know your credentials – an actor in the popular TV series “Degrassi: The Next Generation”; a No. 1 debut on the Billboard charts with 2010′s “Thank Me Later”; and more chart success with last year’s “Take Care.”

But for the Club Paradise Tour, which landed at SPAC last week – you traversed the stage with a monologue where the only word uttered from your mouth that will be remembered by almost 20,000 people would be, “Fuck,” in all its myriad derivatives.

Come on. What’s your problem, Drake?

I know it’s “cool” to use those words to the adolescent crowd that made up a big part of your audience. But you are way better than that. So why do the “F-ing” verbal thing? Anyone with any intelligence was wondering what you and your label/publicity handlers had up their sleeves with that outburst. Was that outburst inserted simply to sell more CDs?

If there is someone keeping records for the most “F” words used at a concert, then you are a contender for that particular Hall of Fame. Is that how you really want to be remembered? Your music is better than that.

However, those that were there for the music loved J. Cole. Cole’s performance was not that of a “star” in the hip-hop world. It was of a guy who was doing his music intelligently and with a biting and explosive intensity. And he added an element of sophistication to the night’s mix, too.

At SPAC, the Club Paradise Tour also featured opening performances by Waka Flocka Flame, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz and French Montana, most of whom also joined Drake during his headlining set.

SECOND OPINIONS:
Chris Maley’s review at The Saratogian
Excerpt from Brian McElhiney’s review at The Daily Gazette: “The audience was treated to a rap star at the height of his game. Taking the stage 10 minutes late, at 9:40, Drake immediately made up for it, launching into a perfunctory ‘Lord Knows’ before kicking into bragging mode on ‘Underground King.’ The packed house was on its feet from the get-go, shouting along to every word Drake spat into the mic. His performance was made all the more powerful by his supporting players on live drums and guitar, both of whom made their presence known on ‘I’m on One’ and the evening’s centerpiece ballad, ‘Trust Issues.’ On the latter song, Drake turned in perhaps his most emotional performance yet, savoring each word as he half sang, half rapped his way through. Other highlights included a collaboration with opener 2 Chainz on the savage ‘No Lie.’ Chainz was the first of the openers to take the stage with Drake; throughout the evening he brought nearly every other opener up, including Meek Mill on two songs and special guest French Montana on a handful of songs late in the set.”

J. Cole

J. Cole

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