Hackney-born singer/rapper/producer Labrinth was the support act of the evening, which was slightly disappointing as A$AP Rocky and Kendrick Lamar were initially rumoured to join the European leg of the Club Paradise tour. After a few minutes of grumbling and uncertainty, the crowd warmed up to Labrinth’s array of electro infused tracks and danced away. He ended his set on a high with the hit song “Earthquake” (he pointed out that it was Drake’s favourite song of his). Considering his debut album is yet to be released, Labrinth held his own with this performance and is definitely one to watch in the near future.
Having to perform for a crowd of 18,000 is a tough job, especially with R&B superstar Rihanna in the audience. Drake began his set with the powerful song “Lord Knows” and walked onto the stage with the smoke machines in full effect. After performing the first few upbeat tracks, Drake began to perform numerous medleys of songs such as “Crew Love” mixed with “Forever”. My favourite song he performed was “Round of Applause” off of Waka Flocka Flame’s mixtape Lebron Flocka James 3 (I am however bias as I’m deeply in groupie-love with Waka Flocka).
There were a few moments when Drake lifted up his black wife-beater to expose his abs for the ladies (and some gentlemen). After making every female in the audience scream, he proceeded to sing and rap a medley of “Marvin’s Room” and other story-telling songs of heartbreak and regret from his latest album Take Care. This smoothly transitioned into performing a few upbeat rap tracks off of his previous album Thank Me Later as well his mixtape So Far Gone making old fans like me scream out the lyrics.
After Drake introduced his live band to the audience, he singled out people in the crowd for personal shout outs and thanked the entire arena for coming to see him. He went on to claim that the two London dates at the O2 have been the best nights of his career so far. Big up London!
Drake ended the show with “The Motto”, a surefire crowd pleaser. As the audience were rapping out the phrase YOLO (You Only Live Once) and dancing, he bounced around the stage with a huge smile on his face and bid the O2 farewell. Drake certainly delivered with this performance and managed to fully engage with the audience.
Drake hinted that he may return to the O2 at a later date with Nicki Minaj and his self-proclaimed brother Lil Wayne. We will be expecting a YMCMB tour either later on this year or early next year. The BluMile will keep you posted!