Concert Reviews

Drake Is Just As Much An Actor As a Rapper

Drake Is Just As Much An Actor As a Rapper
Mike Brooks

After spending two days in Dallas, Drake seemed like he was a little sorry to see his stay end. He called the city one of a kind, all while graciously complimenting the crowd throughout. His mom even showed up, correctly picking Dallas as the proper venue to see her son and his friends play.

“Dallas, Texas is forever in my heart,” Drake said before taking a shot while standing on a massive floor of light.

Though I’d bet he says that to all the girls.

His latest tour, Aubrey & the Three Migos, has been warmly received in most cities it’s run through, so maybe he has reason to get a little ahead of himself. And it seems Drake has been working his legs off the whole time as well. Mainly because the stage is surrounded on all sides, which even seemed to trip up the color-coordinated Migos. Even with three people, they failed to fill the space as well as Drake did on his own.

The experience adds another dimension to what easily could have been a traditional rap show. Instead, Drake is able to play to his strengths. He’s an actor after all, and at times it felt like Drake was playing theater games with the crowd. Pitting the left side against the right, then congratulating everyone for being so wonderful and for loving his music, the experience was affirming, especially if you’re already familiar with his oeuvre.

He’s an actor after all, and at times it felt like Drake was playing theater games with the crowd.

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Perhaps looking to avoid losing anyone’s interest for even a moment or maybe in an attempt to avoid feeling guilty for skipping someone’s favorite track, Drake ran through a sizable portion of his hits while darting from corner to corner of his rectangular theater-in-the-round. Staying with each for no more than just a few minutes and amidst simulated thunder clouds, Drake kicked off the show as an abstraction. A rapping silhouette.

The first half of the night started with “8 out of 10” off his latest release, Scorpion. And it is shocking how fitting a choice that was. Drake did a solid job, flowing from “Jumpman” into his bars from “Both,” last year’s collaboration with Gucci Mane. He performed a medley of older tracks, running through “Over,” “Headlines” and even gave a shout out for Lil Wayne’s birthday before playing “HYFR.” Then he brought out Migos, who looked even more like backup dancers than they had earlier in the night. The quartet remained for a few songs, including their 2013 opus “Versace,” before Drake disappeared back up the ramp.

Migos played long enough for Drake to come back a little more somber. A bit too somber in his feelings for rap, and so the B-side of the night began to form. Hitting softer notes with “That’s How You Feel” and “Don’t Matter to Me” before ramping back up with, of all things, a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You,” Drake winded his way through song after song aiming for the high points of each.

The laser light show he was standing on accentuated each beat. Drake created pockets of insanity at multiple points along the trench-like pit and rushed his way to each. He kindled the crowd’s fervor and complimented their shirts, all while working his way from romantic, sexual, chill and ultimately back to the vindication that comes with stripping away fake friends and former lovers.

It was everything you’d expect from a Drake show. Though maybe much more than you would expect from just a rap show, as Migos demonstrated well enough. At any given point when they were onstage, it felt like at least two of them had nothing really to do but wait for their next verse. Drake, on the other hand, practically danced from one end to the other. He took total command of the arena on a stage that swallowed up a three-man group. That’s impressive in and of itself.
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Nicholas Bostick is a national award-winning writer and former student journalist. He's written for the Dallas Observer since 2014, when he started as an intern, and has been published on Pegasus News, and Relieved, among other publications. Nick enjoys writing about everything from concerts to cobblers and learns a little more with every article.
Contact: Nicholas Bostick