The Club Paradise Tour made its debut at The Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord, California. Headliner Drake along with Waka Flocka, 2 Chainz and Meek Mill drew thousands to the open air amphitheater, hearkening in a new season of summer shows at the pavilion and doing it with style.
Waka Flocka has been called a lot of things in the past few years. Off stage difficulties have dominated talk about the rap star but his talent on the mic is undeniable. His live presence is unique and whips the audience into a frenzy. The head banging Waka made his way through a solid 30 minute performance. He didn’t stay on stage much, preferring to get up close and personal with fans on every side of the venue. Waka is a talented young rapper that turned out to be the perfect fit as Drake’s opening act.
There aren’t many who haven’t heard of Drake these days. Drizzy is the ultimate five tool player. His fans are as diverse as his music. He’s seen as a rapper. A heartthrob. A pop star. And, in some cases, an actor. Having been a headliner for over a year Drake is no stranger to the arena stage. He played this show with both a genuine love for the audience and the heir of a consummate professional.
Although Drake is now a world wide super star, the club dates he used to play are still ingrained in his memory. He tries to bring this vibe to an arena by calling out specific members of the audience. Multiple artists do this but Drake does it in a much bigger way.
He doesn’t point to the person in the front row, he covers every section of the venue and stays on the subject for over 20 minutes. Overkill? Maybe. But it doesn’t get old to hear him call out “You in the red shirt. I see you, girl. You look pretty good from here. In fact, I’d put a hundred bucks on it that you are. Thank you for being here,” that’s followed by a stunned reaction on the video screens as the camera man scrambles to find the fan. A few words from Drake made a few fans life long fans.
After he covered virtually every hit including material from mix tapes, hit singles, R&B tunes and “Stay Schemin’,” a track that has gotten huge buzz due to a rift with Common, he launched into “The Motto.” This song has taken over the air waves and is hailed as one of, if not the best, collaboration between Lil’ Wayne and Drizzy. Wayne’s verse is on the back end of the song and as the audience was primed for another recorded version of Weezy’s voice the man himself skateboarded onto the stage. Hip hop royalty was holding court before thousands of die hard YMCMB fans and the audience went nuts.
After the song was finished Wayne addressed the audience for a minute, looked over at Drake and said “Lets break the rules tonight,” launching into “The Motto,” a second time. Between the surprise guests, Drake’s stage presence and the buzz of the audience The Club Paradise Tour turned out to be just that.