To kick off the Australian & New Zealand leg of his Boy Meets World tour, PEDESTRIAN.TV hopped across the Tasman to see ya best boy Drake on his first night at Auckland’s Spark Arena.
Reigniting the world tour after months, and back down under for the first time since his 2015 tour, Toronto’s biggest lyrical export and noted sweetheart rose out of the centre of the stage to a roar of thousands in a haze of smoke.
Bringing two incredible dancers (Aaliyah and Toyah), pyrotechnics, and a light show that both mimicked the stars across the universe and transformed the arena into a tilting ride at a fairground, it’s clear that Drake knows exactly how to work a crowd.
With the stage stuck out in the middle of the arena so the crowd had a good view of the show no matter where they were dancing, Drake spent his time running up and down the arena, laying down tracks from his catalogue of albums and mixtapes.
As ‘Hotline Bling’ dropped, the light globes above the stage and floor crowd descended, illuminating hot pink as Drake busted out his signature daggy dance moves; you know, the ones that got memed to hell and back.
A moment at a hip-hop show that I never expected was Drake calling for his “moshpit crew” – asking for people to essentially open up the fuckin’ pit. Holy shit folks, let me tell you you haven’t seen everything until you watch a bunch of New Zealanders opening up a circle pit while Drake dances onstage around a giant inflatable, illuminated globe.
Multiple costume changes that saw Drake go from sports luxe, to skintight jeans, and then silver pants that made him look like a damn astronaut, he delivered a two hour set full of bangers, crowd adoration and getting folks to smooch (seriously, a whole ten min block of pointing out people in the crowd and telling them he loves them). His voice holds strong, at points going completely a cappella and encouraging the 10,000-strong crowd to harmonise back.
He didn’t go soft on the collab tracks, either – ripping through Rihanna‘s ‘Werk’ and entwining Jennifer Lopez‘s iconic hook from ‘If You Had My Love’ and ‘Teenage Fever‘ into a cut up version of ‘Passionfruit’ to name but a few.
Drake also stopped the show to orchestrate a very solid dance off between Aaliyah and Toyah – Toyah won with some of the best dancehall-inspired moves I’ve seen in a long time.
After letting us all know that he’s got new music coming soon by telling a story about how he was confronted by a local guy in a cafe asking when’s going to drop some new tracks, he closed out the night by taking a deep shot of “real alcohol” (he legit got someone in the crowd to confirm it by smelling the empty cup – it’s ok Drake you’re a big boy, we believe you) and diving in to ‘One Dance’ for the final chunk of his 40-song-long set.
He bid us all goodnight and just as quickly as he came, he descended back into the floor, where I assume he probably lives inside the large egg that came up from under the stage during the last costume change.
Got tickets to his remaining shows down under? Prepare yourself for a big boogie, all your fave hits, and Drake just being a genuinely delightful Canuck (they all are but, y’know.) If you’re sweatin’ to get to a gig, there’s still limited tix for remaining shows over HERE.
Started from Degrassi, now he here.