The Club Paradise Tour finally made its stop in YOLO County last night and of course, I was in the building. The opening acts consisted of New Orleans native Chase N Ca$he, A$AP Mob member A$AP Rocky and Mr. Hiii PoWeR himself, Kendrick Lamar. Unfortunately, I was running a bit late so I missed all of Chase N Ca$he’s performance, which sucked because I’ve yet to sit down and take a chance to listen to any of his material, so I was hoping to be wowed with a live performance. However; since I did miss it, I will finally take some time out to give his music a listen.
Though I didn’t miss A$AP Rocky’s entire performance, I did miss a chunk of it. Fortunately though, I caught enough of the performance for him to leave me impressed with what I witnessed. As with Chase N Ca$he, I’ve never listened to any of A$AP Rocky’s material (just a song or two), so I was glad that he was able to make a good impression with me, because I will be checking out more of his music, undoubtedly. I really liked how well connected he was with the audience, with the way he moved the crowd you would have sworn that he was the headliner of the tour.
Kendrick Lamar never ceases to impress me. The Compton native opened his performance up with the thought provoking “Buried Alive Interlude”. When the beat to “Hol’ Up” dropped, the audience instantly chanted the repetitive hook. Testing the crowd to see who had been rocking with him since “The Kendrick Lamar EP,” he gradually began to spit lyrics to “P&P” as people in the crowd chanted along in unison. After performing another cut from “The Kendrick Lamar EP,” he then took us back to “Section.80,” telling the audience to put their 3s in the air. Of course I knew that once he said that, none other than “Hiii PoWeR” was about to begin blaring through the pavilion. He went on to explain the meaning of Hiii PoWeR, that meaning being Heart, Honor and Respect. And when the beat dropped, the crowd bobbed their heads vigorously and chanted the lyrics simultaneously. He ended his set with “I AM,” making sure that before he left we knew who he was.
And finally, after what seemed to everyone like the longest intermission ever, Mr. October’s Very Own himself finally took to the stage and instantaneously got the crowd going. Honestly, I had never in my life, heard a crowd of people make THAT much NOISE for ONE person. There was a moment when I seriously thought that I was going to leave the concert deaf in an ear, if not both. The crowd’s reaction to seeing just his face alone was astonishing. I mean, he hadn’t even said a single WORD before the competition to see who could scream at the top of their lungs the loudest began. Tipping his performance off with “Underground Kings,” there wasn’t a stiff body in the building. Heads were bobbing, hips were swaying, feet were stomped and hands were thrown up and down. A number of cuts from his successful sophomore album, “Take Care” were performed, such as everyone’s favorite, “Marvin’s Room”, “Practice”, “HYFR”, “Cameras”, “Headlines”, “Make Me Proud” and “Lord Knows”, amongst many others.
“Lemme hear y’all make some noise if you a real n*gga!” he yelled into the mic just as he began to spit his highly-controversial verse to “Stay Schemin’”.
Having decided to take it back to the “So Far Gone” days, he shocked and excited myself as well as many others when he performed “Uptown”. It had been entirely TOO long since I had heard this song, so of course I was all smiles. And to hear it being sung LIVE at that, ha. Aside from causing the audience to momentarily lose their voice, he turned the atmosphere down a notch with “Look What You’ve Done”.
“I wrote this song for my fans,” he proclaimed.
Taking a break to acknowledge everyone who came out to support, lights were shone on the audience as he walked across the stage, pointing out fans.
“I see y’all up there with all the YOLO sweatshirts.”
“Shoutout to this extra section right here..starting with you with your t*tties out, baby. That’s the type of sh*t I like to see, you got the right goals in life. You’re going places,” he joked.
“All of y’all up there at the top, I see y’all. I love y’all more than life itself,” he assured fans.
After about a good 10 minutes of shouting out fans, he told the audience that Davis was indeed the best audience that he had performed in front of out of all of the cities he’s been to on the Club Paradise Tour thus far. Moments later, he got the crowd “hyphy” when he cried out, “NOW, SHE WANT A PHOTO!” Being that he was in NorCal, oh you KNOW it was a wrap when it came time for him to say “I’m in the building and I’m feeling myself. Rest in peace Mac Dre, I’ma do it for the Bay!” As if they weren’t before, no one hesitated to start “gigging” even harder than they had been throughout the whole concert.
Overall, I must say that it was an amazing experience. If ever I doubted Drake’s stage presence before, those doubts are surely non-existent now. He had the crowd moving! Outside of how well he connected with his fans, his vocals were on point as well. He’s not one of those artists who only sounds good while on record, he actually sounds just as better live! Everything about the concert had me leaving far more than impressed, I can definitely say that I have a new found respect for Drake. Anyone that can connect with an audience the way he did is cool with me. I’m looking forward to seeing him live again in May!
Overall, I must say that it was an amazing experience. If ever I doubted Drake’s stage presence before, those doubts are surely non-existent now. He had the crowd moving! Outside of how well he connected with his fans, his vocals were on point as well. He’s not one of those artists who only sounds good while on record, he actually sounds just as better live! Everything about the concert had me leaving far more than impressed, I can definitely say that I have a new found respect for Drake. Anyone that can connect with an audience the way he did is cool with me. It was definitely worth the money, time and the hours of standing and dancing in heels. I’m looking forward to seeing him live again in May!
(sidenote: The stage lighting and production was BEAUTIFUL!)