Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Last night Aubrey Drake Graham took the James L. Knight Center by storm. Tuesday night's show was the original tour opener, but when it quickly sold out, Monday night's show was added to the roster. My former music editor, Arielle Castillo, reviewed the show for Spin Magazine and basically hit everything on the mark. Fellow New Times-er and Drake worshiper, Ester Park also attended the first show, writing a lovelorn open letter to her Canadian dream boat.
But everyone knew that Tuesday's show was the one to be at. These were the fans that counted down to the original Livenation pre-sale, who scouted the web for promotional codes, and would settle for noise-bleed seats just to say there were. Thankfully, Drake realized this and rewarded his fans for it. When Drake went into "Miss Me," one of his professed icons, Bun B, joined him on stage. Even though the exchange was really only for one line, the crowd ate it up. Then when "BMF" randomly snuck on over the speakers, we knew Drake would reward us with a little hometown fun. Rick Ross hopped on stage and drew the crowd into a frenzy. Drake went on to declare that Miami was his new home. I initially thought he was kidding, but later that night at LIV, he went on to say as of a week ago, he was an official US/Miami resident. Guess those lyrics about being courtside for a Heat championship were legit, and LeBron James showed up (and tweeted about the show) to back them up.
The after party came with some speculation though. Could LIV be filled on a Tuesday night? Would the hype be worthwhile? And the answer was a big, fat, YES. To say the response was almost overwhelming is an understatement. The party was presented by Headliner Market Group, who despite the potential chaos, managed to keep things under control. The most important part of dealing with promotional groups is having them keep their word when they say they "got you" and I stuck around enough to see that they did before I personally checked in. As expected, the bouncers, bottle service, and some other promoters played dumb and gave the "I-don't-have-time-for-you" snub. Thus, I give an extra special thanks to Headliner for coming through on such a big night.
Inside, LIV read like a who's who of the industry. Among the guests were Bow Wow, Busta Rhymes, and practically the entire Cash Money family. Though I mentioned it before, it seems like Drake understands something that a lot of celebrities don't; people sacrificed work and their pocketbooks just to be at this party, just to catch a glimpse of him. He gets it. Drake stood front and center of the stage VIP for almost two hours so that everyone, those who dished up thousands and those who hung out in general admission, got to see him. He sipped his champagne and seemed to reflect on the moment while looking over the crowd, occasionally taking the mic to hype the party-goers up. So Mazel tov to Drizzy for appreciating his fans and acknowledging them, usually that's all they want.
Here is a couple of sources that covered Drake's Miami takeover:
Miami New Times, slideshow of Drake's Monday night show.
MTV Rap Fix
Fast Life Fast Money
World Red Eye
(Additional sources can be added, just shoot me a message via my twitter, @Luv_Li.)