Drake, Miguel & Future at Toyota Center, 11/13/2013
"I been waiting for this motherfucker the entire tour!" a more than jovial Drake announced to a near-capacity crowd at Toyota Center Wednesday night. "Everybody knows Drizzy Drake was born here in Houston."
He doesn't attempt to keep his distance from fans, especially not when he's liable to switch up the pace of his "Would You Like a Tour" that was making its third Texas stop of the week following Dallas on Sunday and San Antonio Tuesday. Instead, he does that childlike rap maneuver every boy makes when he feels like they've said the most incredible thing ever -- he bounces. All over the place. Drake by and large believes in every word that leaves his mouth, a live-wire version of jazz hands that by all accounts makes him perform like the biggest star in the world.
When it comes to current radio standards, no one in rap is at his perch. There's just Drake stroking a magnificent owl and rattling off hit after hit, such as when his tour DJ abruptly ran through what seemed like an endless array of Drake songs and features from 2009's "Successful" to 2011's "Take Care." Rap only has one real caretaker of the Billboard charts, whether it be Top 40 or those niche R&B/Rap ones, and his name is Aubrey Graham.
Inside Toyota Center, all of that was on display and then some. In the background stood a large video board, at times playing different scenes and splicing in moments of the live show all at once. It wasn't a full blown distraction but watching that thing while hearing the car door chime of "Connect" just seemed even better.
The premise of "Would You Like a Tour" centered mostly around the release of his junior album, September's Nothing Was The Same and for a good while it felt as if we would run through the entire album in succession. "Tuscan Leather" clanged out, boastful and broad while sandwiching in a coda from Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" in between performances of "Headlines" and "The Crew" from Take Care. That's the moment when you realize Drake is in full command, every awkward dance move to a slow jam segueing into another big number.
Review continues on the next page.