Drake - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - 5/8/12

Drake - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - 5/8/12
Shot on Monday, March 5, 2012 by Timothy Norris
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On the second stop of the final leg of the Club Paradise tour, Drake delivered on his self-proclaimed mission of taking the audience on a walk through a night of standing on couches in clubs, the universal symbol of his mantra, YOLO ("You Only Live Once"). We can't imagine he could've done it any better with anyone other than with his revamped line-up of openers -- Meek Mill, Waka Flocka and J. Cole.

Through short vignettes and bringing the artists behind today's club bangers off the DJ's turntables and into your face, Drake's Paradise Club was way better than the real club. So much so that we had to forgive him for the show's late start. Who gets to the club on time anyway?

Drake was Drake. For anyone who has seen him in concert, there are a few things to be expected from New Orleans' mogul Birdman's Young Money cash cow: spastic hand movements, a lot of jumping up and down, spinning in circles and drama. Let Drizzy's body movements tell it, every song was the most inspiring, moving, and epic song ever. There was no build up. He started the show the same way he finished it -- on 10.

After kicking off his set with "Underground Kings," "I'm On One," and "Over," Drake welcomed the audience to "The greatest club in the world, Club Paradise," with the mood-setting "Crew Love." The song ended up being a crowd favorite despite the deflated expectation of The Weeknd making a surprise cameo like he did at the Concord, CA show on Monday night. He performed "She Will" and "We'll Be Fine" before announcing that he wanted to make sure "You'd see everybody you'd want to see in the club," and brought out 2 Chainz, or as he referred to him twice, "The Legendary 2 Chainz."

Although 2 Chainz, the rapper once known as "Tity Boi," was a no-show for his solo set earlier in the evening, he apologized for his absence and went straight into performing "No Lie," the first single off his upcoming album, as well as his signature single, "Getting It."

Next up was Waka Flocka, who thankfully had covered up a bit since performing earlier in the evening with no shirt and no shame, his full pregnant-looking belly on display. His "Round of Applause" inspired Drake to jump around like a kid on a sugar high, which carried over into Drizzy's performance of "Forever."

  Bringing out a single mic stand, Drake calmed down a bit for "Marvin's Room." He added a little extra vibratto on the hook, undoubtedly some of the skills he picked up during the voice lessons he talked about taking before embarking on the tour.

Next, he performed "Trust Issues" and did some sort of awkward interpretive dance during "Take Care." After "Cameras" and "I'm On One," he took it back to the club, bringing Meek Mill back out to perform "Im A Boss" followed by French Montana and "Stay Schemin'."

Drake returned to the stage only to announce that he was over time and the cops were asking him to end the show. Or maybe that was a ploy. Theatrical as ever, Drake closed the show with "The Motto," and a personal message to the police: "You Only Live Once."

Personal Bias: I used to be a huge Drake fan until I got tired of his letting everyone leave fingerprints on his heart.

Overheard in the Crowd: "Marry me motherfucker! Ah yeah! I need him!"

Random Notebook Dump: After another one of Drake's jumping fits, I wondered, does he really do that in the club?

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