IT IS a courageous performer who commands the Hydro stage alone.
Drake - Hydro, Glasgow
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Or a naturally confident one. Canadian rapper Drake appeared to have no qualms about helming an arena show without the aid of the usual hip hop props. There was no entourage of MC mates with whom to trade lines, no supporting troupe of dancers. Even his band and DJ were tucked away in the bowels of the stage.
Support act The Weeknd joined him briefly to inject some sweet R&B vocals but Drake is none too shabby a singer himself, with softness in his tone. Whatever Drake is driven by, it doesn’t appear to be anger.
In performance at least, he was a lover, not a fighter, casually seducing the audience with some well-worn tricks – serenading a fan onstage, testing out our collective lung capacity and, the pièce de résistance, going walkabout over the heads of the crowd on a huge circular rig lowered from the ceiling.
But what began with a personal touch, picking out specific fans from different parts of the arena, became an increasingly tedious succession of shout-outs which further fragmented an already bitty presentation.
Like a lot of ultra-modern R&B, the music was frustratingly short on melody, reliant on anonymous bass and garnished with little snippets of hooklines, creating an overall staccato flow. Yet thanks to Drake’s flattering attentions, no one seemed too bothered that they were getting relatively little musical bang for their buck.
Seen on 15.03.14