In a world where the USA has dominated the music scene… it’s a great feeling to know that two of the biggest names in the music world right now are Canadian. Justin Bieber and Drake have taken the world by storm. Pair them up with the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and suddenly Canada is no longer a huge land mass taking up half of North America.

Though Drake’s debut album proved that he is a very talented artist, the concert proved that he still has a lot of work to do as a performer. But before I go on, I should explain a few things about HipHop shows. HipHop concerts/shows are very difficult to put on from an artists perspective. ROCK shows can fill their stage with pyrotechnics, balloon devils, 20 minute guitar solos, and huge marquess signs. POP artists can have background singers, background dancers, and even a little acting in between.

But when it comes to HipHop, it’s more about the music and the lyrics. Drake is in a bad position… he is a HipHop artist that targets you females who expect more than just the regular HipHop show. Our generation has been tailored to expect more than just music from a concert. When we attend a concert, we expect to get to know the artist in a literal face-to-face basis instead of a character we hear on the radio and see on TV. Unfortunately, for me at least, Drake failed to provide that. It is not all lost for HipHop though. Artists such as Kanye West are taking concerts to the next level. Adding bits a pieces from all genres to provide a full produced show. If you attended the Glow in the Dark Tour, you know exactly what I mean.

On to the show… fans expected it to kick off at 8pm but the opening acts didn’t get on stage until 9pm. Drake would hit the stage around 10pm. The low-part of the show was actually the opening number. With 2,300 screaming fans Drake came on to the stage with a mid-tempo beat song titled 9am In Dallas. If you’re think what song? you aren’t the only one. The song wasn’t even on his debut album and was actually a freestyle/ bonus track. The mid-tempo low-beat song immediately brought down the roaring crowd who couldn’t sing along to the relatively unknown track.

His outfit: Drake rocked a long sleeve black shirt, black cargo pants, and a pair of Jordans. For a multi-millionaire… I expected something a little more flashy. A crazy watch at least! or Young Money chain. But nothing. Just a plain black long sleeve shirt you could probably get anywhere.

It also started to get on my nerves a bit when each set of songs would last just over 1 minute – before you could get into the groove of the song, it was over. The only songs he ever fully completed were the major singles such as Best I Ever Had and Over. The rest of the songs were usually only 1 minute snippets of them. Though his set let was huge, I would have preferred 10 full songs over 19 snippets of songs.

The highlight of the show was when Drake took a few minutes to address the crowd. He singled out audience members by pointing out what they were wearing and taking a few seconds to talk about them. Drake probably pointed out a total of 12 audience members. His performance of Fancy was also one of my favourites and got the crowd up. One lucky Winnipegger was also invited on stage to slow dance and get a few kisses.

We can nitpick all we want… but we should also realize that this dude just started his career and will only get better. The expectations for him has been set so high that we fail to realize that his debut album was just released a little over a month ago. His first week of album sales reached 447,000, which is amazing for a debut artist.

Regardless of the high expectations, Drake still rocked the sold out crowd of 2,300 people at the Centennial Concert Hall. For someone who has been in the game for such a short period of time, he was very impressive on the stage. If this was just a taste of how great Drake can potentially get… I’m excited for the future.

VIDEOS: After a lot of help from Winnipeggers, we finally completed our Video footage of Drake’s performance in Winnipeg. We have the complete concert for those who couldn’t get tickets to the sold out show last week. We are posting this to promote his music. The show was sold out, and its unfortunate that there were many Winnipeggers that couldn’t enjoy it… these videos are for you.

Special thanks to: jellapangilinan, madups77, treestand, elaineu, FreshNewMusikTV. If I missed you, please let me know.

SET LIST:
9AM in Dallas
Forever
Unstoppable
Show Me a Good Time
Lust For Life
Fireworks
Money to Blow
Lose My Mind
I’m Going In
Every Girl
Bed Rock
Unthinkable
Drake Brings Winnipeg Girl on Stage
A Night Off
Successful
Say Something
Fancy
Find Your Love
Best I Ever Had
Over