Making Headlines: Drake’s Influence is far from OVER


Unlike any other, Drake’s concerts prove that he cares deeply about his fans and attempts to connect with them in any way possible. He appreciates hard work and dedicated fans which he highlights in each city he performs. He decided to pay it forward to a few of them over his stay in Austin. Drake paid a visit to the University of Texas Women’s basketball team earlier Tuesday, Sept. 12th, taking photos, talking to the players, and congratulating them on their work. During his show Tuesday night, he saw a sign that read “Mexican American mom story tryna be Sandi to my Aubrey for his 17th B-day, HBD Robert. Look what you Done” and gifted the woman $25,000 for supporting him and spending her money on floor tickets for her son. Also, during both shows, Drake took 10 minutes to speak about loving and supporting others, preaching that “you never know what other people are going through.” He politely asked the crowd to individually talk to someone they didn’t know around them and compliment them, in hopes to make their day. 

On Monday, Sept. 11, and Tuesday, Sept. 12, popular artists Drake and 21 Savage appeared at the Moody Center on Drake’s tour: “It’s All a Blur.” Long-time fans, like the three of us, have been anxiously waiting for Drake to go on tour. While tickets were in high demand (and extremely expensive), we were able to score some for both days.

After arriving at the amphitheater and finding our section, the opener, Central Cee, began performing. Central Cee’s music career originated in Shepard’s Bush, London, England with his songs “Day in the Life” and “Loading” which brought him to fame in 2020. At the show, he played his most famous songs, including “Doja” and “Sprinter,” preparing the crowd for what was to come. 

In all honesty, we thought his set was mediocre and repetitive, and were preoccupied by our nerves for Drake’s set to pay much attention. Following Central Cee’s set, the crowd’s anxiety for Drake’s arrival was palpable. Unfortunately, it took much longer than expected—approximately 40 minutes—and the anticipation was unbearable. To fill the awkward time, DJ Zack Bia played a set featuring popular pop and rap songs “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar, “Kill Bill” by SZA, and Travis Scott’s “Antidote”.  

Following Zack Bia’s set, the excitement was truly eating at us as the Moody Center flooded with die-hard Drake fans—those who had been waiting for him to go on tour after five years and four album releases. Growing up, each of us was highly influenced by Drake’s songs through older family members and the media, and have been itching for him to take his tour to Austin. Later onstage, Drake emphasized how it had been over 7 years since he had visited Austin, TX, making these shows all the more special. Every fan, including us, showed up and showed out, sporting intricate and impressive outfits; the arena was a sea of cargo pants, printed mini skirts, and stylish sneakers and boots in every section. Fans also proved their dedication by reciting lyrics from songs that came out over a decade ago, before we even knew who Drake was.  

After waiting, we could hear the piercing yelps and screams from Section 124, as the lights went out and phone flashlights illuminated the area. Drake walked out with a heart-melting smile and made his way to the stage. While walking up the cubed stage stairs, a red couch arose with a man sitting on it, while the overhead jumbotrons portrayed the man to be a young actor depicting a teenage version of Drake himself. His uncanny appearance to Drake shocked us and we could not grapple with how pretty he was. Infatuated by his looks, we later learned that the camera overlayed a hologram filter to make the actor appear similar to Drake. We were disappointed with the news, but the show’s complex effects added essential layers to the experience that were unlike anything we had experienced before.

With each transition between his copious eras, Drake’s stage sets were impressively creative, with floating props like a UFO, Ghostface from Scream, and other distinguishable characters from his album cover art hovering above the stage and crowd. Completed with colorful lighting and stage effects, the floor was encapsulating. The jumbotron also mirrored the stage with colorful frames and embellishments. Specifically, one of our favorite moments of the show was the transition from his first few songs, including “Shot For Me” and “Jungle”, to one of his most famous hits, “Over”, which exhilarated the crowd and left everyone shocked. This transition in particular featured a floating Peter Pan figure and a flash of psychedelic rainbow lights across the screens and stage, with a suspenseful array of sounds building up as the spinning lights became more intense. Slowly, Drake rose up from under the stage in a new outfit, covered in smoke, and when the classic tune of fast-paced violin and string instruments boomed through the arena, fans were certain their seven-year wait was worthwhile. 

Drake also performed a set on his DJ equipment around halfway through the show, remixing some of his own songs. Also in the booth was Central Cee and NBA Player Kevin Durant, who used to play for UT Basketball—hence why he chose to accompany Drake on tour in Austin. While it was a random celebrity appearance, the crowd seemed to enjoy his presence, and it was an exciting addition to the set. 

Later into the show, Drake left to take a break and fans knew what-–rather who—was coming next. Before we could prepare ourselves, 21 Savage entered and the audience went feral: screaming, jumping, and anticipating what was next. This dynamic duo made a whole album together in 2022 titled “Her Loss” and have appeared on multiple songs and other artists’ albums together. 21 Savage began with his popular song “Red Opps,” getting the crowd invested and excited once again. 21 continued and completed his own set featuring flames and fireworks, making for an enticing experience. After 21 played some of his solo songs, Drake re-entered and the two performed their songs together: cult favorites “On BS”, “Jimmy Cooks”, “Way 2 Sexy” and others, entrancing the listeners as our voices went hoarse. 

To close out the show, Drake walked off of the center stage and made his way to the walkway next to the VIP section. Fans on the pit crowded around to get as close to him as possible and they looked up at him, eagerly anticipating his next move. Drake began to give a speech about the loss of Virgil Abloh who sadly passed in 2021 from a disease that he had been fighting for several years. Abloh was the founder of the luxury streetwear brand “Off-White.” He also famously designed Drake’s $185 Million Patel watch which he mentioned on his track “Life Is Good.” Drake paid tribute to Virgil by having a giant statue of him presented at his concert. Drake’s speech was heartfelt and proved to be a wonderful way to honor his friend. 

Drake and 21 Savage stunned the audience, and as we sluggishly walked out of the Moody Center with ringing ears; the post concert depression was hitting. However, we wished we could have heard amazing songs that didn’t get their chance to shine, including “Up All Night”, “Best I Ever Had”, “Fancy”, and “TSU”, some of his most known. We understand the show couldn’t have gone on forever, but we would have loved to see him perform those few. 

Even if our feet were dead and voices were sore after the show, the concert was extremely enjoyable and a night we wish we could relive. Drake’s dedication to his supporters left every concert-goer willing to spread his love for the days following his show—he truly is a Certified Lover Boy. After experiencing a night we will never forget, we encourage fans to continue “draking” their way through life. Our main takeaway: Drake’s influence is far from Over.

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