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Concert Reviews:
Drake and Migos are better late than never at Little Caesars Arena
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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DETROIT -- As his show crept past 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14, Drake told the sold-out crowd at Little Caesars Arena that "they're trying to tell me the show should be over."

Pronouncing himself "not ready to go," he asked the fans if they wanted more -- as if he didn't know that answer already. (Not to mention there was not a curfew issue, either.)

Drake and Migos' Aubrey & the Three Migos Tour has not exactly gotten off to a smooth start. The trek was postponed twice due to "production issues," finally getting underway on Sunday, Aug. 12, in Kansas City. But things were still rocky -- at least before the two rap acts hit the stage for night two at Little Caesars; The show started an hour late, with fans kept on the arena concourse until 20 minutes after Migos was due on stage. A reported third act that had been added to the show was scuttled altogether.

During his set Drake explained that "the guys show set up got here a little late," which seemed odd given that Monday, Aug. 13, was a day off -- allowing Drake and Migos to attend Beyonce and Jay-Z's On The Run II Tour show at nearby Ford Field, where Migos joined DJ Khaled on stage. But even as fans finally filed in adjustments were being made to the massive, rectangular stage that took up most of the arena floor.

Once the music started, however, it was all love and hip-hop with both acts bringing A-game setlists and energy and, in Drake's case, inventive staging that added plenty of eye candy as he romped through more than 40 songs, many in snippets, during his 90 minutes.

The Toronto rapper, singer and actor is no stranger to arena stages, of course, and on Tuesday his confident but smooth swagger was intact as he navigated the 360-degree setup atop a flight deck that featured high-def projections of everything from molten lava to jungles and a giant iPhone, occasionally joined by six dancers. For "Hotline Bling," one of a handful of songs that received a nearly full-length treatment, Drake strode atop a vivid projects of a swimming pool, complete with swimmers gliding through the water.

There were other visual treats -- lasers, pyrotechnics, drone-like lights that floated above him like fireflies and a yellow Ferrari that flew over the stage during "Yes Indeed." And before "Nice For What" he hosted a basketball shooting contest during which Pistons forward Stanley Johnson took three shots to win money for a contest winner, hitting one from the free throw line for a $250 prize.

Drake's show had plenty of musical substance, too. Backed by a band he said was playing off stage, Drake dug deep into his latest album, "Scorpion," and touched on some of his hit collaborations with Future ("Jumpman"), Gucci Mane ("Both") and Lil Boy ("Yes Indeed") and was joined by BlockBoy JB for their "Look Alive." Drake also crooned through a version of Michael Jackson's "Rock With You," and Migos -- who started the night off with an energetic hour of their own -- joined him for a furious "Walk It Talk It" before playing another three songs on their own to let Drake change shirts, from white to black.

Wrapping things up with "God's Plan," Drake gave some props to Detroit -- where he used to pick his father up from the downtown Greyhound station -- as "responsible for a huge part of my career, supporting me for many years." He also promised that, "I'll never stop. I'm gonna give you as much music as I can while I'm still on this Earth...I'll never stop coming back, and I'll never stop giving you everything I got."

And the fans at Little Caesars on Tuesday let him know they'll certainly be there for it.

Drake and Migos perform again at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at Little Caesars Arena. Tickets start at $49.50. Call 313-471-7000 or visit 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

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