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Hip hop heavy hitter brings huge Would You Like a Tour? show to Ottawa

Photo by Moussa S-Ponce

Miguel, Future, and PartyNextDoor make for great appetizers—but Drake is a hell of a main course.

There was a feeling inside the Canadian Tire Centre prior to the award-winning Toronto-born rapper’s Oct. 22 performance that it would be a special show. At 9:49 p.m., following solid performances by Atlanta rapper Future, L.A. singer Miguel, and Mississauga’s PartyNextDoor, the lights went out and the sellout crowd went into a frenzy for the headliner. A platform raised Drake to the stage and he made his way onto the scene with “Tuscan Leather,” the first song of his new album Nothing Was the Same. He basked in the limelight as if to say the king was here and went on to perform a series of greatest hits while having the audience sing along.

Though the Ottawa date may not have been one of his more glamorous tour stops, at which he has a habit of bringing out exciting surprise guests, Drake did give the audience a treat. During the set, he brought out Future—who, along with Miguel and PartyNextDoor, joined Drake on his two-month Would You Like a Tour?—for an encore, and the lovely Jhene Aiko performed two duets with him. The duet performance of “From Time” turned out to be one of the show’s most intimate moments. Drake made his initial exit after performing almost 20 songs, but his onstage DJ kept the energy alive by playing some of Drake’s early hits and having the crowd sing along.

Drake returned for an encore to perform “Hold On We’re Going Home,” then spent about 15 minutes simply interacting with all sections of the crowd. He ended the night with one of 2013’s most popular tracks and his anthem, ‘‘Started From the Bottom.” Overall, the performance was a show of Drake’s maturation as an artist and performer accompanied by a captivating visual display.

In response to Would You Like a Tour?, fans of Drake should answer with a resounding “yes.”