Drake Is The Best Salesman Since That Monorail Guy In ‘The Simpsons’
We are all Drake's girls, and every show is Drake's best show.
Drake is a man of one million different special women, a collection of ex-girlfriends and current flames he either adores, is heartbroken over, nostalgic for, or pussywhipped on. He loves Rihanna. He loves Nikki. He loves at least 12 different strippers. He loves Courtney From Hooters On Peachtree; he always thought she could be the one to complete him.
And he loves the girl in the front row of the crowd at his Sydney show. We know because he has just declared it to a room of some 19,000 people at Qudos Bank Arena.
Mid-way through his first stadium show in Australia’s most populous city, Aubrey Graham has paused the music to personally shout-out as many audience members as he can, working through each section of the crowd methodically. “I see you in the stripes; I see you in the 6 God merch; I see you in the Adidas; I see you baby girl with the shirt tied around your waist; I see you walking down the stairs, where you going, don’t leave me alone!”
And, at one point: “I see you with your titties out, I’m not mad about it.” And when he can’t actually make out the faces in the nosebleed section: “Everybody in the back row, just know that I love you with all of my heart.”
This goes on for 15 minutes. At one point I get up to go to the bathroom, my feet sticking to the floor with every step, I dawdle, I fix my hair, I come back out, he’s still fucking going. Drake is nothing if not thorough. “I love Australian women,” he tells us. “And I see a lot of them in the building.”
On his second night in Sydney, Drake hones in one particular girl while thousands of others scream. “What’s your name?” he drawls into the mic suggestively. “I got the day off tomorrow.”
This is what a Drake show is. It’s also pyro and fireworks and outfit changes and medleys of hits, but mainly, the people who paid $400 for floor tickets were buying the chance to get noticed by rap’s best showman. To be in his orbit, even if it’s just for 90 minutes.
To watch Drake is to watch a charismatic cult leader at work, a small town preacher on a Sunday, a monorail salesman doing his darnedest to sign Springfield up. Every city is his favourite city in the world. Every crowd is the biggest crowd he’s ever seen. Every show is the best show he’s ever played.
But Drake wants us to know he’s human too, flesh and bone just like us. At one point, he asks a couple in the crowd how long they’ve been together. “Two years?” he yells. “I can’t even make a relationship last two weeks!” When a rogue object lands on the stage, he stops. “Someone threw a Gucci hat up here. You must be rich as fuck,” says the man who is currently worth $90 million. “That’s the richest shit I’ve seen all week.”
Drake mentions his geographic location at least three dozen times in a single show. He reworks the lyrics to his songs to sub out Toronto, his hometown and enduring muse, for the name of our city. He must have practiced saying the word “Sydney” several times in the mirror before coming out on stage.
“You are the greatest crowd any artist could ask for,” Drake tell us before he walks off. It’s not true, but we want to believe. And Drake knows that.
Katie Cunningham is the Editor of Music Junkee. She is on Twitter.
Photos via Mushroom Creative