Two of the biggest acts in the world on one ticket.
Demonbreun Street in front of Bridgestone Arena is filled with concertgoers. Some on FaceTime outside of the arena proudly showing off their surroundings and clusters of Fashion Nova fit strutting at the crosswalk.
Once inside, like a wave, the spirit of the night rolls over the masses crowded in the halls of the arena. A massive roar erupts as the beat drops and Migos appears on stage. Excited chaos ensues as fans begin running down the hall to the repetition of the opening song, “Hannah Montana.”
On a massive rectangular stage located in the center of the floor, Offset, Takeoff and Quavo circulate around in matching jumpsuits that differ only in color. Their abundance of diamond jewelry can be seen from any seat in the house. The lights reflect off of the diamonds on their wrists, hands and neck.
“Get Right Witcha,” “Fight Night,” and “Slippery” are taste of the setlist. In between songs Quavo calls for the crowd to respond with a “skurt, skurt”- as you’d expect.
Luckily, the conclusion of their set with “I Get the Bag” and “Bad and Boujee” won’t be the last of them for the night.
We take advantage of the time between Migos and Drake to snag a Scorpion concert tee.
It doesn’t take long until the lights dim and the words A SIDE illuminate the dark arena. A mesh net covers the edges of the stage from floor to ceiling. Oddly, Drake preforms “8 Out of 10” and “Mob Ties” inside of the mesh, his green OVO vest is the only thing that can be seen clearly.
Drake is in his Nashville feelings, constantly verbalizing his big love for Music City. He pauses to say that he checks the schedule every day in anticipation of the Nashville stop. Normally I assume this is a sound bite an artist repeats to each city. Maybe the same is true for this, but it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like this could have been the one and only night of the tour.
“Started From the Bottom” and “Jumpman” are electric- the crowd entranced by pyro and the man of the hour.
There is nothing quite like the stage that has been customized to all 37 songs of Drake’s set. From the illusion of lava rocks, and tides to convincing swimming pools and an arena size scorpion.
In one of the most grand gestures of the night, during “Yes Indeed” a yellow Ferrari floats over the crowd.
Drake recalls that Nashville has been in a relationship with him for ten years now and decides to take the crowd back in time. Welcomed with cheering, his nostalgic journey includes bits of “Over,” “Forever,” “HYFR” and “The Motto.”
The words CULTURE RIDE in Soul Train likeness are displayed on the ground beneath Drake’s feet. Migos joins Drake for “Walk It Talk It” and “Versace (Remix)”- born in Toronto but right now I feel like Nashville adopted us.
A burning, hazy sunset turns the stage red as Drake exits and Migos stay for “Narcos,” “Motorsport” and “Stir Fry.”
Time for SIDE B.
Nearly ten years after his death, the crowd is singing along with a Drake/Michael Jackson collab that was released this year. In a turn for even better, Drake slows down the show to serenade with a cover of MJ’s “Rock With You.”
A set so packed with hits that the night continues on in heightened energy. “Controlla,” “One Dance,” “Look Alive,” “SICKO MODE,” “Hotline Bling,” “Nonstop,” and “I’m Upset” follow in the set.
Neon laser lights begin to outline the stage and transform it into a basketball court. The show becomes worth $25,000 for a half court shot. After the lucky audience member misses the shot, Drake hands him an OVO jersey and continues with “Nice For What.”
What Drake touches turns to gold or goes viral at least. During “In My Feelings” the stage becomes an iPhone and pays tribute to all of those in the world who took the song’s accompanying dance challenge.
A montage of home movie style videos from Drake’s start as a rapper plays. It’s a moment full of cheers. In a way, we are all celebrating his success as he shares it with us.”God’s Plan” concludes the night as an anthem. He gives thanks and shows his father and accompanying family members in the crowd.
What a night. Better than imagined. Go see Drake live when you get the chance.