A few months ago, I was lucky to buy a ticket for the Drake and 21 Savage concert in Charlotte, North Carolina. Given that Charlotte is roughly an hour from my house, I knew it was necessary for me to make the trip. The only other concert I went to was the Kendrick Lamar “Big Steppers on Tour” concert last August. That concert brought all the vibes, and the crowd got into every song. Therefore, I knew it would be a difficult concert to top. I did not know what Drake would bring. Everyone has seen videos of it on Tik Tok and Instagram, but not everyone experiences it. Another fact to note is that these tickets were pricey. Drake is always in a controversy or two, and even if he is not, every gossip outlet is always talking about him. Finally, ticket prices skyrocketed because people (including myself) believed this would be the night he was going to drop his new album. He delayed the drop, but this did not stop resellers from selling at a high price. ‘
When I arrived at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, the line was massive. Nobody knew who would be opening for Drake as he did not list any artists. However, some of the fans in line whispered that North Carolina native J.Cole would open. Nobody was sure, but we were ready and excited for anything and everything. After going through security (who sadly took away my amazing poster), scanning my ticket, and finding my seat, I was finally at the concert. Turns out the opening act was a random DJ, but he did get the crowd going with various hit rap songs. Once the DJ ended, Drake took around an hour to come out. However, I knew it was worth it once the lights dimmed.
I do not want to ruin the experience for any future concert goer, but here are some interesting facts. First, as Drake entered the arena, he walked around the floor and greeted his fans. One thing to note is that these tickets are generally the most expensive, but I think it is worth it if you get to the floor on time. Another important fact is that Drake raps music from all his eras. At least one song from each album- including the “Honestly, Nevermind” album- was played. He even included some of his notable features, such as Work (Rihanna, 2017) and Sicko Mode (Travis Scott, 2018). Drake also disappears for some time and allows 21 Savage to perform his hit songs. Another plus of being on the floor is that 21 Savage makes an entrance and also walks around the floor greeting fans. Some of my favorite hits that he performed were “A Lot” and “Bank Account.” Finally, both rappers ended the show with the hits they recently made together.
Overall, I was screaming the lyrics to various songs the entire time I was at the concert. Fans all around me were hyped as well. There were fireworks, fog, giant balloons, stage visuals, intense lighting effects, and more! Be prepared for anything at the concert as Drake and 21 go all out for the fans.
To make the concert experience even better, here are some of the tips I wished I knew before going to the concert. First, LISTEN TO EVERY ALBUM DRAKE RELEASED! I was familiar with all of his recent eras, but some of the older songs were ones I never heard before. There are various playlists throughout Spotify made up of songs Drake plays on tour. I would have enjoyed screaming the whole time instead of awkwardly dancing to songs I did not recognize. Second, familiarize yourself with 21 Savage. I knew most songs, but there were also some I did not know. Listen to his music more if you can as 25% of the concert is just 21 Savage. Third, try to get to the venue on time. In my case, I got there late but the opening act was still going on. However, Drake could come on stage at any time and you do not want to miss him. The line is going to be long no matter which city you go to. Next, make sure to bring as little as possible. It takes forever to get through security, and you do not want to make it an even longer experience. I only brought my keys and my phone, yet I still loved the concert. Afterwards, MAKE SURE YOUR PHONE IS CHARGED! I made the mistake of spilling water on my phone and it would not charge. However, if my phone had been charged before the accident it would have survived the night. There are many parts of the concert you will want to remember and look back on one day, so make sure it is charged. Finally, try to park in a place where there is not much pedestrian traffic (or in my case, not as close to the venue). It took me at least half an hour to leave the city center because people kept walking past our car and would not move. The police also shut the road in front of the arena down for foot traffic, so we waited until the majority of the people left to continue driving. This made the experience much more painful since the concert ended later than expected and I still waited for people to finish crossing.
Overall, the concert was great! It might not have been Kendrick Lamar great, but I really enjoyed every second of it and will totally try to see these two rappers again. It has been a few years since Drake last went on tour, so make sure to keep that in the back of your mind as you make your way to your seat. Most likely, Drake will not tour for another couple of years, so this is a rare occurrence. Drake said he never performed in Charlotte, and I was lucky enough to be at his first Charlotte performance. No matter if this is your first time seeing Drake or your fifth time, you will have an amazing experience!