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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

Whether you know from his days on Degrassi or are one of his 82 million monthly listeners on Spotify, there is no denying that Drake is one of the most popular artists out there. His impressive career speaks for itself and a couple of weeks ago, I had the honor and privilege of seeing him live on the second leg of the It Was All A Blur tour.

For months, my 16-year-old brother wished for nothing more than for his first concert to be Drake. And, as his older sister, I wanted nothing more than to share that experience with my brother. For Christmas, Santa Claus worked his magic and under our tree sat two tickets to Drake’s tour. The countdown to our March show began in December, and to say we were excited would be an understatement. 

If there is one thing I can say about Drake, he is a man of many surprises. Our show was originally scheduled for Thursday, March 14, 2024, at the UBS Arena in Long Island. This was perfect since the show landed in the middle of my spring break, so I would have already been home in New York and not have to worry about getting there from Storrs, Connecticut. But, Drake had other plans, and after rescheduling the show twice, our show was postponed to March 28, 2024. 

This leg of the tour was extra special as he and J. Cole would be performing side by side at (almost) every show. My show was one of the few that J.Cole would not be there for, but I was excited to see what special guest would join in his place. Since the very first show last summer, a star-studded list of guests has made cameos at various shows across the country. A few weeks earlier, Lil Durk was announced to join the tour as the opener for several shows (including mine). Sexyy Red has also joined Drake on many of the stops to prepare their hit song, “Rich Baby Daddy,” along with a few of her songs as well. 

One surprise I was not particularly happy about was the absence of Lil Wayne at our show. Drake spent two nights in Long Island, and Lil Wayne had only joined for one of those dates. But, even without J. Cole and Lil Wayne, Drake put on a phenomenal show and it was such a special experience for me and my brother to share.

It really was As Big as The Super Bowl

One thing about Drake is that he is a performer, first and foremost. This tour proved exactly that. The show started with a parody of Stephen A. Smith’s show on ESPN where he questioned if Drake’s career was over. He said he didn’t think Drake could continue to be considered one of the greats if he couldn’t impress the NYC crowd at this show. The stage was set, and he made his grand entrance as the Jackson State University’s Sonic Boom of the South Alumni Marching Band played “Headlines” and cheerleaders lined the stage. The energy was electric and everyone in the arena knew it would be a fun night. 

I must admit that I am one of those people who study the setlist like it’s my job before going to any concert. I am also one of those people who says “I love this song” before every song and will proceed to scream the lyrics and ruin everyone’s videos. Drake has been making music since 2006 and has made countless hits along the way, and I was very happy to see him perform songs from almost every album and some of his biggest features. 

The first few songs were like a tribute to the fans as he revisited a few of his older songs, many of which were my favorites. He performed for a solid two hours, and I loved every second of it. The crowd had more energy for some songs than others, but it’s safe to say that every person in that arena’s favorite song was “You Broke My Heart.” Everyone was on their feet the whole night, dancing and rapping along with Drake. Even if you aren’t that big of a fan, there were at least five songs you probably knew and the energy was so electric you couldn’t help but dance.

Along with the setlist, I must give the set design team their flowers because their work completed the show. The main stage was in the middle of the arena, so regardless of whether you were on the floor or in the highest section, everyone could see Drake. There were also two stages on either side of the arena and he bounced around the three as the night went on. The visuals were the cherry on top as each was a nod to the different “acts” of the show. When he performed his feature on “Sicko Mode,” from Travis Scott’s album Astroworld, a huge Travis Scott head flew around. The same goes for the fairies seen on the cover of For All The Dogs: Scary Hours Edition” and huge sperms? (It’s been a few weeks and I’m still confused about that)

Drake: A Man Of The People

A constant theme throughout the show was gratitude. From the moment he came out on stage to the second before he left, Drake had nothing but gratitude for all of the fans who bore the rain and traffic to see him that night. Between songs, he made sure to thank us for coming out and supporting him throughout his career. He kept referring to himself as “a kid from Toronto that lived in his mom’s basement” and credited the fans for building him up to the sensation he is now. 

To say he gave back to the fans would be an understatement. Towards the middle of the show, he took a moment to talk about how special it was to be in New York and the important role the city played in building his career, from music video shoots to meeting forever friends like Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. While giving one of his many heartwarming speeches, Drake turned to fans on the floor and pointed out posters that caught his attention. A couple had a sign inviting him to their wedding on April 20, and though he couldn’t make it, he did give them $20,000 and offered to make a custom video for them to play in his absence. Another girl was getting a cornea transplant and he offered to pay for her surgery and promised her tickets to another show after she recovered. The last sign he pointed out was from a woman who was giving birth to a baby boy in October, and he gave her $20,000 as well.

I think it goes without saying that this was one of the most special concerts I’ve ever been to and if I could, I would relive this day 10 times over. My brother had the time of his life and his first concert was definitely a success. The whole show was like a love letter to the fans and was such a fun night. If any of you have the opportunity to see Drake live, let this be a sign to do it! You won’t regret it!

Sydney is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut, majoring in Journalism and Political Science. She was born and raised in New York City and loves to find hidden gems in the city with her friends. She also volunteers with Big Brother Big Sisters at the local elementary school and works with the Photo section of the Daily Campus, UConn's student-run newspaper. When she's not writing for Her Campus, you'll probably find Sydney with a Dunkin iced coffee, listening to Frank Ocean, and hanging out with friends.