ATLANTA — Drake and several thousand of his friends partied hard in Atlanta on Sunday night when Drizzy brought his Club Paradise Tour to Aaron's Amphitheater at Lakewood.
The festivities started early as French Montana, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz and Waka Flocka Flame all rocked solo sets while the sun was still up and the crowd was filing in. Not even a few late-afternoon raindrops could dampen the electricity that seemed to only intensify as the evening beat on. Shortly after the sun set, at about 8:30 p.m., J. Cole took the stage to warm up the crowd for Drake, who would take the stage about an hour later.
When the OVO general did emerge front and center, he was greeted with deafening screams as he quickly tore through tracks like DJ Khaled's "I'm on One" and his own "Over." After the Thank Me Later favorite, the crowd showered him with welcoming applause and the Toronto MC, of course, stood under the spotlight and soaked it all in. Drake has a genuine love for this city and paid homage to it on his 2009 mixtape cut "Houstatlantavegas."
"Atlanta, Georgia, for some reason, they kept us apart for like a year and a half, and I've been waiting so f--kin' long for this show right here," he said, noting the last time he was in the Southern rap capital. "Well, I go by the name of Drizzy Drake and I'd like to formally welcome you to the greatest mother----in' club in the world: Club Paradise."
For Drake, the purpose of Club Paradise was to bring the hottest hip-hop talent to one central place, and he didn't disappoint. After he rocked joints like "Crew Love," "She Will," "Up All Night" and "We'll Be Fine," he rolled out the red carpet for 2 Chainz, and together the pair rocked to Deuce's new single, "No Lie." The crowd erupted but took it up another level when 2 Chainz rocked "Spend It" and then brought out T.I. for his remix verse. Waka Flocka strolled out next and he and Drizzy performed "Round of Applause" as fireworks shot out during the song's hook. Drizzy then welcomed Future to the stage to perform their collaboration "Tony Montana" and then French Montana to do "Stay Schemin'."
The truth is Drake has a powerful enough catalog to hold down the stage by himself, but it's always more fun with friends. For Club Paradise's last act, the Young Money star concentrated his energy on his sophomore album, Take Care, performing "Over My Dead Body," "Practice" and the Lil Wayne-assisted singles "HYFR" and "The Motto." Tunechi wasn't in attendance, but for the latter track, the crowd spit Weezy's words on his behalf with precision.
To close, Drake and the band that backed him the entire night launched into "Headlines." It's been almost two years since Drake last rocked Atlanta and judging from the crowd's reaction, they clearly missed him a little when he was gone.