Concert review: Drake feat. J. Cole and Lil Durk | 02.12.24, Enterprise Center

“Big as the what? Big as the Super Bowl!” Drake, J. Cole, and Lil Durk put on a two-day, star-studded event at the Enterprise Center here in St. Louis February 12th and 13th. The concert began with the tour’s opening act, Lil Durk, performing all his latest hits, including Grammy award-winning song “All My Life” featuring J. Cole. Nearing the end of Lil Durk’s performance, the arena filled increasingly, and the football field-themed pit vanished from sight beneath a swarm of Drake and J. Cole fans towards the stage.

Now that Lil Durk had warmed the crowd up for the headliners, there was a brief intermission. Then suddenly, all the lights went out and the jumbotron pops on with a parody ESPN clip of Stephen A. Smith setting the stage for the show. The tour also included social media influencer/comedian Ben Da Donnn as the host. Throughout the show, he acted as an ESPN analyst, comically calling the play-by-play for Drake and J. Cole, as if the show was an actual sports event. Keeping the sports theme alive, Drake appeared on the jumbotron in a locker room as if he was getting ready for a football game. At this point, the arena is filled with screaming fans and cell phone lights. Drake began his set on a small, yet intimate stage near the main stage, performing some of his older R&B tracks that only his ‘day one’ fans would know. Drake went on to hit the main stage and did an hour-long set full of hit songs, pyro, lights, and life-size props such as Travis Scott’s head floating around the Enterprise arena.

Although Drake’s first set was amazing, the comedian/host of the show, Ben Da Donnn, was convinced that it wasn’t enough to get Drake and Cole the metaphorical win in St. Louis for the night. Still acting as a play-by-play announcer, he introduced J. Cole to the arena and ignited an ovation like I had never seen before. As J. Cole made his way to the main stage through the crowd, the roar of the audience only amplified. At this point, the arena was electric and J. Cole even seemed to get emotional as he witnessed the epitome of his hard work play out in front of him.

J. Cole took us on a lyrical journey with his set, performing songs from all eras of his catalog, reminding any doubters that he’s one the greatest rappers to ever grace a stage. J. Cole’s set left me in awe. He was able to capture this huge arena and make the vibe just as intimate as a poetry open mic night. Before J. Cole left the stage, he gave the fans some words of encouragement. He asked us to make sure that we continue to respect good music and what it takes to be a top artist. Then he went on to reminisce on his and Drake’s long competitive history together. Now, Drake has made his way back out to the stage. The pair began to converse about some of those times and smoothly transitioned into “In the Morning,” a classic by Drake and J. Cole that came out in 2011. The arena exploded again, and the crowd began to rap in unison. They also performed their latest chart-topping track “First Person Shooter,” which includes the famous line “Big as the what? Big as the Super Bowl!” Not even a full 24 hours prior to the Kansas City Chiefs winning Super Bowl LVII. That was another huge moment in the show.

Not only did Drake do a full-hour set by himself, he performed two songs with J. Cole and then proceeded to do another 45-minute headline set, which included even more hit songs, pyro, and lights. He even entered into a lift that resembled a shark tank and floated around a portion of the arena. While spraying the crowd with a fog machine as fans screamed for him to acknowledge them. Drake ended the show with a funny sketch to go along with his latest song with SZA, “Slime You Out,” by bringing a random fan on stage and spilling green “Nickelodeon-like Slime” all over the selected fan. Drake then gave a brief speech stating how much he enjoyed performing here in St. Louis and the crowd cheered in pure satisfaction. The official name of this tour is “It Was All A Blur Tour,” but I would consider that a bit misleading, because I left very fulfilled with vivid images of all the greatness that was witnessed that night. | Molique Taylor

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