Drake + Future Summer Sixteen Tour brings the heat to Chicago’s United Center

Drake + Future Summer Sixteen Tour United Center. Photo: Jeremy Franklin

Chicago’s been under the spell of a heat wave for a few weeks. That didn’t keep loyal fans from packing the United Center to watch everyone’s favorite rapper from Toronto, Drake. The rapper came out with Chicago on the mind. Sporting a fresh Bulls track jacket he earned huge cheers from the crowd. He’d go on to call Chicago the best city to perform in and how much he loves the city. It didn’t matter if it was true or just part of his routine, fans ate it up. He started his two-hour set with “Summer Sixteen” from his latest album Views. Then he played slow jams “Still Here” and “Feel No Ways,” getting massive screams from the ladies.

If you needed a reminder how many hits Drake has, this show made you remember. Drake bounced from hit to hit while pulling off his signature dance moves. Tracks like “Started From the Bottom,” “They Don’t Know,” or “Trophies” got people off their feet, with hands in the air. Most of the show Drake was accompanied by massive LED screens and a DJ. For some tracks, he switched things up with a live band. With a live band behind him, Drake’s songs came alive giving them a different flavor.

Drake blazed through more hits, including “0 – 100,” “Worst Behavior,” “The Motto,” “I Feel Blessed,” and “Versace.” He performed with passion and power like he’s still trying to prove his status in the rap game. For an added treat, Drake played songs he’s only been featured on, which was unexpected. After performing “With You” and “Faithful,” Drake leaves through a trap door letting OVO artist DVSN finish his song. Fans anxiously waited for Drake to return to the stage. When he did, the opening beats to “Hotline Bling” rang out and everyone let out a collective scream. While he sang a canopy of glowing balloons showered the crowd making it one of the highlights of the night.

Drake connected with the crowd when performing “I Got My Eyes on You” as he climbed on a lift that glided across the crowd. People couldn’t pull out their phones fast enough to catch a winning shot of Drake on the lift. Before ending his set, Drake brought out Future and performed “Grammys.” Then it was Future’s turn to light up the night. After joking about winning a Grammy, Future launched into a string of hits: “I’m On a New Level,” “Blase,” “Same Damn Time,” “I Thought It was a Drought,” and “Stick Talk.” Midway through his set, he brought out dancers and performed “Trap N****, ” “Drippin,” “Low Life,” “March Madness,” and “Wicked.” And just when you thought Drake’s set was over, he comes back to the stage. This time, he performed songs featuring Rihanna: “Work,” which he admits he wants to sing to her, “Controlla,” and “One Dance.”

By this point they hitting past curfew and Drake knew it. He clearly didn’t give a damn. He even told the crowd his manager and DJ know whose credit card to charge. Breaking all the rules, Drake riled up the crowd with “Back to Back,” while bragging about every five minutes being another 5K and just shrugging it off. The last songs of the night were “Pop Style,” “Know Yourself,” and the fitting “Legend.” It was actually over this time. Drake paid extra for his late night stay, but he delivered a performance that’s still getting buzz.

Ashley Perez

Ashley Perez

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on Examiner, The Crypt 1331, Chicago Innerview, Kitty Whipp, and Reality-Comics. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Marilyn Manson, and Green Day.