SXSW 2016: Drake and OVO Surprise Fans With Headlining Set at the Fader Fort (Watch)
Hours before he hit the stage in Austin, Texas, rumors had spread around SXSW that Drake would be the surprise unannounced guest to close out this year's edition of the Fader Fort presented by Converse. So when the lights dimmed and an OVO Sound logo appeared above the stage 15 minutes after scheduled headliner Yo Gotti ended his set, it was in front of a crowd that had hardly moved and was impatiently waiting.
"Fader asked me to come and do one song tonight," Drake would say an hour later after finally emerging to rip through "Energy." "But I could keep going if y'all wanna keep going."
You requested it, so we rewind. pic.twitter.com/DhqBPNj6uF— The FADER (@thefader) March 20, 2016
By that point the thousands in the Fort, many tired on the final night of the festival's 10th day, were more than ready to keep going, and Drizzy duly delivered. With his likable charisma and engaging stage presence in full effect, the Toronto MC ran through a short collection of his latest hits -- "Know Yourself" and "Big Rings" among them -- and invited Metro Boomin on stage to dance along side him as he performed his Future collaboration "Jumpman"... then ran it back again with fans as loud as they had been all week.
Drop that shit. pic.twitter.com/GMAcedPkIc— The FADER (@thefader) March 20, 2016
That was a welcome change, because the rest of the OVO roster that preceded Drake had underwhelmed after Gotti's hits-laden set had wrapped up and left the excitement in the venue palpable. DVSN, OVO's latest signee, had been the first to emerge, with arena-sized beats and three gospel singers behind him providing the backdrop as he stood rooted and unmoving, letting his falsetto take center stage. It wasn't particularly engaging, but it was in line with the kind of bass-heavy emotional tone that is OVO's strong suit. Roy Wood$ followed with his song "Get You Good" which echoed much of the same vibe: slower, more ambient and one that didn't quite match up with the anticipation surrounding Drake's appearance; by the time Majid Jordan hit the stage 45 minutes in, a restlessness had set in due to the amount of sonic similarity between the artists.
PartyNextDoor was able to switch things up with "Welcome To The Party" and "Break For Toronto" eventually getting things back on track, and by the time he rolled into "Recognize" the mood was back on the upswing. Drake wasted little time capitalizing and hopped on stage right after PND sauntered off. "I'm trying to give you something that y'all can sing along to," he said after Metro left the stage following "Jumpman," delivering with his Meek Mill diss track "Back To Back" that has become a verified hit in its own right.
Know yourself. pic.twitter.com/I3IbpWG5lp— The FADER (@thefader) March 20, 2016
The song's last line -- "I took a break from Views now in back to that" -- was especially poignant, as he confirmed again that his next official album, Views From the 6, was on the way in "I don't know how many weeks." As his latest single "Summer Sixteen" closed out his short but worthwhile set, he teased an upcoming tour to support it as well, rounding things out by taking a leaf from the book of all great entertainers: leaving fans wanting more.