Beards, Blazers & Babushkas: Lawnsightings: OVO Fest

Slava P was there. When you live in Toronto, there are really only four months of the year where the weather is comfortable enough for you to go outside and enjoy life. For the past three years,...
By    August 6, 2012

Slava P was there.

When you live in Toronto, there are really only four months of the year where the weather is comfortable enough for you to go outside and enjoy life. For the past three years, Drake has planted his owl-printed flag firmly into this four month-frame by introducing OVO Fest, which is less of a “festival” and more of a one stage, 5 hour-long concert. Because of its timing, coming at the end of the Caribana long weekend, the show is built around the promise of a slew of special guests crossing the border and preforming for the city.

On the first year, we received Jay-Z and Eminem. On the second, there was Stevie Wonder and Nas. Having attended the previous two “festivals,” I knew better than to spend upwards of $200 for the chance to be disappointed up close, so I grabbed a $50 lawn admission and took in OVO Fest 3. Here are my observations:

  • Instead of setting up a merchandise booth, the OVO team rented one of the Ontario Place shops to work out of. This created a line-up of people who waited for over an hour for the chance to spend $60 on a shirt with a golden owl.
  • The fact that it rained earlier in the day combined with the fact that most of the girls seemed to read the ticket as “OVHO Fest” lead to hundreds of mud-stained thighs by 7 PM.
  • Although 2 Chainz was set to open, A$AP Rocky took the stage first with A$AP Twelvy. Unfortunately the big-screen TVs on the side didn’t turn on until Drake’s performance (they were busy advertising the merch shop) so you had to just assume that the guy in leather pants and cheetah sneakers was Rocky.
  • 2 Chainz came onstage to “Mercy” wearing what looked like a blue Juicy Couture hoodie. He danced like a white man with the confidence of a black man. He also reminded us he is from Atlanta.
  • Unlike his last OVO performance, The Weeknd no longer stands still while he sings. He now jumps around while incorporating both James Brown’s heel-flick and Michael Jackson’s wrist-flick. It’s fun to watch.
  • When Drake finally hit the stage wearing all-white, he did an admirable job of running through his big hits and interacting with the crowd. He did expose his mid-riff often, so points off for that.
  • The flow of guest appearances was smooth. In one instance, Drake said a little prayer which led into Meek Mill’s surprise appearance with “Amen.” This led into Meek preforming “I’mma Boss” which had Ross come out. Then Meek left and French Montana came out to do “Stay Schemin,” which led into “Pop That.” It was Jew-Jitsu smooth.
  • Before introducing Snoop Lion, Drake asked the crowd for a coin so that he could flip it. I assume he kept the money, so insert your own racist joke here!
  • Snoop Lion is a pro, working around mic difficulties to preform songs that were relevant to the crowd. That means “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” “Beautiful,” and his verse from “Fuck You.”
  • There was no Aaliyah hologram, nor did Drake preform the new song, but there was a creepy montage onscreen during one of his songs. I don’t remember which, but it was definitely slow and melodic. Does that help?
  • I thought a riot would break out when Nicki hit the stage. The girl beside me literally said “OHMYGOD!! Nicki Minaj is a Goddess!!”. I really hope I don’t have a daughter.
  • Allegedly, Lil Wayne was in the building to perform but got too intoxicated. This meant that the audience got to hear Drake’s rendition of Wayne’s verse on The Motto. Seeing Drake say “almost drowned in her pussy so I swam to her butt” might have been the highlight of my night.
  • At the end of the show, Drake announced that all subsequent OVO festivals will now be held at the Skydome. This is a point of interest, because now the capacity has increased from 15,000 to 50,000. If he can sell it out, it would be monumental for Canadian music.
  • All in all, the show was good. It wasn’t better than the first one, and I doubt that any show Drake puts on ever will be, but at least I didn’t have to listen to “Ribbon In The Sky” on loop.
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