Drake Gives An Intimate Performance At Sundance

By Joel Hanek

A snowstorm in Park City, Utah put a delay on Sundance festivities over the weekend, but the show still went one. Drake’s intimate set ran a couple hours behind schedule thanks to weather issues, but the Young Money rapper still took the stage to perform a few of his hits.

The delay-inducing snowstorm coupled with an open bar made for a fickle audience. Comedian Aziz Ansari opened the show with material about relationships that would have normally served as a nice amuse-bouche to Drake’s emotive content. But much to the chagrin of the “Parks and Recreation” star, the audience talked through most of the set. The most entertaining part of the 10-minute set came when an unprompted Cuba Gooding Jr. ran onstage to instruct the audience to “Shut the f— up.” An exasperated Ansari dismissively conceded that Gooding Jr. wasn’t as funny as the movie “Boat Trip” before ending his set.

After crowds waited nearly three hours for the rapper to hit the stage, a triumphant Drake emerged and immediately made up for lost time. He opened by hitting the crowd with “Up All Night” and instantly cut into his first verse on “Forever.”

After taking a breather to introduce Toronto-based DJ Future the Prince, Drake apologized for the wait, which he explained was due to a six-hour plane delay, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind. Announcing that he hadn’t had a drink all night, Drake took long pulls from a bottle of vodka to catch up. Even without his normal backing band and spectacle light show, the newly fueled MC managed to bring an arena-size performance by going back in with the crowd-pleasing anthem “Show Me a Good Time” paired with his latest single, “Proud of You.”

Never forgetting to rep Young Money and his mentor Lil Wayne, Drake delivered his verse on “I’m On One” before showing some more Weezy love with “HYFR” and “The Motto.”

Earlier in the night, MTV caught up with Drake briefly on the red carpet. When asked about the upcoming mixtape with Rick Ross, Y.O.L.O., the rapper gave a knowing smile and simply replied, “You’ll find out tonight,” before doing the red carpet equivalent of a mic drop and moving on.

Perhaps Drake was hinting at the only never-before-heard material of his Saturday-night set, a new version of “She Will,” for which he told the crowd that he had a new verse. After crooning the chorus, the rapper spit a few bars of oscillating tempo about a wayward tryst that seemed to be a kindred lyrical spirit to “Marvin’s Room.”

Drake finished his set by playing the up-tempo tracks from the first half of Take Care. Bringing it back to his Toronto pride, the DJ cued up the Weeknd-produced “Crew Love.” Once the track finished, a glowing Drake revealed, “That was the first time I played that one live.”

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival is officially under way, and the MTV Movies team is on the ground reporting on the hottest stars and the movies everyone will be talking about in the year to come. Keep it locked with MTV Movies for everything there is to know about Sundance.