Drake goes blue for spring tour

Eastern will be the first stop on rap artist Drake’s “Away from Home” tour, featuring K-Os and Francis and the Lights.

Aubrey “Drake” Graham will perform on April 6 in Lantz Arena.

Drake first appeared on the Canadian television show “Degrassi” in 2001 and will release his first album, “Thank Me Later,” in March.

“He already had celebrity status,” said Ceci Brinker, director of student life. “We are excited to bring someone of his caliber of the same genre as last year to campus. The diversity aspect is a continuation.”

Negotiations for Drake started in December 2009.

Brinker said the Tuesday show was part of the bargaining efforts to keep the show affordable.

“We had limited access and availability of Lantz Arena on the weekends,” Brinker said. “We really had to negotiate on a weeknight. We worked on making the show affordable in comparison to larger schools.”

Brinker does not think having the concert on a weeknight will hamper interest.

Tom Usher, concerts coordinator for the University Board, said having the show on a Tuesday might be a small factor for the general public or people who are traveling a long distance, but not as much for students.

“It is our first weekday show, so I guess we will find out,” Usher said.

Usher thinks Drake playing at Eastern is perfect timing, with his recent performance at the Grammys and upcoming CD release.

Jasmine Goodrich, a sophomore elementary education major, is excited for the concert.

“He’s my favorite musical artist and I like his lyrics,” Goodrich said.

Tara Frichtl, a freshman journalism major, likes to dance to Drake’s music and said she loved him on “Degrassi.”

Other students, like Brooke Waite, a sophomore communication disorders and sciences major, said she likes to listen to Drake’s music when she is getting ready for the day.

“You hear it all the time,” Waite said. “It’s always on the radio.”

Last year, rapper Lupe Fiasco performed with opening act Shwayze.

The UB also considered the rock band O.A.R. and comedian Nick Swardson for the spring concert, but the favorite was Drake when students were polled through Facebook and e-mail.

Drake has two opening acts, K-Os – pronounced “Chaos” – and Francis and the Lights.

K-Os, or Kheaven Brereton, debuted his first album “Exit” in 2002 with traditional hip-hop and won International Album of the Year at the 2003 Source Awards.

Francis and the Lights is a band from New York City. The band released the album “The Striking EP” in late 2007 and is currently working on a follow-up.

Scott Erickson, a senior sports management major and winner of “So You Think You Can Rap” will be another opening act.

Tickets for Eastern students will go on sale March 8 for $22 and March 15th for the general public for $24 with a limit of five tickets per person.

“Students should buy tickets in advance because of limited seating,” said Brinker. “We are more than overly excited about the buzz Drake is getting.” Brinker said 3,000 to 3,500 tickets would be available.

Past acts have included the Goo Goo Dolls, Lupe Fiasco and Jason Mraz.

Heather Holm can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected].