Lengthy, hit-packed set quickly makes audience forget show’s late start.

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Toronto rapper Drake drew such a crowd to the Tacoma Dome on Friday night (Sept. 16) that the traffic on I-5 made him late to his own show.

The delays kept the sharp-dressed, incredibly diverse and overwhelmingly young crowd waiting for well over an hour after openers Roy Woods and The dvsn.

But Drake — ever the charmer — asked for their forgiveness after an opening stretch of bangers he kicked off with his anthemic single that provided the tour’s name, “Summer Sixteen.”

“I took my bus here and got caught in traffic,” Drake explained, mentioning the gridlocked, accident-laden highway conditions. “But they called and said that this is one of the best crowds we’ve seen all tour. Before we continue, will you accept my apology for being late?” He coasted into his new album, “Views from the 6,” standout track “9” with images of Toronto’s CN Tower illuminating the backdrop behind him, and it was as good as forgotten.

The Canadian superstar did everything he could to make the crowd feel special throughout the lengthy, hit-packed set. He repeatedly switched out “Tacoma” and “Seattle” when mentioning a city’s name in a song, and shouted out the whole state when he got tired of going back and forth between the two. He also showcased some “Hotline Bling” video-esque dance moves, hammed it up with his keyboard player, engaged the audience and generally controlled the show and crowd like he was an old Vegas crooner performing his well-rehearsed set for the umpteenth time.

The set list was crowd-pleasing and comprehensive, going back to his 2011 “Take Care” and beyond, and incorporating a stretch of hot features — Soulja Boy’s “We Made It,” Big Sean’s “Blessings,” Migos’ “Versace,” French Montana’s “Pop That,” DJ Khaled’s “I’m On One” — before getting back into his solo catalog. “Hotline Bling” was accompanied by hundreds of illuminated purple orbs falling, floating, bobbing over the crowd (and a short intro clip of the original Timmy Thomas sample source track). “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” had Drake standing atop a moving hydraulic crane, getting his Peter Pan on over the audience while serenading them with the yacht-pop ballad.

Atlanta’s Future, touted as a co-headliner on the tour, finally came out during “Grammys,” and turned the crowd up with a rapid-fire set that started with a trio of high-profile features — A$AP Ferg’s “New Level,” Ty Dolla $ign’s “Blase” and Ace Hood’s “Bugatti.” The set was brief, and likely the biggest casualty of the late start. Drake only rejoined Future for “Big Rings” and “Jumpman” from their joint album “What a Time to Be Alive,” a handful of songs short of what other tour stops got from the duo.

Drake came back for a dancehall-heavy closing set starting with Rihanna’s “Work” and ending with his smash hit “One Dance,” and he could’ve ended it there.

“Once again I apologize for being late,” he reminded the crowd. “They said I gotta get offstage, but I don’t care if they take my whole check from me tonight — I’m gonna stay.”

As he closed with bangers “Back to Back,” “Pop Style,” “Know Yourself” and “Energy,” it was hard not to see and hear why Drake is possibly the biggest artist in the world right now. But it’s his engagement and appreciation of his audience — whether it’s genuine or thoroughly rehearsed — that truly sets him above his competition, and maybe gives some of those boasts in “Summer Sixteen” some weight.