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Drake Bell has definitely ‘Found A Way’

| Monday, January 19, 2015

By the time I made it to Legends of Notre Dame on Saturday night, the venue was absolutely packed, as there were people from wall to wall. Shouts of, “Hug me brotha” and “I ain’t calling you a truther” could be heard throughout the crowd. Every person in the club stood in anticipation for one reason only: musician Drake Bell.

Drake Bell broke through in his role on the Nickelodeon show “Drake and Josh,” in which he played one of two stepbrothers who got into hilarious misadventures. After the show’s tremendous popularity, Bell then moved onto music,  releasing his debut album, “Telegraph,” in 2005. This album was released independently, but all of the songs were written by Bell. In 2006, he signed with Universal Motown, and his second album, “It’s Only Time,” came out on December 5. Finally, his third album, “Ready, Steady, Go,” was released on April 22, 2014.

Once Drake Bell emerged onstage at Legends on Saturday, many in the club went crazy. Many people (myself included) grew up watching “Drake and Josh” (and maybe even had a CD or two as well). To see him standing there was like reliving a childhood memory, and there were quotes thrown around from the show from audience and musician alike throughout the night. Honestly, though, I did not really know what to expect from his live music — and ended still not knowing what to think.

Bell opened with a cover of Olly Murs’s “Dance With Me Tonight,” which was one of the catchier songs of the entire night. He put rockabilly flair on the pop song and showcased his strong vocal range. Throughout the show, I wished that he would do more songs in this style because it was definitely a positive point.

Bell could not play guitar because of an accident earlier in the month, so throughout the concert, he was accompanied by a guitarist. Still, with a solid stage presence that was coupled with his vocals, he showed that he could get the crowd going, regardless of his setback. You could definitely tell he was having as much fun as the audience was. He was very interactive and would talk a little bit between songs, which made a packed house seem a lot more personal.

Another memorable moment of the show was when Bell played his “signature” song, “Found A Way.” This song ended up being the theme song of “Drake and Josh” during the later seasons, and was a major throwback for many members of the audience. Bell put this song toward the middle of his set, which was a change from many shows I had seen. He psyched the audience out by starting another song first, stopping, then starting the new one. Putting a popular song among his covers (which were most of his set) was a refreshing take because then you did not have to wait an entire show to listen to one of your favorites. However, I noticed that after this song many people left, which was a negative in my book.

Lastly, one other negative of this show was Bell’s cover of “Blackbird” by the Beatles. I love the song, but thought his rendition of it was a little dry. It definitely mixed things up, but brought down the energy of the show a bit.

Overall, this show gave me mixed feelings on Drake Bell’s music. I didn’t walk out loving it, but I didn’t walk out hating it, either. Maybe if he played more of his original music, I would’ve had a different take. For now, this is one artist I won’t be throwing it back to anytime soon.

About Bridget Dedelow

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