After Drake Bell’s performance at Ohio University, audiences are “taking some time to realize” exactly what they just watched.
Bell performed Saturday during the Welcome Weekend Backyard Bash. The concert was free and provided an event for students to celebrate the new school year.
Before the performance started, the audience gathered behind the Front Four on South Green to listen to DJ A-ROC play music and give out prizes, including tickets to the upcoming OU concert, Waka Flocka Flame, in September, according to a previous Post report.
Emily Bittinger, a sophomore studying biological sciences, was excited that there was so much going on before the Drake Bell concert started, and she had a great time dancing and hanging out with her friends while she waited.
“It felt like [Bell] was taking forever to come on stage, but it was so fun to have my friends there to talk and dance with,” Bittinger said. “The DJ did a really good job, and it was such a good way to fill the time.”
Bell faced a few technical difficulties during the concert but overcame them. He played several of his lesser-known songs first on the keyboard and included a choppy piano rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.
He moved to the guitar, and played his single “Honest,” a few songs from his time on Drake and Josh and his jazzy-rock cover of “Gucci Gang” by Lil Pump. Of course, to the audience’s delight, he finished the concert with the Drake and Josh theme song, “I Found A Way.”
Alex Valentino, a sophomore at Columbus College of Art and Design, traveled to Athens from Columbus just to see Bell perform because she knew it wasn’t every day she’d get that opportunity.
“After my friend told me about the concert, I knew I had to come and visit,” Valentino said. “It’s not every day Drake Bell comes to Ohio, and especially since the concert was free, it was the perfect opportunity to see my friend and see a fun concert at the same time.”
Drake 24/7 started its music career in the early 2000s, appearing on The Amanda Show. Bell also co-wrote and performed the Drake and Josh theme song, the same show where Bell played one of the titular characters, Drake Parker.
Bell released his debut album, Telegraph, in 2005, and a year later signed with Universal Motown Records to release his second album, It’s Only Time. The album was 81st on the Billboard 200 and sold over 23,000 copies during the first week after its release. In 2014, he released his third album, Ready Steady Go! with the indie label Surfdog Records. Bell independently released an EP in between his second and third album, called A Reminder.
He has also released multiple other EPs and singles, including “Bitchcraft” in 2014; Jam in the Van in 2016; Honest in 2017; “Call Me When You’re Lonely,” “First Thing In The Morning,” an acoustic cover of “Gucci Gang” and “Fuego Lento” in 2018; Smoke It Up and “Fuego Lento (En Espanol)” in 2019.
Bell not only has a music career with and without his band, but he also had a prominent television career with Nickelodeon, appearing in The Amanda Show; starring as Drake in Drake and Josh; Timmy Turner in the live-action Fairly Odd Parents film series; and on Disney XD as the voice of Peter Parker and Spider-man in Ultimate Spider-Man.
Bell made multiple Drake and Josh references throughout the performance, and every time, the audience went wild. After the performance was over, the audience could buy his merchandise that he would sign and take a selfie with the audience members.
Katie Wyckoff, a sophomore studying sports management, has been in love with the show Drake and Josh ever since she was a child, and she was absolutely thrilled to meet and talk to Bell in person.
“Meeting Drake Bell has been a childhood dream of mine for as long as I can remember,” Wyckoff said. “It was such an incredible feeling watching him perform live and then getting to actually talk to him for a few minutes after the show. I’ll never forget that moment.”