My craziest concert experience is definitely the Drake Bell show I went to in June of 2018. The tickets were $22 for general admission. It was in Knoxville, TN, which is about an hour's drive for us. Not being familiar with the area, we decided to get to the venue about an hour early to scope the place out. Also, we weren’t sure how early the crowd would start showing up or if there would be a long line. Seats were first come first serve, knowing we wanted a good view we decided an hour might be the best bet. On arrival, we discovered that the venue was actually a small, roadhouse restaurant. When we walked in, they told us it would be about another 30 minutes before they would be letting people pick seats, so we decided to wait outside. After waiting, we wandered back in, being among the first to arrive. A staff member told us that we were welcome to sit wherever. It just so happened that there was a table for two right beside the stage, so we made our way over, excited that we were able to be that close. The venue soon filled up with about 100 people. The restaurant remained open for the show so we ordered some food while we waited for the concert to start.
As our food comes out, so does Drake. He’s in Gucci jeans, a white tee, and socks with Gucci loafers. He’s wearing some black sunglasses and has an acoustic
guitar hanging on his shoulder. At this point, all I could think is how weird it was to be sitting steps away from a man that I grew up watching on television. Drake’s setlist consisted of him singing some Beatles covers, a few blues songs, and original songs he’d written and sung while on Drake and Josh. He took little breaks between each song to chat with the crowd, asking for suggestions of songs to play and even throwing around some jokes. At one point he asked if anyone had had the brisket, and my friend raised her hand. He asked her about it, and they had a small conversation… about brisket. I just remember us looking at each other like wow…that just happened. He rounded off the concert by singing some more requests, like Gucci Gang where he had to mumble most of the words since they’re not very family-friendly. The performance ended with Drake singing Honest from his 2017 EP. Finally, the moment we all came for, he sang the Drake and Josh theme song!
Just when we didn’t think the evening could get any crazier, he announces that he is going to be signing posters and taking pictures with us if we will line up by the back-room door. CRAZY! We ran into the line, got our autographs and pictures and then left what was hands down the craziest evening of our entire lives. I couldn’t believe that such an incredible experience was only $22, and we sat SIDE STAGE. Just unbelievable. This experience definitely made me a bigger fan of Drake Bell. It made me feel more valued and appreciated as a fan. It was so special and intimate to be able to interact with him and basically get a private concert tailored to us as an audience.
Looking back on it, I also realize how much Drake really must care about his fans and the experience as a whole to not only charge so little for tickets but also to play in such a small venue, working the show to best accommodate the fans. I have been to many concerts in my life, all a blast, but I definitely would say that, given the choice, I would prefer an intimate concert every time. Being able to hear what I want to hear is a formula for a perfect moment.
We at With the Band loved hearing about Karmen’s Drake Bell concert experience! If you’re in Nashville, Drake will perform at The End on April 27 where he will be touring his latest album “The Lost Album,” which just dropped February 21, 2020. Tickets are on sale now through The End’s website, and they are just $22! Karmen has us convinced that for the price, Drake is an artist we need to see!
If you want to create a fan meetup or fan project for the show, or just want to learn more about the process for other upcoming events, download our “With The Band” app on the Apple App Store. Want to read more from Karmen, visit her own blog!