D.R.A.M. Concert: It's Not Over Until The Band Leaves

“I’m just having fun with it!” D.R.A.M.’s Chicago stop on his international tour can pretty much be summed up in one word … Fun.

The 28-year-old singer out of Hampton, VA opened the show with the first song, “Get It Myself”, on his debut studio album Big Baby D.R.A.M. The stage is adorned with the album name on a shag carpet rug covering the DJ’s platform and a three-piece band.


The three-piece band included a sick keyboardist, a super chill bassist, and an 18-year-old drummer. Normally at concerts, I fall in love with the bassist, but this time it was the drummer that captured my heart. You can tell that this drummer grew up playing in the church. A three-piece band is typical at churches and the vibe was definitely felt during the show.

Between the church vibe and fun atmosphere set off with D.R.A.M.’s goofy smile and dance moves, the concert was the album coming to life. Live, D.R.A.M. seems like your favorite teddy bear is putting on a show for you, filling you with joy. Although your teddy bear wouldn’t be encouraging sex, unless it is Ted. I digress.

The surprise of the show (was it really? It’s Chicago.) was Chance The Rapper’s brief appearance. While I was hoping for Nico Segal (popularly known by his stage name Donnie Trumpet) to come out to perform “$” from D.R.A.M.’s mixtape Gahdamn, Chance’s quick performance of his chart topping single “No Problem” was a pleasant addition to the show. The Rapper remained on the stage while D.R.A.M. reminded his thousand plus crowd that they’re special performing “Special” from Chance’s Coloring Book.

The show ended with “Broccoli” his hit song with Lil Uzi Vert. D.R.A.M. jumps into the crowd and was engulfed in a sea of white hands tugging at his hat. Small aside on white hands: A black woman approached me after the show upset that her and her friends were pushed out of their spot downstairs by some young white guys. I welcomed her to concert culture and that if you want you spot, you waited an hour in line to get, stand your ground and be ready to fight for it.

Back to the show: D.R.A.M. unexpectedly got a little lost in the crowd. His band sat on stage a little confused on what to do, maybe that hasn’t happened on the tour yet. They slowly leaving the stage, only to return and perform the song again.

Moral of the story: the show’s never over until the band leaves the stage.


A note on the openers:

River Tiber - Three guys and guitars, sounds boring. Add a beat machine and a mac, seems like they’re trying too hard? Actually the artist (I thought it was a group, apparently it’s just one guy, but one of his guitarist singlehandedly made his show with his solo. I’m not the manager though)  from Toronto had a good vibe and sound. I might look more into him.

Nebu Kiniza - I thought skinny jeans rappers were over, but I was wrong. This teenager came on the stage with that seemingly endless energy young people have. He didn’t win me over, but it was his first show on the tour and shout out to him, this is big.

Ari Lennox - signed to J.Cole’s Dreamville Records and popularly known for Backseat with Cozz. She has an around-the-way girl sensibility and strutted around the stage dipping low and south Dallas swaggin.

April McFadden