A throwback night that had the child inside everyone in attendance sobbing.
It does feel like it’s the 2000s again with all the recent artist comebacks. The Jonas Brothers just released the second song of their return album, and on April 4, Drake Bell lit up The Varsity stage in a blast from the past.
Bell is best known for portraying Drake Parker in the sitcom “Drake & Josh” on Nickelodeon, a show many LSU students grew up watching. Since then, Bell has appeared on various television shows – often as himself making a cameo – and films. Most recently, he released the album “Ready Steady Go!” in 2014. Bell touched many lives as Drake Parker in the sitcom that fans still remember so fondly.
“Drake & Josh kept me off the streets,” jazz studies sophomore Ford Lambert said.
It came as no surprise that the venue was packed with guests enjoying the nostalgia and ready to hear Bell. General admission tickets were $20 during pre-sale or $30 the day of the show. VIP tickets were available and included a meet-and-greet with the singer prior to the concert. Some fans wanted to meet a childhood icon while others were simply ecstatic to meet a celebrity they’d interacted with on social media.
“Drake Bell responded to my tweet and I got the most likes on a tweet I’ve ever got,” kinesiology senior Marcus Leydecker said.
DJ Logan Garrett and Baton Rouge-based singer Charlston Bourgeois opened for Bell. Garrett hyped up the audience while Bourgeois demonstrated her impressive instrumental skills. Bourgeois is former LSU digital media major/sound design minor.
“Tonight was great,” Bourgeois said. “It’s my second original show at The Varsity. It was awesome. We’re just getting started, man. Drake Bell's great. It was a cool experience.”
Bell came onstage around 11 p.m. to a screaming crowd. He played several songs from his previous albums as well as popular songs, amongst which “Hotline Bling” by namesake artist Drake stood out. Bell closed the show with the most anticipated song of the evening, to the delight of the expecting audience — “Drake & Josh” theme song “I Found A Way.”
The Varsity is known for bringing local as well as national talent to the University area, with recent acts including Stephen Marley, and future performers Steve Aoki ft. Riot Ten for “Carnivàle Icône" and The Band Perry. When asked about what to expect in the future, Chuck Manning, director of marketing for The Varsity, had only one thing to say.
“We’re just getting started,” Manning said.