Drake Bell Returns to Richmond

On March 1, Drake Bell returned once again to the Canal Club in downtown Richmond. Yes, that Drake Bell, of "Drake and Josh." While you may remember him from his days on Nickelodeon, what you may not realize is that Bell is still in the music business and releasing new songs. OG "Drake and Josh" fans from all over Richmond flocked to the Canal Club to see half of their favorite comedic duo from childhood, in the flesh. While I’m sure there were fans of Bell’s new music in the crowd, it seemed that the majority of the crowd was there for nostalgia’s sake.


The show started with sets from three local openers: Midlife Pilot - who played an original song based on the movie “Halloween,” Caleb Folks - who was reminiscent of old school nevershoutnever! and Sam McCoig -  who played a cover of “Year 3000” that had everyone singing along. All three openers put on excellent sets that kept the audience entertained and excited until it was time for Bell to come out. While the openers played their sets, fans who shelled out an extra hundred dollars got to head upstairs for a meet and greet experience with Bell. They were able to meet Bell, take a photo with him and receive a signed photo. As fans from the meet and greet began to flood back down to the stage area, we knew that Bell would be coming onstage soon. When Bell walked onstage he addressed the crowd with an iconic "Drake and Josh" quote, “Are you calling me a liar?” to which the entire crowd enthusiastically responded, “Well I ain’t calling you a truther!”



From there, Bell broke into his set. He started with his newer music, which has a bit of a bluesy feel. Some highlights for fans were when he played “Bitchcraft” and his newest single, “Fuego Lento,” a song that features Bell singing in Spanish. After singing some of his new music, Bell started to throw it back to his Nickelodeon days, singing songs that were featured in "Drake and Josh." The first two he played were “Down We Fall,” which was featured in the episode “Number 1 Fan,” and “Makes Me Happy,” which was featured in the made-for-TV movie, "Drake and Josh: Really Big Shrimp.” These songs definitely got the biggest crowd reactions, as all his old fans got a moment to relive their childhood.


As the show started to close out, Bell said that he was going to play a new song, to see if we liked it. He played a few notes and then broke into the song everyone had been waiting for: “I Found A Way,” the "Drake and Josh" theme song. The crowd went wild. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone across the street at Bottoms Up Pizza could hear us all singing along. After the show, Bell hung out onstage and invited anyone who purchased a poster or t-shirt to come get it signed and snap a quick picture.



It looks like Bell will be welcomed back to Richmond with open arms anytime he wants. We are all hoping that he’ll return next year too!


Photos by author Garnette Ransone