I took our daughter, Megan, to the Illinois State Fair on Saturday. I got tickets to the Drake Bell/Corbin Bleu (with Jordan Pruitt) concert, and she had a blast. It was her first concert, and we were fortunate enough to have tickets for the track, right up near the stage.
Pruitt opened the show by singing a handful of songs -- with no band, just her singing to instrumental tracks -- some of which Megan recognized from Radio Disney. She actually sang pretty well, and apparently wrote just about all of the tracks on her album, so she gets props for that.
The musical highlight, for me at least, was the next performer, Drake Bell. With a young daughter in the house, I've watched more Nickelodeon in the past seven years than I had in all of my other years combined. Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing. It introduced me to SpongeBob SquarePants, and also to Drake and Josh, a kind of Odd Couple for the tweenies out there.
Drake Bell plays, well, Drake, and along with his co-star Josh Peck and scene-stealer Miranda Cosgrove, who plays sister, Megan, they actually have pretty good comedic instincts, and the show is very watchable for adults.
Bell wrote, and performs the theme song to the show, "Found A Way". The song is catchy, and after doing a little internet digging at the request of Megan, I found a few other songs by Bell, and all of a sudden, I was starting to like the kid. He's influenced heavily by The Beatles, and you can hear that in his music.
After seeing him perform a few other songs on Drake and Josh over the last couple of years, I was looking forward to hearing him live on Saturday. He didn't disappoint. Bell was part of a six-piece band that ripped through their set, and left me even more impressed with this kid.
I'll give you a couple of clips of songs of his in a minute. Considering he almost died in a car accident at the tail end of 2005, you really can't help but root for him to be successful musically. His songs are very accessible, and with The Beatles as his main influence, there are certainly worse avenues to travel on then writing and performing smart, crafty, catchy pop songs that appeal to all ages, not just kids.
Good luck, Drake. I may just have to go get your two CD's. For myself.
And, yes, I'm a 36 year old man.
The concert concluded with Corbin Bleu from High School Musical fame. Strangely, with the sequel airing in less than a week, he never mentioned the movie, nor did he sing any songs from either one.
Oh well, at least Megan enjoyed his performance. I would've preferred an Ashley Tisdale concert.
Maybe next time.
Drake Bell - "I Know"
Drake Bell - "Makes Me Happy"
Drake Bell - "Found A Way" (featuring Drake and Josh clips)