As I wiggled a pair of stiff jeans over my hips in the packed State Street Urban Outfitters dressing room on Sunday, a fellow dressing room patron ran into their friend. “You going to D.R.A.M. tonight?” said friend one. “Of course!” friend two responded.
A random dressing room patron piped up, “Dude, me too!” followed by another, “Saaaaame!” from behind a door on the other end of the room. And at this point, I figured I might as well pipe up with a “Me too!” which spurred another patron to ask, “Who’s D.R.A.M.?” Someone responded, “OMG, it’s that one guy who sings ‘Broccoli!’” prompting an embarrassed “oooooh YEAH,” from the inquirer and a giggle from the room.
I tell this story for three reasons. The first is to illustrate that basically everyone was at the D.R.A.M show—He sold out the Majestic with ease. The second is because D.R.A.M.’s performance and the atmosphere around it can be perfectly summed up by a joyous, playful encounter with a bunch of friendly strangers. The third is so I can make it clear that Virginian rapper D.R.A.M. got on stage and proved to anyone who may have thought otherwise that he is so much more than “that one guy who sings ‘Broccoli.’”
Despite being packed wall to wall, and despite the cloud of incessant dread that Sundays usually bring, the audience showed up and turned up for Big Baby D.R.A.M. And it makes sense—When 2016 started, your average bear had barely heard of D.R.A.M. or Lil Yachty, but by the time summer hit, “Broccoli” was pouring out of the porches of every house party pregame and backyard cookout in Madison. It’s the pure and goofy joy our summers all craved.
To be completely honest, D.R.A.M.’s smile alone, with enough warmth to cook an entire bag of pizza rolls in record time, was able to sustain the entire audience for an hour and a half, but it was just a consistent cherry on top over slow, smooth meltand-grind favorites like “Wifi” and “Caretaker,” which was peppered with easy, flawless riffs and a phenomenal piano solo that led into “Sweet VA Breeze.” He even served as a life coach, urging everyone in the room, if they think someone is cute to “just tell them,” before leading into a blush-worthy performance of “Cute.” And to top it off, the entire joyous performance was elevated by some serious wild chops from his whole band.
Naturally, after a skilled but playfully slowed-down and drawn-out intro, he closed with “Broccoli,” and I don’t even need to explain the level to which that made everyone freak out—you can imagine. But at that point, Big Baby D.R.A.M. had already won us over.