By Tony Peroni
The College student lifestyle can be summed up by one catch-all phrase — work hard, play harder. That’s why after an entire week of classes, clubs and homework, I found it absolutely necessary that on Saturday night, the entire Chip staff went to see former child actor and current one-hit-wonder, Drake Bell, perform at Rider University, located right in our very own backyards in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
I had seen Josh Peck in Kendall Hall in the fall of 2017, and I knew in my gut that in order to live my life to the fullest, we needed to report on this historic event.
As The Chip crew pulled up to the scene, where we were graced by a giant bouncy castle, just ahead of the university’s main entrance, in addition to a giant barbeque, as well as a crowd of screaming Rider students. Apparently, this event was dubbed “Cranberry Fest,” and is thought to be a highlight in any Rider Bronco’s college experience. About two out of every three students were wearing a dark maroon t-shirt that said “I BLEED CRANBERRY.” I didn’t even know cranberry was a color like that.
Sources told The Chip that Mr. Bell was seen working out at Rider’s student gym shortly before his set. His exact routine is unknown, but he is in fantastic shape, so we’ll give him that.
We parked our vehicle next to the on-campus D-Phi-E sorority house, which looked like Centennial if someone slapped Greek letters made of cardboard on that sucker.
Walking to the field, we heard the distant echo of Mr. Bell himself.
“Are you calling me a liar?” he said proudly, as the crowd of college students clamored.
Is… is he quoting his own TV show?
“Well I ain’t callin’ you a truther!”
The answer to that was, yes. Yes, he was.
As a student of the College, I experienced the most drastic case of Déjà Vu, as Josh Peck said those same exact words in our very own Kendall Hall about two years ago to the day.
The night continued, and so did the antics. One young man bellowed, “play Wonderwall,” as many people do at concerts nowadays.
Bell responded to the heckler promptly, accidentally dating himself in the process.
“Wow, haha, ‘Wonderwall’ must be like the new ‘Free Bird!’” he said.
He then began to play “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind, quickly catching himself and forcing himself to remember how the song Wonderwall even goes. He played it. It was bad. Good effort though.
Bell had an arsenal of covers for his adoring fans, including Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang” and “Hotline Bling,” a song by Drake (Canadian R’n’B singer, known for playing Jimmy in the Teen Drama Television series “Degrassi”).
As the evening progressed, so did the show references. Notable quotes included “Woah, just take it easy, man,” “South Ama-RICA,” and “Hug Me Brotha!” As a bonus, for the real Nickelodeon heads out here, Mr. Bell did his “Totally Kyle” bit from “The Amanda Show.”
He then performed the “Drake and Josh” theme song as a grand finale of sorts, and that it was. As the evening drew to a close, I ate a pulled pork sandwich courtesy of Rider, and I had seen both Drake AND Josh in the flesh. I never thought that it’d be so simple, but I found a way.