D.R.A.M. at the Metro
By Chance, it was the most amazing night of my life
January 31, 2017
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D.R.A.M.’s leg rammed into the side of my head as he jumped into the crowd. His hit single “Broccoli” is being played by his band as he’s shoved back and forth unintentionally as people rush towards the beefy R&B rapper. Everyone starts shouting the chorus “I’m beyond all that fuck shit” as the band becomes more intense. I rush to him after catching myself from being nearly trampled on, and as soon as I shove my way right next to him, I become dizzy, lose my breath and stare out into the crowd surrounding me going absolutely insane.
From beginning to end, this concert was a life-changing experience. Over the course of the three and a half hours this show went on for, between three opening acts and the main performer, I was blown away by the amount of energy and mutual love there was in that small venue.
I was front row and dead center at The Metro in Chicago. Throughout the concert, I was being shoved into the metal grate over and over again because I refused to give up my prime real estate on the main floor. For the first two hours, there wasn’t much fight for my spot. The only semblance of someone trying to take my spot were these two sweet dwarfs behind me who asked politely if we can switch. Of course, I refused, because I don’t care about other people. The two convinced the guys next to my friend to switch spots, and as expected they were sucked into the middle of the crowd never to be seen again.
After the opening acts came and left, the stage crew dropped the curtains obscuring the beige carpet covered backdrop with the words “Big Baby D.R.A.M.” in cursive at the center.
The DJ hype man went through a plethora of popular rap tracks, from Kanye West to Lil’ Yatchy. As D.R.A.M.’s band was finishing setting up shop, the opening synths to the song “Get it Myself” starts to play. The soft synths were complimented by the decibel-shattering shouting inside the small venue. It felt like everyone rushed the stage as my pelvis was crushed into the metal grating, and suddenly, the pain disappeared as soon as D.R.A.M. came out and looked into the crowd.
He wore a comfortable looking dark green jacket, a track jacket underneath that, black jeans and a beautiful pair of kicks I’ve never seen before. Once he reached the mic, his beautiful voice started resonating over the crowd’s cheers.
Right after he finished the song with the verse “I had to tell myself to go and get it myself” he turned to the crowd and shouted, “and that was four years ago; look at where we are now!” Everyone started cheering him on, and he started to egg on the crowd. Throughout his performance, he would ask the audience different questions ranging from what groupies want to go back to his hotel room to talking about the amount of love in the audience. The crowd ate it up, and so did I.
Halfway through D.R.A.M.’s already overwhelming performance, my friend grabbed my neck, brought my ear close to his mouth and shouted over the roaring audience behind us, “Chance is here, look at the balcony.” I turned around and looked up to see the iconic black and white “3” ball cap on the illuminated face of Chicago hip-hop legend Chance the Rapper as he was looking intently at the man on the main stage.
I knew Chance was an obvious fan of D.R.A.M.’s work before seeing him at the show from Chance giving D.R.A.M. his own feature on his hit release last year “Coloring Book.” However I would’ve never thought to see him in the crowd of this small show.
A little while later, D.R.A.M. started to sing “Special,” which was the feature on Chance’s album. The entire audience starts singing the lullaby in unison with D.R.A.M., shoulder to shoulder, forming this brotherly love across the entire venue. It was magical and wiped all my anxieties and fears away like a concentrated shot of Xanax into my ear drums.
Then, suddenly, after that track I looked back up to the balcony to see Chance was gone. I turned back around to the main stage to have my entire midsection hydraulically pressed into the grating as Chance’s song “No Problem” started to play, and Chance walked out onto the stage.
Everyone in unison started chanting every single lyric of the Chicago rapper’s biggest hit. The entire crowd was foaming at the mouth due to this insane occurrence. The appearance of him in the crowd was honor enough. Chance coming out onto the stage made the concert worth so much more than the $20 ticket price.
Once he was done with his song, he and D.R.A.M. walked to the front of the stage shoulder to shoulder and looked out at the audience. I was still in the front row, and I was shouting extremely obnoxiously at Chance. I guess I was obnoxious enough, because he looked me dead in the eyes, lowered himself a little and did that cool handshake fist bump thing with me, then walked to the left of me and gave people high fives.
To end the night, D.R.A.M. played his No. 1 hit “Broccoli.” At first, someone threw a bag of weed on the stage. Then, the crowd became increasingly wild. As soon as he jumped into the crowd, the rest was history. He went back on stage and thanked Chicago for the show, and the crowd shuffled out of the theater.
To tie the entire night together, something magical happened. As soon as my friend and I got our coats from coat check, we walked out and caught D.R.A.M. as he was quietly escorted to his tour bus. Both my friend and I shook his hand, told him he did an amazing job, and told Big Baby to have a good night.