CHERUB and D.R.A.M. rock Grounds following prior concert cancellations

UPC-sponsored acts bring down Amphitheatre


D.R.A.M. is a Hampton-raised musician well-known and well-loved for his smash hits like “Cash Machine,” “Cute” and “Broccoli.”

Richard Dizon | Cavalier Daily

Indie pop duo CHERUB and Virginia-based rapper and singer D.R.A.M. amped up a lively Friday night crowd of students at the Amphitheater. CHERUB, the Nashville-based group made up of Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber, did not underwhelm as an opener, gyrating with at least one watermelon-painted guitar in a venue built in 1921 where students often study or even have class. 

D.R.A.M., the dread-headed Big Baby himself — also referred to as Does Real Ass Music, and originally, but less commonly referred to as Shelley Massenburg-Smith — crooned his feel-good and highly jumpable tracks about lazy summer days in Virginia and thinking people are cute. At one point, he asked of the crowd “are you ready to change the motherf––ing world?” The shouts he received indicated the crowd of young, excited students were enjoying the memorable night.

This concert was unfortunately not without political implication. University Programs Council had originally arranged for Future and Lil Yachty to headline their Welcome Week concert Aug. 19, but due to the violence, heartache and unrest that ensued during the events of Aug. 11 and 12, the acts canceled. However, it was a pleasant surprise for the student body when D.R.A.M. and CHERUB were announced — D.R.A.M. is a Hampton-raised musician well-known and well-loved for his smash hits like “Cash Machine,” “Cute” and “Broccoli.” 

CHERUB had the luxury of watching the sun go down and the enthused concert-goers come out. They were black-clad, illuminating themselves and Garrett Hall up the hill, and obviously riding the vibe of a clear and crisp September night. Their loud and melodious funk thumpers piqued the interest and set into motion the heads, shoulders and hips of the fast-growing crowd. It was a pleasant time in which students could enjoy the moment and CHERUB’s simple proclamations to spread love. Kelley and Huber, a sweaty pair of rockers who have been releasing music since their 2011 EP Man of the Hour, ended the wavy set with their most commercially successful song, “Doses & Mimosas.” 

The Amphitheatre, packed tight with revelers, blew up when D.R.A.M. came on. D.R.A.M.’s spirit upon which he’s built his fan base is a carelessness reminiscent of childhood and a reminder of the simple things he believes really matter. A chorus of “ay-ohs” erupted when he told the crowd to say “ay-oh” if we loved our mamas and the concert rightfully ended with his immensely popular anthem “Broccoli.” Ironically, the song contains a verse from Lil Yachty, and rumors had even started in the audience that Lil Yachty was going to make an appearance at the event. He did not, but “Broccoli” was the strongest way to end an already strong night. 

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