Drama at Music Box by Josh Claros for ListenSD

DRAMA at Music Box Relived

While much of the US is at home this week and the forceable future of concert going is bleak – we’d like to take a look back at one of our favorite shows of late. If you’re in search of some deep tunes to get you through this self-isolation, cheek out DRAMA’s new album, Dance Without Me on Spotify and continue reading if you’d like to relive that magic at the Music box sprinkled with some insights on the songs.

Drama at Music Box by Josh Claros for ListenSD

The Aquarius, and lead singer of the duo Via Rosa washed on stage amidst a soundscape of ocean waves crashing. As DJ/Producer Na’el Shehade, sent the sounds of a church organ through the speakers, San Diego stood by reverently waiting for the entertainment to unfold. The stage set up was minimal, but striking and thought provoking –four frames in the shape of doors lined with pulsating neon lights. DRAMA opened up with some old-soul wisdom right out of the gate, with their 2019 tune “Dead and Gone”. This song’s premise was inspired by a Johnny Cash lyric from The Gambler.

Love is for lovers and old men

Who know when to fold and go home

Bet nobody told you

You should find someone to trust

When you’re dumb and young

Next up, the new tune “Years” and got the crowd dancing with excitement. This track expresses an unconditional love and quite literally took years to produce but well worth the wait. As the set list rolled on, the hit “Low Tide” worked up into a complete crowd singalong moment. Jumping back into the recent releases, DRAMA delivered “Forever and a Day”, followed by “Hold On”. The performance of “Missing” was a true highlight, an nod to one of Via’s greatest musical influences, Sade. It’s only fitting for this Chicago-based duo to carry on the torch for this song and enlighten younger generations with the smooth, poetic lyric: “…and I miss you like the deserts miss the rain”.

Drama at Music Box by Josh Claros for ListenSD

Changing up the pace and attitude in the room, with an electric rendition of “Gimme Gimme” followed by “Nine One One”. Na’el took over on the decks while Via Rosa jumped backstage for a costume change. Upon return, she introduced the hope-filled track “Majid” by saying, “Not too many people get to experience falling in love. This song is about waiting for the love of your life.” Continuing with the candid conversation, she introduced “Billy” with the context of being written at home (with the aid of a bottle of whiskey) after finding out the supposed love of her life had another girlfriend. This lent another layer of emotion behind the singer’s words, “I’ll never be the girl of your dreams, I’m just the girl that you need, and I know you’re not dreaming of me anymore…” and resulted in a supportive cheer from the crowd as it drew to an end. In her white suit, she gave a Freddy Mercury-eque point and joked “Now don’t get your hopes up, but this song is about falling in love with someone… who is just so…boring.”

Check out the full length album, Dance Without Me on Spotify now.

Photos by: Josh Claros
Review by: Kate Ammerman
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