Last Saturday night, Denver native Rob Drabkin celebrated his birthday as he took the stage at The Bluebird Theater. Audience members were immediately welcomed into the theater for the night with baked goods passed out by Drabkin’s mother and sister. This immediately set the vibe for the awesome community-feel the rest of the night would have.
Rob began singing at age 23, the same year he wrote his first song and played his first open mic. Since then, Drabkin has been recording music and touring the world after his big breakout album Little Steps (2014) charted internationally. His most recent single, “Someday,” was released last August.
Check out Drabkin’s newest release, “Someday”:
Drabkin currently tours with his band, featuring Brian McRae on drums, Bijoux Barbosa on bass, Eric Moon on keys, and Dave Preston on electric guitar. Rob has certainly surrounded himself with incredibly talent musicians. Saturday night, trumpet player AnDre Mali also shared the stage with the band, and his trumpet solos were some of my favorite moments of the show. Another memorable moment was when the audience broke out into song, singing “Happy Birthday” as Rob’s sister brought a cupcake lit by a single candle onstage for Rob to blow out. The Denver crowd’s connection with this hometown hero was evident and palpable in the room.
Drabkin has found a style and structure of music that is incredibly easy for listeners to digest. The singer/songwriter blends folk and rock genres that result in a sound somewhat reminiscent of Dave Matthews Band and Trevor Hall. His kindness and warm energy radiated through each of his songs, and his stage presence brought smiles to many in the Denver audience. Saturday night’s bill included many of Drabkin’s popular favorites, as well as some unannounced covers including Crosby, Stills & Nash’s “Almost Cut My Hair” and Peter Gabriel's song “In Your Eyes”.
Drabkin clearly has a community in Denver that has been with him since the beginning of his musical journey. The feeling of support and celebration of Drabkin filled the venue Saturday night, proving once again how great the Colorado music scene really is. What better way to celebrate your birthday than playing a homecoming show for the people you love, and whom love you?
All photos per the author. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.