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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Adam Melchor makes you ‘start forgetting death’ at Brooklyn Bowl

Melchor and his electric band came back better than ever with a medley of songs from his “Lullaby Hotline” series and newly released “Here Goes Nothing!”
Barrie Barto
Adam Melchor steps back from the microphone, as photographed on Feb. 23, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto)

Picture this: a crowded stage adorned with not one, not two, but at least half a dozen lamps. If that was not enough, four disco balls hung from the ceiling!  A desk light shaped like a dumpling watched over the crowd, adding even more personality to the setup and nearly stealing the show too. With this mellow lighting and carpets covering their keyboards, you would have thought that Adam Melchor and his band had let us into their apartment. 

After Melchor’s Nov. 2021 show in Nashville, we truly did not think he could get any better. However, he took it up a notch with the addition of a full band with drums, bass and guitar for the Feb. 23 performance. Even Melchor seemed to be a bit infatuated with his band — he paired his classic charisma with more than a little flirting with his bandmates. Melchor called one bandmate “the Dolly to [his] Parton… the Tony to [his] Soprano.”

Melchor gave his classic ballads an alt-rock flavor in his live performance, taking advantage of his spectacular band to chime in with harmonies and raise the energy. 

To call Melchor’s concert at Brooklyn Bowl “life-changing” would be an understatement. He was born for the stage, and his genuine smile as he jammed out on his various guitars was nothing short of mesmerizing.

Melchor was not the only artist who captured our hearts. Clad in a white gown, opener Savannah Conley appeared almost ghost-like with her chillingly angelic sound. A Nashville native, Conley proceeded to hit all the right — and incredibly high — notes in “Never Want to Be in Love,” during which she belts the title phrase followed by “but I’d change my mind for you.” 

In between songs, Conley revealed for the first time that she recently finished a record scheduled to be released in May. Even luckier for us, some of her songs had their live debut right in front of our very eyes and ears. 

For Conley, the Taylor Swift Ticketmaster dilemma inspired a few songs. Reminiscent of Swift in her “Willow” era, Conley also referenced the legend herself, playfully introducing her own song “22” as a response to when she “felt lied to by Taylor.”

From managing long-distance love to overcoming challenges, Melchor had a lot of advice to share with his fans at the Brooklyn Bowl. 

Having been in a long-distance relationship himself, Melchor jokingly warned the crowd of their dangers before conceding that people should do everything possible to hold on to love. Melchor dedicated his new song “Angel Numbers” to that experience, explaining that those who want to hold on will take any sign — angel numbers, tarot cards or even star signs — to convince themselves that something will work out. 

“Sit, take a deep breath, and never think about it [long-distance relationship] again,” Melchor said. “Unless it works, then do it every time.”

Melchor explained that “Touch and Go” was written in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and his quest to make the most of the cards he was dealt.

“This next one is about the uncertainty of the pandemic and taking the lemons life gives you and making the most of it, and taking what the universe gives you and taking it,” Melchor said before playing the song.

Melchor went on to intersperse songs from his new 2022 album “Here Goes Nothing!” like “Dorothy” and “Dear Adam” with classics from his “Lullaby Hotline” series that first helped him gain fame. His “Lullaby Hotline” tracks, like “Moon in the Morning” and “I Don’t Wanna See You Cry Anymore” entranced the crowd rather than putting them to sleep, despite what the titles suggest. Melchor and his band paired mellow songs with lively guitar solos and drum interludes to amplify the show’s energy.

Melchor challenged traditional societal expectations of masculinity in both his music and performance. Performing his song “Cry,” he explained that it was written about societal norms that encourage men to not cry and keep their emotions in. After pretending to end the show, Melchor reappeared on stage for an encore in a black and white dress, holding a bouquet of red heart-shaped balloons. 

This night at the Brooklyn Bowl did not come without a few surprises. Taking a page out of the iconic Lizzo’s playbook, Melchor brought out his inner band kid as he traded his guitar for a trumpet during a few songs.

Melchor also brought out Nashville-based singer-songwriter Madi Diaz for a brief guest act, during which Melchor encouraged the crowd to embrace one another for an audience-led performance of “Rest of My Night.”

Melchor’s electric performance will truly make you “Start Forgetting Death,” even if just for a few hours. 

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About the Contributors
Aaditi Lele, Editorial Director
Aaditi Lele ('24) is majoring in political science and climate science with a minor in South Asian Language and Culture in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as News Editor. Outside of The Hustler, you can find her crocheting, practicing calligraphy or counting down the days until she can see her dog. She can be reached at [email protected].    
Brina Ratangee, News Editor
Brina Ratangee ('24) is a student in the College of Arts and Science planning to major in medicine, health & society and neuroscience. When not writing for The Hustler, she enjoys solving trivia/crosswords, playing the violin and spending time with friends. You can reach her at [email protected].
Barrie Barto, Senior Staff Photographer
Barrie Barto ('25) is majoring in medicine, health & society with minors in communication of science & technology and neuroscience in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as Photography Director. Outside of The Hustler, you can find Barrie cheering on the St. Louis Blues or tracking down the best gluten-free food in Nashville. She can be reached at [email protected].
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