The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

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.

IN PHOTOS: Struan’s performance set the stage ablaze to end the month of June

Indie-pop artist Struan and opener Maddy Hicks performed at The End showcasing powerful lyricism.
Chloe Kim
Struan and guitarist Jeremy Vogel perform on a crimson-lit stage, as photographed on June 30, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Kim)

Struan’s performance at The End is one I will never forget. Stepping into the graffiti covered concert venue, I was instantly struck by the stark contrast between its exterior and interior. The transformation was surreal, whisking me away from the humid Nashville air into a retro haven illuminated by purple ambience. Inside, a palpable energy coursed through the crowd, filling every nook and cranny of the venue and fueling the anticipation for the artists.

Maddy Hicks sings into the crowd, as photographed on June 30, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Kim) (Chloe Kim)

Maddy Hicks made her way on the stage just after 8 p.m. CDT, getting a warm welcome from the crowd. She started the show with her song “Picture You Naked” from her project “Situationships.”

“What better way to break the ice than with nudity?” Hicks said. 

She continued this theme as she followed with “Sleeping with Anxiety,” a poignant song reflecting the challenge of getting delusional in a situationship. Immersed in her deeply personal lyrics and emotional voice, it felt as though I had stumbled upon an intimate moment, witnessing as she poured her heart into relaying her lyrics. With her next song “All Mine,” she spelled out what she was looking for in a partner in order to steer clear of temporary relationships. 

Despite it being her first performance at The End, the crowd welcomed each song from Hicks with cheers, especially after her song “Roster.” She prefaced “Roster” as a “very sad song” and acknowledged the irony in performing the song at a rock venue. 

Throughout her set, Hicks told a story about each song. She described how “Break a Leg,” an unreleased song, was the reason why she was able to open the show — she wrote it with songwriters who were in the crowd that night who then recommended it to Struan. Another unreleased track titled “God of the People” was based on the struggle of seeing your former partner on social media. As Hicks sang with raw emotion, her lyrics reached and deeply resonated with the audience. She asked the crowd if they had ever been in a situationship after singing of her own, and numerous hands raised up, a testament to just how many people related to her stories. Closing the set with “Deadline” and “Kinda Over It,” Maddy Hicks left the audience to ponder the lingering impact of her heartfelt performance.

Soon after Hicks walked off, the stage lights turned on one by one, signaling Struan’s arrival and escalating the energy among the crowd. As Struan and his band entered the stage, the audience welcomed them with uproarious cheers. Strumming the guitar, Struan belted out the lyrics for “Go Out With My Friends” and “Can We Be Friends” as the crowd sang along and swayed with the rhythm. Continuing the set, he played “2027,” a song that delves into the theme of meeting the right person at the wrong time. 

Listening to Struan perform live provided an unparalleled experience. I could hear the unfiltered emotion behind every note, creating an unforgettable performance that transcended his audio recordings. As a preface to the next song “Drunk and Emotional,” an unreleased track, he humorously remarked that the song was dedicated to the drunk driver who hit his car and ran. Later into the set, he also expressed his elation upon seeing friendly faces amidst the crowd, as family and friends had gathered to support him. 

All throughout the set, fans’ faces were smiling up at the stage completely immersed in the music’s enchanting spell. Before the next song “Driveway,” Struan introduced his band as David and Jeremy Vogel, both artists and French brothers who helped bring the music to life. During this song, Struan paused the instrumentals to allow the audience’s voices to take center stage. The lyrics “see it so clearly now” echoed throughout the venue, creating a captivating moment. After playing more tracks, Straun closed the show with “What A Shame,” his most recent release. 

Throughout the entire performance, the venue’s energy never wavered, rather it continued even after the end of the set as people were left with the thrill of watching an electrifying performance.

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About the Contributor
Chloe Kim
Chloe Kim, Staff Writer and Photographer
Chloe Kim (‘26) is majoring in Psychology with a minor in computer science and Spanish in the College of Arts and Science. She is on the club tennis team and likes to write poetry and short stories in her free time. In addition to writing, Chloe loves to draw and take photographs for The Hustler! She can be reached at [email protected].
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