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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.

IN PHOTOS: The Midnight infused Marathon Music Works with kaleidoscopic grooves

The synthwave band converted Nashville into an underground midnight rave.
Narenkumar Thirmiya
Tyler Lyle of The Midnight raises his hand into the crowd, as photographed on Sept. 17, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Narenkumar Thirmiya)

It’s been one month since the start of my senior year, and one of my goals for this year is to explore more of Music City before I leave. I decided to venture out on a Sunday night to Marathon Music Works to try out a new concert venue. The act for the night was The Midnight, a synthwave group based in Los Angeles. The moment that I stepped into the space, I saw concertgoers around me with futuristic outfits and LED-light glasses chatting excitedly. I knew it was going to be a night I wouldn’t forget.

The opener for the night was Flamingosis, a DJ from New Jersey. They hyped up the crowd by playing songs from their discography, including “Down the Fifth Time” and “Groovin.” Flamingosis even reworked Rihanna’s popular hit “Work” into a remix, which led to many cheers from the audience.

The members of The Midnight took to the stage soon after the opener left. They began with a roaring pair of songs — “Syndicate” and “Lonely City.” Dark blue lights lit the stage, and the band matched that energy with pulsating beats. The Midnight followed up with their song  “Endless Summer,” setting the night off to a stunning start.

I was immediately amazed by the chemistry the band members had with each other and the crowd. The lead singer, Tyler Lyle, belted out powerhouse vocals, backed by Lelia Broussard and Royce Whittaker on the guitar. Producer Tim McEwan blasted synths while Justin Klunk performed saxophone solos all night, adding a unique flavor to the band’s sound. 

Throughout their set, The Midnight showcased their futuristic take on synthwave and dance-pop tunes. They played a wide array of songs from their catalog, including “Neon Medusa,” “Nighthawks” and “Deep Blue.” I was continuously impressed by the flow of glistening melodies and radiating synths as they filtered through the venue. 

While The Midnight primarily played dance music, they also got personal and emotional with their lyricism. One of the highlights for the night was “The Comeback Kid,” in which the band narrated an aspirational tale about starting over again and gaining confidence in yourself. Many fans around me threw up hand signs, cheering on the band.

For the encore, The Midnight slowed the tempo down a bit with “Lost & Found,” a groovy ballad to which the crowd swayed along. They capped off the night with their more upbeat “Sunset,” a song that Lyle dedicated to “runaways in love” who want to elope.

The Midnight played a show filled with memorable instrumentation and exhilarating performances. It was a wonderful way for me to celebrate the new school year, and I can’t wait to delve further into synth sounds and their music.

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About the Contributor
Narenkumar Thirmiya
Narenkumar Thirmiya, Staff Photographer
Narenkumar Thirmiya ('24) is from Orlando, Fla., and is majoring in neuroscience and medicine, health, and society in the College of Arts and Science. When not shooting for The Hustler, he is streaming TV, playing the piano or guitar or exploring nature photography. You can reach him at [email protected].
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