On Friday, November 19th, fans gathered at Antone’s Nightclub to see indie-folk artist Adam Melchor for his first headlining tour. Melchor’s intimate setlist consisted of fourteen songs, including older hits and collaborations, and songs from his latest project, Melchor Lullaby Hotline Vol 1.
Opening for him was musician Abraham Alexander. Alexander has recently made a name for himself in the Austin music scene, and he came out dressed in a jumpsuit with the Antone’s logo on the front and back, expressing great love for the city and the historic venue. His set was filled with unreleased music centered around religious themes and personal topics. With his soulful vocals and lyricism, Alexander not only warmed-up the audience to Melchor’s set but cemented himself as an artist to watch.
Afterwards, Adam Melchor came out with his accompanying band, opening with the song “Last Night.” I then realized that the set instrumentation would be drastically altered from the studio versions of his songs; his band consisted solely of a drummer and bassist, with Melchor playing guitar. It greatly diverged from his relatively soft, folksy-acoustic sound into a more stripped-down yet fun, rock sound that greatly energized the crowd. This trend continued throughout the majority of the show, and his vocals were likewise altered to fit the new sound by adding multiple vocal runs and riffs which showed off his incredible range.
What also stood out most was Adam Melchor’s charming storytelling ability and stage presence. He was incredibly polite, ending every song by thanking the audience at least 2-3 times, and nearly every song had a story behind it that he elaborated in incredibly humorous detail. One of my favorite moments was how he described “Start Forgetting Death,” a song about falling so deeply in love with someone that he forgot about his anxieties surrounding death, which he claimed to have a lot of as a “neurotic Jewish boy” (his exact words). He then performed an unreleased song, “Let Me Know When,” after telling us how he wrote when he met singer-songwriter Charlie Puth who claimed it was “really really sad.”
Afterwards, he recounted the story of another unreleased track titled “A**hole,” inspired by a horrible ex and their family along with his friend who jokingly suggested that he write a song with the title, and later, the heartfelt “Jewel,” which was about his sister’s relationship. Then, after playing his hit, “Real Estate,” he performed “Joyride,” which was about his car getting stolen. It was like he brought us into his own little world for an hour and a half, and when he came out for the encore to perform “Begin Again,” complete with a giant green cowboy hat, his arc had concluded.
Overall, the concert significantly subverted my expectations. The new arrangements arguably sounded even better than his studio versions, and Melchor’s vibrant stage presence and passionate vocals created a personal, intimate yet energetic experience that makes me look forward to seeing what he does next.