On a frigid Wednesday evening, Madison, Wisconsin residents trickled into the Majestic Theatre on King Street. Some were expecting a show, and some awaited a spiritual journey. Lamps were strewn about the stage, some casting a warm glow onto the floor.
The show opened with “I’m Afraid I Love You,” a pop/folk ballad which debuted in the 2022 album “Here Goes Nothing!” The rendition was bass-heavy with impressive high notes hidden within the bridge and chorus.
“We’ll just start off with this” — a curly-haired musician held his hands in a “W” to the crowd before humbly introducing himself as Adam Melchor, a singer from New Jersey. The crowd erupted with a cheer that put Melchor’s previous audiences to shame.
“You guys are one of my favorite places to play,” Melchor said into the microphone in a flattering transition to his next song.
The posit seems to be true, and well evidenced by his previous performances at the High Noon Saloon in 2021 and The Sylvee in 2022. The artist recently opened for Noah Kahan in a tour that boosted his popularity tremendously; some show-goers even claimed they had purchased tickets for Melchor’s show following his opening performance at The Sylvee.
The folk artist released a 10-track second album in October 2022, which was coincidentally one year after his first show in Madison. Embarking on a headline tour this past week, Melchor and his band plan to travel across the United States before their final performance on March 17 in Portland.
Melchor is known for his quick-witted personality, spectacular high notes and tendency to over-share on stage. In addition, his musical style has remained true since the release of his first EP “The Archer” in 2017. Alongside easygoing melodies, the artist breaks hearts and inspires them. He weaves stories about the moments nestled between memories, ones we find as lines in a diary and nowhere else. His shows are known for their poetic transitions between songs, and this night was no different.
“This next song is about shedding a beautiful tear, it’s called ‘Cry,’” the artist said before plucking his signature white guitar — a huge Gretsch White Falcon, complete with an engraving of the bird on its gold pickguard. He’s been performing with it for years and displayed his comfort with it while playing through the setlist.
The show consisted of 15 songs — a mix from his two albums and two singles played over an enthusiastic encore. Thanks to the University of Wisconsin Women’s Hockey Team, “I Choose You” was tacked onto the setlist somewhere in the middle. The artist announced that following his skating lesson with them the previous day, the team requested he play the highly elusive live rendition of the song.
Melchor’s performance at the Majestic Theatre displayed his growth as a musician. Melchor’s shows are entertaining, heartfelt and funny, all credit to his charisma on stage. The size of the venues Melchor plays seems to increase exponentially, and as his fanbase grows to match, one can only hope he doesn’t lose his adorable backroom performance style.