Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
Wednesday morning I had a blast speaking to two journalism classes at Westhill High School in Stamford, CT (big ups to Othello from d_Cyphernauts for setting that up). Wednesday evening the good vibes continued when I went into NYC to see Rue Melo perform at Pianos. If you don’t know who Rue Melo is… where have you been? I have made it no secret that I digthis woman'swork and her performance on Wednesday night only added to my feeling that she is one of the most talented artists out there today.
Before I even hit the city I rounded up some folks to bring to the show, including my buddy Dyalekt and my editor over at Beyond Race, Dave Terra. I’ve actually been pitching Rue to Beyond Race and not so secretly hoped that seeing her live would make enough of an impact to let me move forward with an article either on her, or involving her in some way, for the mag (c’mon Dave, you know how dope the article would be!). Hitting the stage at the very reasonable time of 8pm Rue and her band performed some fantastic versions of the songs on her eponymous debut album (one you might recall ranked quite high on my year end Top 25 list this past December).
Rue is one of those rare artists that sounds equally at home singing over a produced beat as she does working with a band which is why I love both her album for the distinct sound it has and her live performances for how she alters that sound for such an environment. From rock to Latin to pop, bassist Bryan Bush, drummer Idris Tate and new guitarist Claudio Tomasello were on point the whole night. Whatever mood a song called for they set it and they set it beautifully. For some evidence check out Rue and crew’s performance of her ballad “Best of Me” (reminder – I am not a master videographer).
After the show, which was fantastic, Rue, her road manager Norma Portillo, guitarist Claudio Tomasello, Dyalekt and I all walked down the block to pick up some eats at Rush Hour (props to D for choosing the spot). We were later joined by Rue crew member Beef. I’ve been sworn to secrecy regarding a few of the stories told over chicken sandwiches, fruit smoothies and tater tots, but as the following video indicates, there was quite a bit of lunacy going on (Norma, your gangsta grill is priceless!).
It was great actually getting the chance to hang out and spend some time together as last time I saw Rue was when she opened for Lyrics Born and the show ended so late we could only chill for a few minutes before parting ways and heading home. Of course, eventually we had to break up the party on this night, as well, as Rue had people to meet and I had a train to catch.
It almost goes without saying, but every time I hear or see Rue Melo I dig her even more. If you haven’t heard her album, put it on your “to do” list, and if you haven’t checked her out live find out when she’s performing near you and make it happen. Below are some pictures from Wednesday’s show. Some folks may enjoy a “mellow” evening, but as Rue and her band proved Wednesday night it can be a lot more fun to have a “Melo” one.