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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Identity and American Country Music Intersect at Adeem the Artist Concert

Identity+and+American+Country+Music+Intersect+at+Adeem+the+Artist+Concert
Kieran Blunnie

The Colgate Live Music Collective (CLMC) brought Adeem the Artist to Flour & Salt Café on Saturday, Feb. 24. The show was one of the many recent efforts by the collective of Colgate University students and faculty to bring live music to the local community. Adeem’s show brought a unique atmosphere for those who attended the café concert.

As a nonbinary, pansexual country singer, Adeem the Artist explores complex issues of identity and heritage through music. Adeem’s vocal and guitar melodies exude a sometimes melancholy and spirited country twang, and their lyrics touch on racism, religion, politics, southern roots and sexual identity.

Hailing from North Carolina, Adeem spent some of their teen years in Central New York, and they now reside in Tenessee. Adeem told their stories of these places through their songs: Many of the songs Adeem played at the concert rang with Appalachian influences and conveyed aspects of their life in the South, ranging from romantic ballads to comedic, fast-paced narratives about childhood.

Director of Research and Scholarly Initiatives in the University Libraries Joshua Finnell, one of CLMC’s staff members, helped organize the show. Finnell explained the decision to bring Adeem to Hamilton, N.Y., noting how Adeem’s music stood out to the collective.

“Adeem the Artist had been on our radar since the release of their 2021 album ‘Cast-Iron Pansexual,’ and their 2023 album ‘White Trash Revelry’ really caught the attention of critics and the music industry by wrestling with complex issues of identity and politics through empathetic songwriting,” Finnell said. “Adeem also spent some of their teen years in Baldwinsville, N.Y., so bringing them to Hamilton was kind of a homecoming show.”

Adeem interacted with the audience throughout the show, creating a comfortable atmosphere in the already intimate setting that Flour & Salt provides. Between Adeem’s clever jokes and more serious discussions about social justice, those in the café connected with the artist. Finnell emphasized how Flour & Salt’s environment is conducive to this kind of intimate show.

“It’s kind of a perfectly intimate venue for a singer-songwriter,” Finnell said. “Hosting shows at Flour & Salt is an excellent way to bring the Colgate community and broader Hamilton community together at one of our beloved local businesses.”

Some concert attendees, like sophomore Morgan Morel, were drawn to the show out of curiosity to explore new country music.

“I had never heard of Adeem the Artist before, but I typically listen to country music and was excited to go see an artist I didn’t know,” Morel said.

Others in the crowd at the well-attended evening show, such as first-year Everett Shinn, were drawn to the unique aspect of Adeem’s music and the cozy café setting.

“Although I try to have an eclectic taste, I had never really heard anything like Adeem’s music before, and I don’t often listen to country,” Shinn said. “But […] I really did love the music as well as the performance!”

Shinn also commented on the opportunity to see live music for free in a place like Flour & Salt — an opportunity one can’t miss, especially with the perks of the café’s food and beverage service before the show.

“I try to go to every free live music event that I can because there’s nothing better,” Shinn said. “There was also a part of me that was hoping to get a caramel latte at a time I wouldn’t ordinarily be able to.”

Throughout the evening, Adeem played both old and new songs, bantered with the crowd, took requests and created an overall lively atmosphere. Shinn enjoyed the concert as well as Adeem’s crowd interaction, humor and wisdom. 

“I was blown away. Not only did I laugh out loud over and over, but I was also so struck by their insight, story and worldview,” Shinn said. “The atmosphere of the concert was also immaculate. Just about everyone was playing off of Adeem’s energy, and it all had a very intimate and accepting atmosphere. I loved the music, but more than that, I was given a lot to think about and reflect on as an individual.”

CLMC concerts similar to this event are often free and open to the public, so all are encouraged to take the opportunity to experience live music. 

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About the Contributor
Rylee Hatch, Arts & Features Editor
Rylee Hatch is a sophomore from East Fishkill, NY concentrating in English and environmental studies. She has previously served as a staff writer for the Commentary and News sections. On campus, Rylee is involved in Colgate Dance Initiative, the Dance Team, and the Ballet Company. 

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