The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Cycles, coffee and chill vibes

UWEC student Declan Melchoir performs at SHIFT in downtown Eau Claire
Photo by Caleb Kleinhans
Declan Melchoir performing in front of SHIFT last Friday

SHIFT Cyclery and Coffee Bar hosted musician Declan Melchoir, a fourth-year creative writing student, from 6:30-8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, in downtown Eau Claire. The concert was free and open to all with $1 off drinks for the event.

Some of the songs in Melchoir’s performance included “Helplessness Blues” by Fleetwood Foxes, “The Gardener” by The Tallest Man on Earth, a cheeky “Wonderwall” by Oasis and “Hits and Mrs.” by Frank Turner, which had some kazoo support from crowd volunteers. 

Melchoir also highlighted a song he would like people to know about, in a pre-gig interview. 

“There’s a song I really like called ‘Your Reply’ by Francis Quinlan,” Melchoir said. “She’s based in Philadelphia, and she’s part of a band called Hop Along. She’s just a very lyrical songwriter that I love and I think more people should listen to her.”

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The entire performance was played on acoustic guitar. Melchoir said he has adopted a folk sound and is influenced by artists such as Frightened Rabbit, Frank Turner, The Staves, Sufjan Stevens and Eau Claire’s own, Bon Iver.

“I usually like to make fun of myself and say it’s a little bit of hipster folk because that’s kind of what it is,” Melchoir said. “I don’t know, just indie folk or whatever I like, whether it’s chill or a little more upbeat.

Evelyn Nelson, event manager for SHIFT, said the store has hosted Declan before and wanted to have him again.

“We really liked the energy and type of crowd he brought to the shop,” Nelson said. “I think that it’s one thing to have an artist one time and just have folks get to know them. It’s another to have that sequence and see how their musical talents have evolved over time.”

Nelson said SHIFT is trying to increase the frequency of live music events to get more students and community members involved.

“We’re hoping through these events we can build a community and a sense of place for people who may be new to town and have never heard of SHIFT before,” Nelson said. “In addition to bikes and coffee, we want to have a space where people feel comfortable to share their creative endeavors.”

At 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 4, SHIFT will host its next live music event. Nelson said the event will be a DJ dance party that will feature multimedia artist Gabriel Fischer, along with a couple of other DJs.

“Costumes are encouraged,” Nelson said. “The cafe will be open and we’ll have all sorts of drinks available.”

Melchoir said he first contacted SHIFT a year ago when they started doing live music again after they had stopped because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m really grateful for SHIFT for letting me play here and just add a vibe to the night,” Melchoir said.

Melchoir said he is also a writer and is involved with NOTA on campus. He said listening to music helps him when he writes. 

“It’s a good way to connect to bigger feelings that you can’t otherwise get at in just regular, everyday life,” Melchoir said. “I think it’s important to listen to music and get out those big emotions.” 

SHIFT Cyclery and Coffee Bar and Declan Melchoir both prefer to be found on Instagram at @eaushift and @declanhmm.

Kleinhans can be reached at [email protected].

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Caleb Kleinhans, Staff Writer

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