Guillermo Prieto/
Melody's Echo Chamber. Credit: Guillermo Prieto/

Music fans at Pappy and Harriet’s last Wednesday had a choice to make: Go early and see a show by Deerhunter outdoors, or stay up late and see Melody’s Echo Chamber  inside at midnight.

I saw Melody’s Echo Chamber perform in front of thousands of music fans at FYF Fest last year—and I wanted to see her perform in one of the most intimate venues in the U.S.A., in between her Sunday gigs at Coachella.

The Pappy’s staff had the herculean logistical task of emptying the inside of Pappy’s while allowing hundreds of fans to leave the outdoor stage. With the task done, the backing musicians completed their sound check to a nearly empty bar—while communicating in French. Since my French is limited to sorte and pomme de terre, I had no idea what adjustments they were making as they prepared for the show.

Doors opened, and fans rushed in—with some wearing Coachella bracelets. This was apparently some sort of fashion statement, since the second week of Coachella did not start for a couple days. 

Melody Prochet, the woman behind Melody’s Echo Chamber, walked in last—wearing a smile. Melody’s Echo Chamber kicked things off with an instrumental introduction that transported me to a little café I visited near the Opera District years ago in Paris.

Prochet alternated between keyboards and the microphone stand, moving and dancing and twirling as guitars, bass and drums glided with her charming voice. Melody expressed her excitement at playing at Pappy’s, saying, “How awesome is this place, seriously?”

Hearing “Crystallized” sung by Melody melted me a little on this cold desert night: “Just before I crystallized, you were gone for real this time. Just before, I crystallized you are gone of time this time. How I want to idealize.” “Je Me Perds de Vue” blew everyone’s mind away.

The hour-long performance was too short. Melody left the show by saying, “Thank you guys for being so awesome.” I thought: No, thank you.

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Guillermo Prieto is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine. That also happens to be the location of his first concert—which cemented his love of live music. A desert dweller for a quarter-century,...