The lights dim. The crowd hushes. A countdown begins on the screen. 59… 58… 57.. the anticipation… 10, 9, 8, 7. The crowd chants along as the numbers change. THREE, TWO, ONE... Quinn XCII (pronounced Quinn 92), emerges as a silhouette against the neon screen, the words “Road to Michigan” illuminating the stage.
We arrived at the House of Blues at 6pm, eager to pick up our tickets. An hour early we traded our warmth for prime spots at the front of the general admission seating. We shivered outside in the growing line, singing along with other concert goers to Quinn’s songs.
The phrase, “Hi we’re Julia and Lucy, student journalists,” was thrown around as we talked to production and stage managers. Our tickets were finally scanned and we entered the House of Blues at 7pm, sprinting towards the front of the room and securing our place in the venue. Throwing a few elbows along the way, it was quinntessential to hold our ground and not get pushed around by more vertically blessed concert goers.
At 8pm opening act Christian French began his set with his most famous song, “By Myself.” Although some songs were unfamiliar to the crowd (two girls in front of us attempted to Shazam the songs during the performance), the energy continued to escalate. When the first set ended, we were already sweating and anxiously awaiting the arrival of Ashe, the second opening act and graduate of the nearby Berklee College of Music.
Ashe had a strong start to her set hyping up the crowd with ehr energetic dance beats. She sang a few of her own songs while sharing details about her life with the crowd, making it a personable experience. She said that her goal was to become our friend by the end of the night, and it certainly felt like it. She finished her set with covers of Michael Buble’s “Feeling Good” and Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” which had the entire audience cheering and bouncing.
Soon after Quinn appeared on stage. The crowd screamed and hollered from the first song to the last song. His set included a mix of songs from his newest album titled “From Michigan with Love” and and his previous album titled “The Story of Us.” He opened with on of his most popular songs, “Sad Still.”
Halfway through his set, we abandoned our coveted spots to rush to the bathroom. About 30 seconds later, Quinn unexpectedly popped up on a small stage nearby — close enough for us to reach out and grab his hand. After a few songs on the side stage, he returned to the big stage and continued his set. Although our brush with fame was short lived, we continued to bask in the excitement. He ended his official set with his song “Kings of Summer” but was coaxed back by the incessant chanting of fans. Quinn XCII returned to center stage for a three-song encore and finished the night with “Flare Guns,” his hit song featuring Chelsea Cutler.
We left the show dazed; the buzz of the music lingering in our ears. We walked outside feeling warm and content despite the flurry of snow surrounding us. It was a memorable show that left smiles on our faces. We know that when Quinn XCII returns to Boston, we will be the first people to buy tickets.
By Julia Temple, Staff Writer and Lucy Del Col, Multimedia Staff, March 2019