On September 17th, I had the pleasure of seeing Chelsea Cutler and Quinn XCII perform the first of two sold-out nights at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The tour, which the two were co-headlining, is in support of Quinn’s latest album, Change of Scenery II, released in March of this year, and Cutler’s brent: live from the internet, released in May.
Tai Verdes opened up the show, playing an extremely lively and upbeat set. He has gained success from posting his songs on TikTok, going viral off of hits “A-OK”, “DRUGS”, and “Stuck In The Middle”. Verdes released his debut album TV earlier this year, and has received praise from outlets such as Rolling Stone and MTV.
Chelsea Cutler played next, starting her set off strong with “Sad Tonight” before performing 13 songs from all four of her albums. At one point, Cutler brought out friend and fellow musician Noah Kahan to perform a beautiful duet of “Crazier Things”. The two collaborated on the song from her sophomore album, How To Be Human, released in the beginning of 2020.
Cutler, hailing from New York City suburb of Westport, CT, kept looking over the crowd in shock and admiration, stating how lucky she felt to be there. This is her first tour in close to two years, and the 24-year-old pop/electronica star is surely one to watch if you have not been following her already. She ended off her set with an energetic cover of The Killer’s “Mr. Brightside” then “Your Shirt”, the lead single from her 2017 Show In October EP.
Quinn XCII (pronounced Quinn 92) started out his show to the exhilarated crowd with “Am I High Rn” then launched into the rest of his 18-song set. Before each song, Quinn, like Cutler, expressed his deep joy and gratitude for being able to play a tour in front of a happy crowd of vaccinated individuals. He performed his set in front of multiple LED screens displaying unique visuals for each of the songs he performed. He played a strong show, filled with his distinctive pop-EDM blend of sounds. During “My Wife & 2 Dogs”, Quinn asked the crowd to go crazy, while the screens behind him displayed an adorable montage of his wife and his two french bulldogs.
During the encore, Quinn and Cutler both came out to perform a cover of “Little Things” by Louis The Child, “Calling All Angels”, and “Flare Guns”, during which the two asked audience members to light up their phone flashlights. While everyone complied and Radio City was lit up by phones instead of lights from a soundboard, I was reminded that this has always been one of my favorite things that musicians do during concerts, and I was so happy that Quinn and Cutler reminded me how much I love it. They closed out the show with the tour’s namesake “Stay Next To Me”, the pandemic anthem about simply wanting to be close to the ones you love.
It’s safe to say that live music is back and is (hopefully) here to stay. Be sure to catch the rest of the stay next to me tour in a city near you.
Review written by Susie McKeon at Radio City Music Hall in NYC, NY.
Photos by Casey Mabry at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, TN.