There’s pop, there’s electronic, there’s hip-hop, there’s reggae, and then there’s Quinn XCII, who somehow can effortlessly combine all of those four into his own unexpected, exciting, vibrant sound. Quinn XCII’s music is the type you listen to when you want to be in a great mood. His most upbeat and catchy songs detail his problematic relationships, one of them involving “a psycho from a midwest suburb.” The lyrics are lighthearted, simplistic, and clever. You’ll find yourself humming along to heartbreak, shitty days, the deception of social media, and making mistakes without even realizing it. His songs are real experiences that everyone can relate to. I don’t know how he combines genres and emotions, but he does, and it works. Anyone who was at Cornerstone last Saturday night can attest to that.
The night started off with Shallou, a Chicago based producer and singer. Meditative, electronic rhythms and soulful vocals accompanied each song in his set, creating a calming ambience I’ve never experienced at any concert. Seriously, I wasn’t expecting house beats to be so hypnotizing. It was intriguing and amazing at the same time. To finish, Shallou closed with a remix of one of Quinn XCII’s songs, “Straightjacket,” hyping the crowd up for what was to come.
With blinding, flashing lights, Quinn XCII came up on stage in his white cap, singing the first song, “Intro (Slow)” off of his new debut album, The Story of Us (2017). Halfway through the set, he covered “Ignition (Remix)” by R. Kelly and “Location” by Khalid – reggae style. Definitely having fun with the insane level of energy from the crowd, Quinn XCII told us about his failed stage dive attempts in other cities: “Yeah, they kind of dropped me, so I haven’t tried again, but I think I might tonight, Berkeley.” The entire night felt like a lighthearted dialogue between the audience and Quinn XCII. We lit the stage with our phone flashlights, helped him sing “Always Been You,” and laughed as he took a quick break on his extra posh couch. Oh and we didn’t drop him when he stage dove into the pit.
Article and Photos by Annie Nguyen