Friends, collaborators, family and touring duo, Chelsea Cutler and Quinn XCII have spent years developing their own unique sound, while supporting one another’s growth along the way. They share a long history of contributing to each other’s songs, expanding their fan bases through genuine admiration of one another and touring the country together, with their most recent adventure on the road being the Stay Next To Me Tour.
Cutler’s performance delivered a full spectrum of life’s many emotions, with each song connected to her own heart’s expressions as she wrote or collaborated on them with her friends. Giving everything she can to let her vocals shine, Cutler showcased her deep range by performing romantic ballad “this is how you fall in love” with a soft tenderness, funky jam “You Can Have It” with a fiery confidence and putting it all out there to express the yearning that comes with lost love in “Your Shirt”. It was delightful to see Cutler immersed in the bliss of returning to the stage, as she had fun dancing along to her band’s rhythms and joining them on guitar to play a solo. You could feel the crowd’s enthusiasm thundering with cheers throughout the show, but it reached a pinnacle while singing along to the iconic cover, “Mr. Brightside”. It was truly something spectacular to witness: as Cutler began to sing the lyrics, the entire crowd became her choir, singing every word back to her with such high spirits.
Chelsea Cutler turned the microphone over and let us sing out all of our nostalgia.
She bared her soul while singing with her latest single “Devil On My Shoulder”, that shares her own struggle with depression and the vulnerability it takes to open up to those around us about how we feel. Her powerful vocals put the crowd in a state of stillness, as they listened to her vocalize and release the sadness that was channeled into her lyrics, with moments of pure emotion pouring out; it was a sound so beautiful, it was as if an angel was crying.
She revealed her sweet side by reminding us how “Lucky” we are to have someone to love, a song that makes you want to pull your loved ones close, from her new album How to Be Human. Cutler brought the love to the stage, as she expressed how grateful she was to be performing live once again: “I don’t give a shit who you are, how you identify, who you love, what you stand for — it doesn’t matter. When you come to a room like this, you guys fuckin’ matter and we love you guys so much.”
Quinn XCII absolutely rocked the stage, with a spirited performance of his signature hits, feeding off the joyful energy of his fans singing and dancing along. He had a smile that stuck the whole performance. Not holding back one bit, Quinn went deep into his past to share his stories of inspiration for “Stacey” and “Straightjacket”, two relationships that went sour, yet produced fierce lyrics that anyone can relate to. He showed off his impressive rhythm, as he danced with a savvy confidence to “Always Been You” and “Kings of Summer”. A personal favorite of the night, “My Wife & 2 Dogs” is one the sweetest songs of gratitude to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
Cutler and Quinn closed with a passionate finalé of collaboration, lighting up the stage with playful jams “Little Things” and “Flare Guns” that the crowd gladly bounced along to. Slowing it down to get sentimental, they sang their newest tune “Calling All Angels” in beautiful harmony, with Cutler’s smooth vocals balanced by Quinn’s robust delivery. They came together to end on a high note with breakthrough song “Stay Next To Me” that makes you wanna party; even though it’s about leaving a party with a special someone, we were all left feeling celebratory just to have been there.
Photography by Sophia Ricco