Live Review: Quinn XCII & SZA

The Detroit native performed for a college crowd in a haze of vape smoke and waving arms. Playing songs from his latest album, The Story of Us, like “Fake Denim,” “Always Been You,” and “Flare Guns”. Students sang along to every word as Quinn hyped up each track; bouncing around and showing his love for Syracuse, NY.

 

Image via my assistant: www.instagram.com/abigailjudiith/

 

I was thoroughly impressed with Quinn’s live vocals. He actually wore himself out near the end and became a little hoarse; which is a testament to how hard he goes at each show. His band consisted of a drummer and keyboardist; simple but did a fantastic job at perfecting each tune. The three seem to have a fun friendship as they all danced and smiled with eachother.

Catch Quinn on tour here.

 


 

SZA walked on stage and the crowd went wild. The voice recording intro to her Ctrl hit, “Supermodel” played while fans screamed along the words. Big hair, camo pants, and a tiny off the shoulder top that kept exposing her chest made up the litte SZA; a dynamo in her own right. Playing all the favorites off her explosive album, Ctrl, left fans smiling and screaming for almost an hour. The singer addressed the crowd a handful of times, talking about her admiration for students getting their degree and trying hard to succeed. Admitting her stoner ways before singing “Drew Barrymore” and intro-ing the Kendrick Lamar-assisted “Doves In the Wind” by explicitly saying, “I wanna talk about pussy.”

The Missouri native amped the crowd up as the bass blasted behind her. She twirled and gyrated freely onstage while singing her biggest hit, “Love Galore”. The setlist also included “Go Gina,” “Normal Girl,” “The Weekend,” “Broken Clocks,” and “Garden (Say It Like Dat)”.

She professed her love for the crowd and then hopped offstage with the biggest smile. But just as the band was about to pack up, she came over the mic and said “WAIT, do you wanna do ’20 Something’? We should sing it together.” A song about getting older and living life in your 20’s. Her vocals were impeccable as she ended the song singing “God bless you, God bless you” over and over, just how you hear it in the song. She stops and says, “I couldn’t leave without saying God bless you.”

I would see SZA again every night for the rest of my life if I could.

 

To see more videos & pictures from these concerts, visit my Instagram 🙂


Advertisements

Live Review: Cashmere Cat

The Norwegian DJ/producer Cashmere Cat, otherwise known as Magnus August Høiberg, came to The Westcott Theater this Thursday. Cat has quickly become one of the most sought-after producers in the industry. Working with big names like Ariana Grande, Diplo, Major Lazer, and more.

Starting off the show with what sounded like an action movie soundtrack, Cat made fans wait quite a while to see him on stage. Once he did arrive, he jumped right into his track “Night Night” featuring Kehlani. The crowd got krunk to water droplet drops while the purple-hued lights set the tone for the night.

The 30-year-old played fan favorites like, “Adore,” “Mirror Maru,” “9 (After Coachella)”, and “Trust Nobody”. Adding an extreme remix onto every track left the crowd pulsing, especially when he spun out an EDM version of “Bartier Cardi”. He also played crowdpleasers like “God’s Plan,” “Do You,” and a sweet cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.”

After watching him play, I now understand where his name comes from. Magnus paws at the records like a house cat with a string toy. Later in the night, he perches on the DJ table, waves at the crowd, and continues to nonchalantly bop his head to every song. Cat puts on an EDM show unlike any other, featuring video game melodies, suspended beats, and altered vocals.

 


 

Man Crush Monday: Khalid

(Image via georgeherald.com)

The 20-year-old seems to be everywhere in the past couple months. His big smile and vintage style remind you of a cool big brother. Following the stellar 2017 release of his debut album, American Teen, the Texas native has been releasing collabs and features left and right. His easygoing voice seems to blend well with just about anybody as he hijacks every song and makes it that much better.

Singer/songwriter and mysterious pop star, Billie Eilish grabbed him for a track called “Lovely”. Eilish’s angelic voice has a certain darkness that Khalid compliments beautifully on this one.

 

Khalid recently released a new single titled “OTW” featuring 6LACK and Ty Dolla $ign. This one feels more hip-hop than anything else he’s put out. Spitting some slow raps, the singer finds his groove on this one. Ty Dolla $ign’s verse brings “OTW” to a new level that I hope Khalid dives more into this year.

 

R&B upcoming sensation, Sabrina Claudio also borrowed Khalid on her new sultry single, “Don’t Let Me Down”. Khalid takes the second verse making it swoon-worthy in seconds. A swift drum beat leads while the two serenade eachother.

 

Alina Baraz is no stranger to working with Khalid and recently released her album, The Color of You. “Floating” starts out with flawless harmonies; Khalid hits all the lows while Alina hits the highs. The song sounds like it could easily be found on a Khalid album.

 


 

Ari’s Return

Ari’s Return

(image via soundsblog.it)

The pop singer is back after a much-needed break from social media and the public eye following the tragic Manchester concert bombing last May. Grande has reportedly finished her fourth studio album which has been described as a “personal masterpiece”… of course.

Today is finally the day. We get a taste of what she’s been hanging onto for quite some time now. Grande’s new single “No Tears Left to Cry” is an obvious reference to what happened last year. Fans at a listening party in London said the song brought them to tears. A source told The Blast that people “openly wept at how she alludes to the bombing and how incredible the song is.”

At first listen, Grande’s echoing vocals immediately steal the show, singing, “right now I’m in a state of mind, I wanna be in like all the time, ain’t got no tears left to cry.” A runway-esque beat leads the song to easily mimic tracks off the singers debut album, Yours Truly. Despite popular belief, “Tears” isn’t sad at all. It’s a beautiful medley showing resilience and happiness.

Watch the video below: 


Who You Need: Handsome Ghost

Who You Need: Handsome Ghost

(Image via news.bandsintown.com)

WHO: Handsome Ghost

WHERE: Boston, MA

GENRE: Alternative

TOP SONGS: “Eyes Wide”, “Weight of It All”

 


 

Who have been some of your musical inspirations lately? 

“Phoebe Bridgers has been in steady rotation, she’s a great writer. I’ve gone back to the last Local Natives album a lot for the past couple weeks. I liked it when it came out a while back, but for some reason it’s hitting me really hard right now. I’m on a bit of a Wilco kick too.”

Do you have any favorites off Welcome Back? And why?

“It’s really hard to pick a favorite. Certain songs are more important to me at different moments, depending on what’s going on around me. I like to think that’s the mark of a good album, that any song could mean the most to you at any given time, but I’m not the most objective listener in this case.”

“Reckless Lover” is so raw and honest. What was it like finishing a song like that? Did it feel good?

“It did feel good to write that one on the guitar and then see it progress to what it eventually became. I think one of the goals behind the album as a whole was to try and be as honest as possible with myself in the hopes of making sense of the past. ‘Reckless Lover’ is a good example of that. And I thought if these songs could help me figure a few things out about the last few years, then I’d have a better shot at moving forward. And honestly, I do feel better, like something has changed.”

You recently played a sold-out tour. Did you ever think that would happen? How was it?

“It was great! We linked up with our (now) friends Flor and toured with them for most of the winter. You never know what you’re getting yourself into on a tour, and honestly it’s not uncommon to meet the band you’re playing with on the day of the first show. And then it’s like ‘okay, let’s travel around the country together for the next six weeks.’ But the Flor guys were wonderful people and such great musicians and it made for a great experience all around. The crowds were incredible too, we had a blast.”

What do you hope to accomplish in 2018?

“Right now we’re getting ready to begin The Welcome Back Tour this Spring. We’re doing everything we can to make sure all of these shows are unique, and that the audience leaves feeling like they were part of something special. It’ll be fun to play some songs off the new album for the first time, and to dust off some of the older ones from the first two EPs. I feel confident in saying it will be our best tour yet, and we’re just working hard right now in preparation. Then it’s more writing and recording and starting to plan for whatever’s next.”

 


 

On Repeat: “Better Not” – Louis the Child

(Image via billboard.com)

The day before they melted faces at Coachella, Louis the Child released a new single, “Better Not” featuring alt-electro singer, Wafia.

Following suit to most of their vocally driven singles (listen to “It’s Strange” and “Right To It”), this one is just as electric as the rest. Wafia has been garnering a lot of attention lately and is slowly becoming a serious force in her own realm of music. Her soft voice sings loving lyrics; “It’s true love, don’t fake it, you better not, you better not.”

The Chicago based duo have curated their sound to be something so insanely unique to the EDM/pop genre. Keeping a regular pop song structure makes this one radio-ready at any moment. While the drop is meticulous in the coolest way, steel drums and handclaps hover over each verse right before a bouncy drop.