“Woahhh oh oh oh ohhhh ohhhh” the crowd sang- the tune to the University of Michigan’s fight song. It was a friendly jab of a “welcome home” to the Detroit-born, Michigan State-studied artist about to come on stage.
Mikael Temrowski now goes by his stage name Quinn XCII. Raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Quinn started writing and recording music as a sophomore at MSU. Now a few years into his career, Quinn performed at The Fillmore Detroit on March 15, 2019- a place he used to go to watch artists as a fan before his career took off.
The majority of Quinn’s concert was a presentation of his most recent album From Michigan with Love, along with a few songs from his earlier albums. Wearing a custom Detroit Tigers jersey with “QUINN 92” across the back, Quinn entered the stage as a neon album cover flashed behind him, edited to read “From DETROIT with Love”.
“DETROIT, MAKE SOME NOISE!”
The crowd erupted as the first song of the night, “Sad Still”, started to play. Singing about mental health, the chorus switched into a bass-heavy beat as Quinn rapped, “We don’t ever gotta talk about it, what do you mean?” The crowd seemed to know every single word, even though you couldn’t even hear your own voice as you sang along. “We need something stronger than Advil, I know deep down we’re sad still.”
The theater was then drowned in a dark red light as Quinn switched to a song about an emotionally abusive relationship. Even though his first two songs have a serious meaning, the beats behind them kept the crowd going. “You know your ways get under my skin,” the crowd sang with their hands up, “the world’s tiniest violin, on my shoulder like oh she’s too much to handle.”
Quinn then took a moment to thank the crowd for coming. “If there’s one show where I’m gonna cry,” he said, “it’s this one.” He then said he’s only been to two shows in his life, both at The Fillmore- Mac Miller and Avicii- and there was a noticeable shift of energy in the crowd.
Getting back into his set, Quinn sang “Autopilot”, a song about feeling like you’re on “autopilot all the time.” Dancing across the stage in front of strobing yellow and white lights, Quinn sang about going through dark times and trying to find sanity.
The lights then switched to green and blue- Quinn stood on the DJ’s platform and knelt down as he began his next song. “I’m in shambles since I blew my 16th candle, it’s the little things that I can’t handle, and we’re still in July.” It was refreshing to hear songs about things we all go through, from someone who grew up where the crowd did. “Life must go on– go on, and you know I got you,” Quinn sang, and ended it with a sincere “thank you so much.”
Quinn took a break to catch his breath and told an interesting story. “The person this next song is about… might be in the crowd tonight,” he said with a smirk, “But it makes for a good song, right?” The crowd erupted and cheered Quinn on as they sang along. “Something went off in my brain, she was insane, here she goes again- a psycho from a Midwest suburb, no straightjacket could hold her!”
It was the last half of the show and the crowd wasn’t slowing down.
“Say- hoyah!” Quinn yelled. “Hoyah!”
“Yell hoyah!” “Hoyah!”
“Scream… HOYAH!” “HOYAH!”
His intro to his song “Always Been You.”
“You’re in Detroit, when I call you you’re sleeping, that’s bringing me down. HOYAH!”
Then, a faster-remix of one of his oldest songs, “FFYL”. A bright white pattern blinded the crowd and turned Quinn’s dancing figure into a blacked-out silhouette. Clapping to the beat, the crowd sang along to his next few songs- “Summer Nights,” a song he wrote with his childhood friend, who now goes by the stage name Ayokay; “Tough,” a song about toxic masculinity; and “Flare Guns,” during which the crowd held up their phone flashlights, lighting up the venue like the night sky.
“I love you guys more than you know,” Quinn said as the crowd died down. “Thank you so much Detroit.” His From Michigan with Love album cover flashed back up onto the screen. “I want my hometown, Detroit, to hold me up. My goal with stage diving… I literally want to be pushed around the entire venue so everyone gets a feel. So, when you catch me, just keep pushing.”
Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling” started playing, and Quinn proceeded to stand (yes, stand) on the crowd, pour a can of Coke into his shoe, drink it, throw the shoe in the crowd and collapse into the sea of hands- a born-and-raised Detroiter was welcomed home.