Event Review: Quinton Griggs' electrifying debut // Madame Siam 5.31.22
Photo: Lexy Bouras
Last Tuesday, tucked away to the side of glimmering Hollywood Blvd, hip and tiny underground music venue (no, literally, you have to go down a flight of stairs and sacrifice cell service in this subterranean club) Madame Siam hosted Breaking Sound LA, a too-coo-for-school showcase of the hottest local rising artists. While acts like Angelo Vivo, Ada, and Grant Kemp rocked the house with their contagious energy and eclectic variety of sound, I would be lying if I said I went to this event to see anyone other than Quinton Griggs.
A charming 18 year old with a massive TikTok following, Quinton started making music in 2021, streamlined by his single "Chaos", and has only gone from there! Last year, Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz took note of him and has since been a notable supporter and collaborator. In fact, the reason I discovered Griggs was through posts on Wentz's Instagram story. When you see the same guy who first noticed Panic! At The Disco, Cobra Starship, and Bebe Rexha (among many others) promote a new artist... you know they've gotta be something special.
So following Wentz's guidance, I ended up at Madame Siam on May 31st, standing by the back of the bar in a crowd of people waiting to be wow'ed. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Around 10 PM, Griggs emerged from side stage with beautiful Nikki Sixx-esque hairsprayed locks and an air of confidence. As he came up to his mic stand, I noticed it had a long scarf tied to it, reminicent of Steven Tyler's signature decoration. It was obvious that Griggs put time and thought into paying homage to rock heros of the past, however, as soon as the music started it became clear that he is not an imitation. Griggs' music is something you need to experience for yourself to be able to describe it. It's not hair guitar, it's not pop punk, it's not emo, it's a mix of everything all at once with some extra thrown in. The young artist puts energy and heart into every song he performs, and even though this was his first show ever, he knows how to handle a crowd. "Crazy Devotion" had people screaming the lyrics and waving their arms in the air, and the band's tribute cover of Mötley Crüe's "Girls, Girls, Girls" brought the energy up to a ten. Quite a few mosh pits were had, and everyone was happy and sweaty by the end. The crowd also begged for an encore when the set was done.
While Quinton Griggs is undeniably fantastic, I also want to take some time in this review to highlight his amazing band. Thomas Lowrey on drums had an insane amount of energy, banging away and twirling his drumsticks. And Marshall Via on guitar was a total superstar, captivating the crowd with his guitar skills and, at once point in the show, having a swarm of people coming towards him just to be able to hold his hand. These three combined create a rock 'n roll powerhouse on stage that's an absolute pleasure to experience.
Growing up on Aerosmith and Def Leppard, I've always lamented "I was born in the wrong generation" because I didn't get to experience the iconic outfits, energy, and music of the 1980s. But Quinton Griggs and his band showed me I was born at exactly the right time, because now I get to experience that era remixed and reimagined (and the newfound creativity it's approached with definitely beats out nostalgia) with cool people like them.
Closing thoughts? Go fucking see Quinton Griggs.