Concert Review: Yungblud Strikes A Nerve With His Potent Energy, Honest Message At Nashville Show
English Genre-Bending Punk Rocker Connects Deeply With Fanatic Young Crowd At Ascend Amphitheater
[Photography and Concert Review by JB Brookman, Nashville Live/SENIORITY Photography Nashville]
Yungblud says the things that only he can get away with saying and in 2023, his message is needed, possibly more than ever...
Kinetic… electric… …ultra-confident… riveting… maybe even a bit spastic? All terms that could be used to explain the fast and furious start of a Yungblud show. 26 year old Dominic Richard Harrison simply cannot be still on stage and it lends to the lure of his live music. It also deeply connects his kingdom of outcasts called the Black Hearts Club to his music as they can sense that he’s all-in. He’s gonna spit, scream, sweat and dance the heck out of every song during his alt-rock, punk-inspired set. He pranced out of the backstage area in dark fly sunglasses, a-la Bono from U2 on the 1993 Zoo-TV Tour. He didn’t show any traces of the knee he tweaked about a week ago. His perfectly-spiked hair was drenched with sweat by the end of the opening song 21st Century Liability. The Music City stop on the 29-date US leg of the 2023 YUNGBLUD – THE WORLD TOUR was underway.
“I wore rhinestones tonight, for you- Nashville!” bellowed the frontman, after the blistering 3-song opening throng.
You can sense just a little bit of late-70’s Sex Pistol’s frontman Johnny Rotten in Yungblud. Pure attitude. Snarls, scowls, tongue-out stares and “fuck yous” to the establishment are common. His defiant swagger and rebellious nature provides a cool comfortable and non-judgmental place for the misfits and outcast to come rest… or just plain party. As was the case on Wednesday night. The dopest thing about Yungblud, is that he tends to follow it all with his alluring and sometimes intimate smile, that just makes you love the guy.
“Last time I was here we played the Ryman… and I got in trouble because you guys were so fookin’ crazy that you cracked the fookin’ floor! But, tonight we are on cement and grass, so let’s go!-Yungblud
OPEN THE PIT. The graphic flashed behind Yungblud. He directed the middle of the crowd to part and get the mosh pit jumping. He spent a tremendous amount of time close to the crowd, pouncing on top of the monitors and using a stairway to come down into the pit.
The theme of mental health runs deep through the middle of Yungblud’s songs. He’s an outsider- just like many of his legion of fans. He was bullied when he was young for daring to wear eyeliner and he talks about the ideas of being different, in a very “in-your-face” way. He told the Irish News earlier this year, “I want people to be able to feel safe, feel themselves and feel free.” You could tangibly feel this in the audience during the show. In fact, multiple times, he exclaimed “welcome to the fucking family!“
He stands up for people. Period. No matter your race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity- you are more than welcome to be part of the family. And that matters, especially during a time when we are divided and many groups of youths are being scapegoated for the way they love, Yungblud provides a safe and positive place where they can be themselves, sans-judgement. The positivity is undeniable, although it’s delivered in a punk-rock, f-bomb ridden, real life talk-type way.
Two covers were part of the night’s setlist: Machine Gun Kelly’s I Think I’m OK and the other man in black’s (Johnny Cash) classic Jackson, where he brought out his girlfriend and Bella Hadid’s BFF Jesse Jo Stark.
Last month, as another overture to his fans, Yungblud announced a certain amount of $20 tickets (including fees) for his US dates. He posted “I know a lot of you out there right now can’t afford tickets to live shows, and I see it and I read it every day, and it breaks my heart.”
“I don’t want some one to not be able to come to a show because they can’t afford it,” he continued. “That just hurts, so I just said to myself I’ve got to try my best to do something about it. I know a lot of you out there have paid full price for tickets, but I want to let you know that every single penny I have earned from this tour I have put back into you guys and put back into this so we can make tickets available for this price. I am not making anything off this tour now, because this is what it’s about. This is what Yungblud’s about: coming together, pulling together, and helping people out if they need us to,”
Opening acts Games We Play and Los Angeles band The Regrettes both played energetic and crowd-pleasing sets as the sunset bathed the downtown area in orange and yellow hues.
GWP frontman Emmyn commented that he lives in Nashville during the start of their pop-punk set and you could tell the band felt at home at Ascend. The trio’s highlight was Deadbeat– their 2022 single and a super-catchy treat. The crowd was super into their set, already grooving and dancing, setting the tone for the evening.
LA-based The Regrettes is led by the magical, stunning Lydia Night who is a joy to behold on stage. The punk quartet performed in front of a giant green screen and brought a strong message of unapologetic empowerment and feminism in their tunes. The band featured music from their 3rd release, 2022’s Future Joy. Sweet, strong, joyful vibes came pouring out of Night and company and the stage was set for the headliner.
Yungblud at Ascend Ampitheatre July 2023 Setlist
- 21st Century LiabilityPlay Video
- The FuneralPlay Video
- TissuesPlay Video
- parentsPlay Video
- CaliforniaPlay Video
- strawberry lipstickPlay Video
- fleabagPlay Video
- Doctor DoctorPlay Video
- AnarchistPlay Video
- Kill SomebodyPlay Video
- Sweet HeroinePlay Video
- Jackson(Johnny Cash cover) (with Jesse Jo Stark)Play Video
- I Think I’m OKAY(Machine Gun Kelly cover) Play Vide
- LowlifePlay Video