- Live Review
- 14 Jun 22
Even today, there is something inherently defiant about a young man, standing in front of a crowd, making emotional vulnerability a point of punk-rock defiance.
I suppose there will always be a hot goth in black eyeliner, leading the masses, screaming in a shorts-suit about the pains of young life. It's some kind of universal law. It's Friday night at 3Arena and Yungblud is picking up where MCR and Panic! left off, filling a void in the mainstream punk-rock scene that is very much in need of (pun warning) young blood.
In a world that can feel unceasingly cynical, Yungblud's unapologetically earnest energy has always marked him as a unique force. Rising from what he's described as “industrial as fuck” Doncaster in England to the forefront of international music, he rapidly established himself as an artist who wears his heart not only on his sleeve, but literally tattooed on both middle fingers – consistently using his platform to wage war on whatever modern ills are most deserving of his ire on any given night; be it homophobia, racism, Brexit, Putin, or the NRA.
It's really pop-punk gone modern, lingering somewhere between the good old 2010s and the now. Amazingly, the 24-year-old has only been in the business since 2017. In that short amount of time, he's earned critical acclaim in the form of generous award noms and international fandom. His third, self titled, studio album will arrive this September. After seeing this performance, I'm excited to see how he'll take his act to another level as he revamps the genre.
I can't deny the phenomenon. It's a fact - this man knows how to put on a show. He’s raving for his life up there: singing, jumping, and sprinting across the stage at the same time. From start to finish. God knows how he's doing it all. Perhaps harnessing some superpowered ADHD side effect, and he's not afraid to use it. He demands the audience’s engagement on every possible level, I'm half afraid he's going to dive into the audience and rat me personally for not jumping high enough.
Looking past the visual extravagance - including flame-throwing pyrotechnics - my favourite thing about Yungblud is the diversity and honesty of his songwriting. It's not just love song after love song; there are narratives concerning family ('Parents' is hilarious), mental illness, trauma, politics, death. When he does sing about love, like in 'I Love You, Will you Marry Me' it’s in such an original, clever way that would get a nod of respect from even the most cynical critics.
With all the bravado, the show has an urgent message. And it feels like he’d be willing to tear the stage apart to make you hear it. He preaches the need for equality, self acceptance, bold individuality. Even today, there is something inherently defiant about a young man, standing in front of a crowd, making emotional vulnerability a point of punk-rock defiance.
He is openly pansexual, ADHD diagnosed, and generally troubled. The amazing thing about being so open is that you encourage openness in others. That trust is what creates a community. It's safe to say that his hopes to forge a safe space for his fans with similar afflictions have come true.
Wrapped in a trans flag, he says in great earnest - “I love each and every single one of you.” And I really do feel it in the air. I'm sold, it's time to add Yungblud to the list defining the new era of rock stars.
Read last week's fantastic interview with Yungblud here.
- Live Review
- 04 Jul 22
- Live Review
- 02 Jul 22