YUNGBLUD (AKA Dominic Harrison) is known for his outspoken views, outrageous outfits, and high energy performances. Having never been to one of his live shows before, Lucas Mannion arrived at Alexandra Palace with great expectations.
This would be his biggest concert yet – a sold out 10,000-person venue and a livestream watched by countless others across the world. The magnitude of this performance was not lost on Harrison; there were many times throughout the show when he appeared choked up in disbelief at the size of the audience. During Love Song he started crying, overwhelmed by the mass of voices singing his heartfelt lyrics back to him.
YUNGBLUD has always advocated for those society views as “weird” (hence the title of his debut album) and uses his songs to spread messages of rebellion, love, and encouraging authenticity. A prime example of his unwavering support for marginalised people is his song Mars.
''The audience were at his whim, breaking out into bouts of screaming that he conducted with a wave of his hand''
Mars (a nod to Life on Mars by David Bowie) was inspired by a transgender girl who YUNGBLUD met in 2018. During the performance at Alexandra Palace, he draped a trans flag around himself, and a member of the crowd caught his attention. He had them brought up to the stage where they announced into the microphone that they were nine days post top surgery (a gender affirming surgery for those assigned female at birth). The crowd shouted their support and joined the two of them in singing another round of the chorus as they proudly bared their newly flat chest.
It was impressive how easily YUNGBLUD changed the energy in the room after these moments of sincerity. The audience were at his whim, breaking out into bouts of screaming that he conducted with a wave of his hand. He strutted about in his leather skirt and hot pink socks with such a powerful stage presence it was impossible to look away.
He took full advantage of the command he held over the audience in the last song, Machine Gun (F*ck the NRA). For what felt like a full five minutes he ordered everyone to make the mosh pit as wide as possible, saying “I’m not dropping it until it’s wider.” The energy of the resulting pit that I threw myself into was incredible. This was amplified by YUNGBLUD sparking a chant of “f*ck COVID,” releasing all the pent-up frustration of the last 2 years.
The performer expressed his gratitude to his community on social media, calling it “the best night of [his] life.” By the end of the show I was battered, breathless, and drenched in sweat – it might have been the one of the best nights of my life as well.
Written by: Lucas Mannion
Edited by: Amrit Virdi