Yungblud. Brixton Academy. November 23, 2019. Here's what we saw, thought and felt about all of it.
Yungblud is a superstar. This much, we already know.
Hunched over and strutting around the stage behind a white curtain seconds before his biggest headline show ever boots off, all split ends and black lipstick, he looks every inch an actual, real live rock star in an age where many thought his kind was long dead.
He stops still, pink flag in hand. The whole room inhales.
The curtain drops, and Brixton Academy just about bursts.
Rattling through ‘21st Century Liability’, ‘Parents’ and ‘I Love You, Will You Marry Me’, he and his band ramp up and up and up through 80 minutes of life-affirming, chest-swelling carnage.
Whether he’s being led into the middle of the crowd by burly lads in pink balaclavas before ripping through ‘Kill Somebody’ from the pit, or spitting a dedication to Boris Johnson ahead of the ever-appropriate ‘King Charles’, he moves at a pace that’s not only matched by his mouth, but by the energy that’s being directed back at the stage. The crowd don’t soak up he and his band’s energy, they fire it back tenfold. It makes for something breathtaking.
The steam rising from the pit. The sheer volume of the crowd. The phone lights. The flags. The fire. It all gives the room a feel of both old and new-school shows converging in the most bracing, brilliant way.
He benefits too, of course, from having fistfuls of songs in his locker that haven’t just wormed their way into the public’s subconscious while they’ve been blaring out from all corners over the past 12 months or so. No, these are songs that more crash their way inside, piss all over the toilet seat and then get in your bed. It feels like they haven’t just been memorised by the 5,000 people screaming the words back at Dom. It feels like they’re almost ingrained in the minds of everybody here. That is power.
This much is particularly evident on songs from 2019 like ‘Loner’, ‘I Think I’m Okay’ and ‘Original Me’, which speaks volumes about the year we started with him way back in January.
There’s something stirring about a lad from Doncaster wearing a Korn hoodie and his mates giving Brixton Academy an absolute battering. More than slick production (of which there’s oodles tonight) and a great show (and it really is spectacular), this is thousands of people coming together as part of a movement.
As ‘Machine Gun (F**k The NRA)’ descends into a “Fuck Brexit” chant that envelops half of the venue, this feels like a ‘moment’, sure. It could be whatever hackneyed platitude about coming of age, fulfilling potential, hitting new heights or whatever else.
What’s even more important for the future of what Yungblud has started to create, though, what's even more striking to those here tonight and what's truly frightening in the best possible way, is that this feels normal. Yungblud dominating Brixton felt fucking inevitable.
Just you watch what happens next.
Check out Corinne Cumming's full gallery of photos from Yungblud's London Brixton Academy show on November 21, 2019 right here.
On Friday, Yungblud announced three UK shows at London's Kentish Town Forum, on sale now.
26 - LONDON Kentish Town Forum
27 - LONDON Kentish Town Forum
28 - LONDON Kentish Town Forum