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Yungblud is one of music's most visceral performers and his Melbourne show proved that

It was an energetic display to say the least.

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Image source: 
Dylan Martin

Hailing from the streets of Doncaster, England, Dominic Harrison has made a name for himself in recent years as a politically conscious rapper and rocker who is not afraid to say what he wants and how it is. His debut album, aptly named 21st Century Liability, dropped last year to positive reviews, but it is becoming apparent that Dominic Harrison won’t be an artist you’ll follow just for his riotous album tracks and singles. When he jumps up onto that stage, you won’t just see a lad from the South of Yorkshire anymore. Yungblud is a completely different being entirely.

The audience’s liveliness before Yungblud set foot on the stage of the Croxton Bandroom on Friday February 8, was palpable but restrained. But when he finally burst onto the scene, jumping up and down to his debut album’s title track, his fans’ moods flipped altogether and suddenly everyone was on their feet bouncing up and down.

He followed up swiftly with the popular ‘I Love You, Will You Marry Me?’ a question which half the audience would probably answer with a resounding ‘Yes’. It’s a part rap, part rock odyssey which accompanies history’s numerous attempts at updating the classic tale of Romeo & Juliet, but this time with “Adidas sneakers and cigarettes”. This was one of the few songs Yungblud played with a guitar around his shoulders, but it didn’t hold him back from flinging himself – or the guitar – around the place.

Each song was met with cries of joy from the crowd, as though every track was a massive hit. You can tell Yungblud himself was loving it too, as he switched from flashing a massive grin to sticking his rather large tongue out whenever he wasn’t not crooning “Fuck yeah baby” between songs. This very stage presence and persona went a long way, as you just couldn’t help but smile back.

 
 
 
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The crowd sang the lyrics back louder than the music itself, a sure sign that an upgrade in venue is going to be needed for his next stint in Melbourne. An uproar ensued when Yungblud put his hand up to his forehead in the form of the “L” sign, with everyone aware that the next track would be the anthemic ‘Loner’. The audience were led in an epic sing-along to the chorus, chanting “All my friends will desert again and I don’t want to be a loner.”

‘Polygraph Eyes’ was an emotional standout. The song chronicles the events of a young woman’s night out which begins by “getting lit in the queue to the dance floor”, and ends in her being taken advantage of. Yungblud states that this song means a lot to him before he plays it, resonating strongly with his female fans. The applause for ‘Polygraph Eyes’ outshines any other song.

Stabs are taken at Donald Trump before early track ‘King Charles’ and Dominic Harrison’s thoughts towards American gun violence were loud and clear on closer ‘Machine Gun (F**k the NRA)’, but despite this, the night never became too political. Even the age old practice of waving your hands in the air to the music was flipped when Yungblud demanded everyone’s middle fingers swing in the air instead.

With a growing following, expect to see Yungblud pop up in Melbourne again soon. His boisterous and unrestrained performance was best summed up in his own words, he “just didn’t give a fuck really.” 

Highlight: The huge singalong that ensued with single ‘California’. 

Lowlight: Yungblud needs a bigger venue.

Crowd favourite: The audience were brought to tears by the emotional track ‘Polygraph Eyes’.

By James Robertson