Everyone in the industry has that one story about that one time they saw that one act in a super intimate room before they were famous. I have a couple of those kinds of stories but my favorite is definitely that time when I saw Yungblud in the 7th Street Entry in October 2018. He was in a wheelchair due to an injury but gave me a show I never forgot. Fast forward to Saturday night. It was going to be my 4th time seeing this now superstar in the biggest venue yet. I was excited because I knew that I was going to get one hell of a show as I always get from Yungblud.
Before Yungblud, the young audience was treated to two opening sets. The first one came from Games We Play. Right off the bat, I was disappointed in the sound happening during the beginning of their set. The vocals were too loud and it was hard to hear anything else. This irked me throughout the first track but, by the second song, I couldn’t care less about the sound quality. Games We Play had me stuck in the palm of their hand. This group is unapologetically pop-punk. They have nods to the old greats like Blink 182 and Good Charlotte but also nods to newer groups like Front Bottoms and Hot Mulligan. It was the perfect blend of sound and attitude to really get the crowd going on Saturday night.
Sure, the band’s cover of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” was flawless and I loved how vocalist Emmyn had his little brother come out to model the band’s merch but what really struck me about this band was their lyrical content. It was comical at times but, overall, I found it to be raw and very painfully honest. From their brand new song called “All My Untalented Friends (Ooo La La)” to the one song I recognized, “I Hope You’re Happy”, I found myself relating to every word from this young band in all of the right ways and completely hooked on their energy. Although I had heard “I Hope You’re Happy” before, I didn’t know that was the band I was seeing until they played it and that was just the icing on the cake to their set.
The Regrettes tried their best to keep the energy in the crowd at the bar that Games We Play had set but I feel like their music was just a bit more intentional and it didn’t help the audience get super into it physically. That being said, it was clear that everyone in the crowd was captivated by what was happening on stage just like I was. The band’s plea with the audience to get a pit going during a song that I felt didn’t warrant a pit, fell flat but I liked the attempt and felt like, in a smaller club, I could absolutely see an audience getting hot and sweaty to The Regrettes’ distinct sound.
Looking back on the Saturday night performance, I am realizing that Yungblud only played fourteen songs which was truly, in retrospect, not enough but, in the moment, I feel like I had gotten a full show. Yungblud did a great job playing some throwback songs from his three-album career. I appreciated the fact that he didn’t just focus on the songs from his new self-titled release but was also a little bummed I didn’t get to hear more. What I did really like is that Yungblud spent time showing the audience how versatile he really is. We got moments of his pure chaos like when he played through “The Funeral” and “Parents” but then got his more sensitive side when he played “Kill Somebody” acoustically followed up “Sweet Heroine” on piano. The contrast of these two sides of this man is severe and seeing it all come together in one cohesive show is something truly iconic.
I know that thoughts on Yungblud seem to be divided at least through the groups of friends I have. Whether you love him, love to hate him, or just straight up hate him, I feel like he’s one of those acts that it’s easy to have an opinion on and I respect that. That being said, seeing Yungblud live is a whole different story than listening to his recordings and it’s something I urge everyone (regardless of what side of the Yungblud line you fall on) to experience. It’s a performance that is full of heart and passion that will leave you with a new spark of fire in your soul.