Almost a year ago to the day, I wandered into a show that would leave a lasting impression on me for the forseeable future. The energy, the sound, the look– that show had it all and Yungblud sky rocketed into my list of favorite live acts of all time (and that was while he was performing from a wheelchair). I never forgot the feeling of amazement I had while I watched this young performer last year. That’s why, instead of joining my friends down the block to catch Knocked Loose and Stick To Your Guns (two of my favorite hardcore acts out there right now), I found myself lost in a sea of teenagers that were probably half my age. Typically this setting would bug me but I was truly just too excited to experience the magic I felt last year to really give a crap about anyone around me.
Kicking the night off was Texas based Missio. The first time I saw this band when they opened for K. Flay in May of 2017, I wasn’t sold (and that’s putting it nicely). I was able to catch the band again this past April at a smaller venue in Saint Paul and although I wasn’t going to be turned into a superfan, I definitely didn’t hate their show and loved the larger than life sound and show being fit into such a small venue. I was a bit nervous that Missio wouldn’t be able to top the last time I saw them. I mean, last time was at a more intimate venue and they were headlining. Last night was at the iconic First Avenue and they were opening for an act that to say I was anxiously awaiting would be an understatement. Missio kicked into their set just a couple of minutes before 7PM and any worry I had fell to the wayside.
Although I thought the show may be about the same as far as set and stage set-up went for their April show at The Amsterdam in Saint Paul, it was instantly clear that that would not be the case. From the lights to the sound choice to the vibe radiating off the stage, everything was different. You may be thinking– well, of course it is! That’s what bands do! But, the sad truth is that this is not always the case and I’ve seen some bands play the same set with the exact same show multiple times over the span of a couple of years. The fact that it has only be about six months since I saw Missio last and they already had a full new show was all I needed to finally be able to say that I truly do like this band and respect all that they do. Sure, their top-40 drenched, electronic induced tunes aren’t quite my thing but any band that can do one tour, turn around in six months and do a whole different one is absolutely my thing.
The only reason I stumbled into Yunblud’s show last year was his look. I’m definitely not an advocate for judging anyone on their appearance but his My Chemical Romance meets The Cure meets Sid Vicious look had me sold. It quickly became clear to me during that fateful show last year that Yungblud (born Dominic Harrison) is more than just his look. He has a sound unlike anything else out there right now and a live show to back it. Honestly, most of last night was a blur or energy and jumping for me but I know that within the first couple of notes of his first song, any worry of the wonder that I felt when I saw him last year being just a fluke was instantly gotten and it actually seemed kind of funny that I even worried about that.
Yungblud’s music lends itself nicely to an energetic show. Infectious beats, a unique blend of punk, ska, pop, and rap… honestly, it would probably be harder for Yungblud to just stand there and perform his music without jumping around. His energy tore through the young crowd like wildfire and within the first couple of notes, the audience had turned into a sweaty mess that was a bit out of control to the point where Yungblud had to stop the set a couple of times to check on people in the audience and get them water. Although insane and rowdy, there was a constant reminder of Yungblud’s positive energy and outlook on everything. From the thought that everyone in the venue last night was one big family to the idea that you have nothing to lose so just be true to yourself and do whatever the heck makes you happen– it was one of those atmospheres that I wish I could put into a mason jar and open back up when I’m in one of my depressed moods.
No matter what I write about here, you’ll never understand how amazing last night’s set was unless you were there. There’s no way for me to explain the amount of energy that was in the air or coming off the stage. Sure, I could tell you want songs were performed and what Yungblud was wearing but that still does nothing and would come off as me being at just another show and me writing just another blog post. None of my words will do Yungblud, his band, or his live show justice. He’s truly one of those acts that you just have to go and see for yourself.
Yungblud’s show last year at the 7th Street Entry wasn’t just a fluke. I called it then that this kid would be a huge name and, well, here we are. I’ve been to nearly 200 shows this year and I can say, without any hesitation, Yungblud just stole a spot in my top five sets this year.