I finally took the plunge. I joined a gym. Yeah, go ahead and laugh but I needed to do something and that something was apparently at 5:45AM spin class yesterday morning (my first day at a gym ever– go big or go home right?). Needless to say, I was exhausted and fading fast as I made my way downtown for the show. I had never heard of either of the acts so honestly I was hoping for an easy night where I could maybe sneak out a bit early and just collapse into bed. An early night may have been the main thought in my head but Yungblud had other plans for me and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Kicking the night off was Arrested Youth from Kentucky. Fronted by singer/ songwriter/ rapper Ian Johnson, Arrested Youth kicked off the show in the best way possible. The three piece blasted onto the stage with a sense of energy and stage presence that absolutely demanded the young audience’s attention. Ian instantly had the crowd in the palm of his hand with his charming smile and almost too honest lyrics that seemed to hit everyone in the crowd in a different way but right in the perfect spot. His song “My Friends Are Robots” was about feeling stuck in corporate America and not being able to take it anymore. It was about chasing your dreams with or without your friends by your side. The way he sang it made you feel it and although I seemed to relate more with Ian’s mentality of just going after your dreams instead of a paycheck rather than the mentality of being stuck in corporate America, I found the lyrics to be exactly what the young crowd needed to hear and I truly hope they were listening.
The energy throughout Arrested Youth’s quick thirty minute set was electric to say the least. Although it was clear that only a handful of audience members knew their songs, everyone was bouncing along to the infectious beats that the band was pumping out through the speakers. Although I had never heard of them before and my legs felt more like spaghetti than anything else, I couldn’t help but move up closer to the stage and just let go of all of the stress in my life. I found myself bopping along with the youngsters around me while sporting a giant smile on my face. As the three piece left the stage, I couldn’t help but be a bit bummed out but then the thought of that early night and the feeling of my bed hit me. There was no way the headliner was going to beat this amazing opening set– or was there?
The main reason I was even slightly interested in last night’s show was the images I saw of headliner Yungblud. A little Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance mixed with Robert Smith of The Cure, I felt a little guilty judging this book by it’s cover but the look had me intrigued enough to pass up a rare night in. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bummed out when I saw Yungblud (born Dominic Harrison) being wheeled out onto stage in a wheelchair. I don’t know why I was bummed, I’ve seen some of the best absolutely rock it out when injured but for some reason, I was just not in an optimistic mood and was already calculating my escape to the door as he got in position but that didn’t last long. “My doctor told me to just cancel the tour. I told him fuck that!” Shouted Yungblud and then it happened.
I honestly don’t even know what words to use to describe what happened during Yungblud’s set last night. He wasted no time in proving his talent and the fact that he wasn’t going to let his jacked up leg stop him from making this first ever Minneapolis date one for the record books. His music was a little rap meets a little punk meets rock and metal all wrapped up with a bow of attitude. Within the first song I was in love and texting my friend that it was definitely going to be a late night for me. I wasn’t going to miss a single second of this set even if it meant my exhaustion and soreness hitting a new all time high. Dominic didn’t let his wheelchair stop him and had his doctor been at the show, he would have been cringing non-stop with how much Dominic was jumping in and out of his chair. If this kid had this much energy with a busted up leg, I don’t think I could even start to handle him at 100%. Although injured, Yungblud’s show was more electric and intense than some of the biggest stadium shows I’ve seen. To say my mind was blown would be an understatement.
This current tour was in support of Yungblud’s debut full length “21st Century Liability”. This brand new album that was released in July and a smattering of singles is literally all that Yungblud has released so the fact that almost the entire crowd was singing along to every single word was a bit astonishing to say the least. There I was only because I judged a book by it’s cover, and here everyone else was because they finally had a chance to see this breakout artist from the U.K. It was an absolute perfect storm. My intrigue mixed with the party-like atmosphere from the audience and the intensity from Dominic and the rest of his band made for a night that I honestly never wanted to end.
I’ll never say it’s okay to judge a book by it’s cover but when you have a night off and live in a city where it seems like every night there are at least 327 concerts you want to go to (okay, I’m exaggerating but just a little bit) sometimes it’s okay to find a picture that intrigues you and go for it. That’s what I did last night and ended up experiencing one of my top shows of the year.