At first glance, it’s easy to write off Yungblud, real name Dominic Harrison, as just another pop-punk teenage heartthrob, with a charming smile, infectious laugh, and hair that’s always messy and all over the place, but yet somehow always manages to look styled.
It’s easy to get that sense, until you realize that there is definitely substance in the British singer’s lyrics. Sure, his songs may be catchy, but Yungblud has left no subject taboo, unafraid to tackle politics, mental health and even offering his thoughts on rape culture, specifically on his song “Polygraph Eyes.”
“I grew up in a place where I would see drunk girls stumbling out of nightclubs with boys that weren’t nearly as drunk as they were, and no one was talking about it where I’m from,” Yungblud said. “And what was so crazy to me was that until I moved away to the city and got out of the backwoods town that I grew up in, I didn’t fundamentally realize how wrong it was until I learned myself. If you’re taught all your life that they sky is green, you believe the sky is green until you figure out for yourself that the sky is blue.
“And at the end of the day, I wrote this song about drunk girls being taken advantage of by boys and I wanted to, because this happens a lot, and I wanted to talk about it,” he added. “If you’re a victim of that, try your best to talk about it. If you’ve done it, rectify it, talk about it. Conversation needs to be brought around this subject so it gets stamped out.”
Though serious in song, Yungblud is completely wild on stage, running from side-to-side of the stage, interacting with fans and bouncing up and down with the rest of his crowd. Saturday night in Nashville at The Cowan was no exception, as he and the rest of the sold-out Music City crowd were hyped throughout the entire 90 minute performance.
“Everyone always thinks I’m on drugs, but I’m like, ‘No, man, I’ve just got ADHD.’ The performance is ADHD and Dr. Pepper to be honest,” Yungblud said in a phone interview on May 4. “I just think something happens on stage. For me, as soon as I hear the crowd roar, as soon as they hear the kick drum, as soon as they hear the music, everything just clicks. I mean, it just feels right.”
A lot has changed since Yungblud last played a Nashville show. The last time he took the stage in Music City was in July of 2018, during the final touring Warped Tour, over at the State Fairgrounds.
Since that time, the singer has released his debut album “21st Century Liability” and a few singles to go along with that. Included in those songs was “Loner,” to start the year, followed by “11 Minutes,” featuring popstar Halsey and Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker. With so much going on, Yungblud had one word to describe his last year, “Rocketship.”
“I just think it just kind of spiraled. I never expected it,” he said. “All I want to do is just put out music and connect to people, and the fact that it’s connecting so vastly and so quickly, it’s just moving me every day. All I care about is just being real, and talking real, and doing real stuff.”
Though he is on tour in the U.S. now, Yungblud promises that there will be new music on the way soon. He wouldn’t reveal the name of the new track, but provided The News with a few details about the new song.
“It’s about something that you completely confide in and put your trust into,” Yungblud said “Then you realize it’s not right, and that hurts you, because you put all your trust in something and you listen to someone or you listen to something and you believe in someone. Then the rug comes out from underneath you and you feel like you can’t trust anyone, it hurts you inside, deeply hurts you. But the positive thing is that you become stronger because of it. And that’s all I can give you.”
Heading into Saturday’s show, fans also were able to get a sneak peek about what a Yungblud can be like. In March, the singer released a live album from a 2018 concert in Atlanta, calling it an important step for his career.
“When you come to a live show, even when I play a live show, you escape the real world. So if you’ve been to one, or you if haven’t been to one yet, you can put those on your headphones and be there, you know, and feel like you’re there.”
While that live album allowed those listening at home to listen to a performance, it didn’t quite fully do Yungblud’s concert justice. Namely, it tried its best to capture the crowd energy, there’s nothing quite like seeing a live show, being in the middle of the crowded pit, with 650 souls bouncing around throughout the entire performance.
Once the singer hit the stage, he hardly stopped moving, pausing just for brief moments, including during “California” in order to break up a fight, as the crowd members were escorted out by security. Despite already being more than halfway through the song, Yungblud and his backing band restarted the track, moving quickly past the incident.
That was the only hiccup in the performance. After a short break, Yungblud was brought back to the stage, performing three final songs, including “11 Minutes,” which featured a vocal track of Halsey. However, Yungblud did sing her section of the song as well, before carrying on with verse as scheduled.
Whether they knew it or not, the Nashville crowd also helped a charity with $1 of each ticket going toward Crisis Helpline, a cause that is extremely important to the singer.
“It’s a helpline for people that they can text to talk about mental health issues, or any issues that’s going through their head,” Yungblud said. “So I just donate a dollar from every ticket to that helpline just because I think it’s right, and it’s kind of relevant to especially my fan base, and especially a subject that’s important to me… I found them online, and I really liked them.”
Yungblud will be continuing his U.S. Tour through July. Visit his website to view more dates: https://www.yungbludofficial.com/