Support Act: Neck Deep
Resorts World Arena
18th February 2023
Photo and words by: Dan Rose
Cover photo: Taken in 2021 on Yungblud’s Life on Mars Tour.
On 18th February 2023, Yungblud brought his World Tour to Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena. This was my third time seeing the energetic artist perform live since 2019, and it was unbelievable to see how much his fan base had grown in a matter of years, as he was able to progress from playing small venues to selling out arenas. His achievements do not surprise me in the slightest and you can see why he’s been able to accrue such a following, due to his humbleness and relatability. He truly cares about his fans so much, which I’ve noticed from viewing both his social media presence and his engagement with fans in the flesh.
At around 9pm, the stadium went dark and visuals of rain were projected on the main stage, along with the audio of rainfall. Shortly after, the front curtain was illuminated with a white light and the silhouette of an enormous creature with wings was visible, just before the curtain collapsed. When Yungblud appeared on stage for the first time, accompanied by his three-piece band, his exhilarated fans went wild. From the very beginning, Yungblud – also known to his family and fanbase as Dominic or Dom – had incredible stage presence and undoubtedly showed his ease as a natural-born performer. He channels so much positive and infectious energy when performing, and it’s a rarity to see in live performances which is another reason it’s so enlivening.
During the evening, the stage was often engulfed in roaring flames which intensified the electrifying nature of the show. Dom started the show by performing his well-loved tune ‘21st Century Liability,’ whilst adorning a pair of sunglasses and repping his iconic pink socks, as he always does when performing. About half an hour into the show, Dom noticed a few fans close to the front of the standing area holding up signs. One extremely lucky fan, whose sign asked if they could play guitar, was chosen to come up on stage and accompany the band whilst the song ‘Fleabag’ was being performed! The Doncaster-born singer asked for the fan’s name, whilst he told the crowd that a young ‘Kurt Cobain’ was on the guitar. During that particular performance, Dom regularly encouraged the fan on stage, which must have been a moment that they would never forget for the rest of their life. Towards the end of that same song, the alternative artist told an array of young fans, in a seated area at one side of the arena, that he would be coming up to join them. Dom made his way off stage, along with his security guards, and climbed up to where those specific fans were situated, as he continued to perform ‘Fleabag’ whilst letting his supporters sing into the mic as well. This unforgettably special interaction with fans, during his show, truly emphasises how Yungblud prioritises his fans’ entertainment and enjoyment when he’s touring.
Midway through the show, Dom made his way to a B-stage amongst the middle of the arena’s standing area. This additional stage was decorated like a bathroom, with a tiled floor, a toilet and a sink. As well as performing a multitude of his beloved hits, the Northern singer-songwriter told the crowd, in his own words, that ‘’people are going to misunderstand you, because they’re terrified of your individuality” and that “this right here is a generational movement’.” His inspiring speech created a collective feeling of empowerment and safety amongst the gig-goers. From performing to only ten people at the start of his career to selling out arenas, Yungblud expressed to the sold-out Birmingham crowd that he could not believe how big his family of supporters has gotten. In dimmed lighting, Dom lit up and smoked a cigarette whilst sitting on the toilet, before returning to the main stage to perform. Narrated in Dom’s distinct Yorkshire accent, a story was told to the arena, as accompanying visuals were displayed on the main stage. As the story came to a close, Dom washed his face in the sink before he opened up an umbrella and water fell, like rainfall, from the ceiling.
During the evening, Yungblud treated his fans to an extensive setlist of twenty songs, which included ‘The Funeral,’ ‘Parents,’ ‘Tissues,’ ‘Strawberry Lipstick,’ ‘Sex Not Violence,’ ‘Hope For The Underrated Youth,’ ‘The Boy In The Black Dress’ and ‘Loner’ to name a few. His anticipated encore was ‘Machine Gun (F**k The NRA)’ but instead of the original words, Dom slightly changed the lyrics to “F**k Sunak,” in order to show his contempt for the UK’s current Conservative Prime Minister.
Seeing Yungblud live is far from a regular concert, as it is a uniquely euphoric visual and audible experience, so I strongly urge everyone to buy themselves a ticket to one of his shows in the future. You certainly won’t regret it!