Photos and Review by: Ally Arens
Venue: The Criterion, Oklahoma City, OK
Date: July 24, 2023
British alternative rocker Dominic Harrison, better known by his stage persona of Yungblud, is currently in the midst of the United States leg of a world tour, labeled simply as “The World Tour”, with support from The Regrettes, Jean Dawson, Games We Play, and Sophie Powers on select dates. This tour has been in the works for a while and has been highly anticipated by Yungblud’s fan base, the Black Hearts Club, since it was first announced last September and some shows originally scheduled for May having to be postponed. I can’t speak for all BHC members, but for me, it was absolutely worth the wait as Yungblud finally took the stage this past Monday at The Criterion in Oklahoma City, and he absolutely rocked the house.
The specific support acts have varied by show; Oklahoma City was blessed to witness the talents of Games We Play and The Regrettes, both of whom got the crowd adequately warmed up for an evening of fun vibes. First up was Games We Play, a newer alt-rock act currently signed to Fueled by Ramen who put on a very fun and energetic set to kick off the night. The crowd sang along as they played through tracks such as “Get a Job”, “I Hope You’re Happy”, and newest single “All My Untalented Friends (Ooh La La)”. Vocalist Emmyn Calleiro also brought a comedic touch with his on-stage banter between songs, even bringing out his younger brother Ethan to be “Games We Play’s first supermodel”, and telling the crowd that Ethan was single and encouraging the audience to come by the merch booth to meet him. If you want to see a fun pop-punk set, I highly recommend coming out to a Games We Play show near you!
Next to take the stage was The Regrettes, a Los Angeles-based alt-rock group fronted by Lydia Night. The band brought some edgy Barbie-esque energy to the stage, with the lights staying a solid magenta throughout their entire performance as they performed tracks from their discography such as “Dress Up”, “California Friends”, “Barely On My Mind”, and their recently released cover of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own”. The crowd was dancing and jamming along as the night progressed, and the band put on an excellent performance.
The most energetic set of the evening was definitely saved for last, though. If you’ve ever been to a Yungblud show, you know exactly what I’m talking about – Dom spends almost the entirety of his stage time running and jumping around as if he were competing in a marathon. On a scale of 1-10, he was at about a 50 for at least 80% of the set, save for an acoustic moment or two. The set kicked off with a throwback as the opening notes to 2018’s “21st Century Liability” started playing; he then broke out a couple of newer hits with “The Funeral” (one of my personal favorites) and “Tissues”.
Despite this being his first US tour since the release of last September’s self-titled album, the setlist was largely made up of older tracks, including fan-favorites “California” and the less-frequently-performed “Psychotic Kids”, and the crowd was having the night of their lives throughout the entire set. Other setlist highlights included an acoustic sing-along with ‘Kill Somebody”, and a heartfelt piano moment with “Sweet Heroine” near the end of the night, at which point the audience was encouraged to link arms with their neighbors and sway along (which provided me with a sweet bonding moment with my own mother).
Of all the performers I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live over the past 10 years or so since I started going to shows regularly, few have had as dynamic of a stage presence as Yungblud; his sheer level of energy is unmatched. This, paired with his penchant for crowd interaction, make a Yungblud show feel like more than “just a concert”, especially as he encourages the audience to come away with at least one new friend. He even paused at one point to have everyone say “Hello, Motherf**ker!” to the people on either side of them to help break the ice. A Yungblud show is intended to be a pinnacle of inclusivity, and that was definitely felt. If you’re not as familiar with his material or performance style, jumping head-first into a Yungblud show may feel a bit overwhelming, but by the end of the night, you’ll more than likely come away as a fellow member of the Black Hearts Club.
Yungblud’s US tour continues through August 6 in Seattle, WA, then he will be making a few European festival appearances in late August; tickets for all shows are available on his website.