Filled with many creative ideas during quarantine, YUNGBLUD has taken the online stage to recreate the live experience as we endure round two of lockdowns around the world. Joining him, Royal & the Serpent and Wargasm created a short and sweet performance that sent fans wandering through a land of hope for live music again.
Wargasm opened with an infectious energy. Rocking with clean and unclean vocals all while blending the definitions of what makes modern rock and roll. While only performing a couple of songs, they warmed up the crowd for an early Sunday evening rock session to start off the week.
Royal & the Serpent sent chills through the air with their haunting live performance. I was stunned by the vocalist’s grungy aesthetic and gritty performance as she maintained sweet in demeanor and vocals. It was a beautiful contrast with grainy visuals, her contagious movement and energy. She moved along the stage with ease as if something within her was about to burst forth. YUNGBLUD joined in with her as a feature, and together, they lit the room with electricity in their chemistry together as performers and musicians. Her single, “overwhelmed,” screams as an anthem of 2020 while offering a perspective of anxiety and isolation; and it took a showcase with a mid-stage wardrobe change and dance performance featuring a couch and backup dancers.
And of course, the headliner, YUNGBLUD, took the stage and lit up the room with positive vibes in “Weird,” singing about dark things all while encouraging the fans to hold on and keep hoping for better even though we are in a crazy time in this life. Throughout the performance, he repeatedly ran across the stage with bounds of endless energy. There’s something untouchable and raw about YUNGBLUD while he’s live because he manages to capture the crowd’s emotions in the moment and replicate it in his voice and tone. He screams and sings with all the more power and we slowly get pulled from our reality and distracted from the chaos of the world for a little while.
Bringing forth the fresh album, “weird!” admittedly mostly written in Los Angeles, which he addresses to the crowd. “I wish I could be there right now, man. I got very very lost out there. I surrounded myself with the people who didn’t want to be around for the right reasons. But you lot,” he looks into the camera, “You brought me back from depression… and a dark, dark place.” And as he admitted this, he opened up the acoustics for “It’s Quiet in Beverly Hills.” The transition to a bubbly performer transformed into one of love and hope for better days.
The performance felt as real and live and personal as it gets as the musicians took interludes to interact with the livestream fans as if they were in the pit with them, embracing the noise and the loud in the thick of the crowds and the blaring lights and feeling so close with people you never met before, for you’ve united in the name of music and being together enjoying the same things together. The show in all was a total of an hour, a short and sweet performance that pulled us away from reality for just a little while.
The stream’s chat was overwhelmed with positive messages, support, and joy in seeing the performance. One day, when shows are live again, I imagine the energy will be unlike anything I’ve experienced before; for in this short little set, I got a small taste of it and can continue on hoping for more in the future.