YUNGBLUD‘s Life On Mars Tour touched down at The Shrine on Friday, action-packed with rock, punk, glam and pyro. The British rocker has been making a name for himself over the past several years with his stage antics, unruly personality and varied talents, appearing at Van Warped Tour in 2018, collaborating with major names like Halsey, Travis Barker, Machine Gun Kelly, blackbear, Bring Me The Horizon and more. YUNGBLUD’s 35-date North American tour included support from LA glam-rock band Palaye Royale, Phoenix pop/rock artist UPSAHL and San Diego punk-pop singer pouty face (with Charlotte Sands as well on other dates).
20-year-old poutyface brought pop-punk stylings to a packed crowd, kicking off with “Deathwish” and “Never Fuckin Know” and really working the stage on the antagonizing “Hey Neighbor”. The sass and swagger was in full effect on “Cherry Picking”, a solid showcase of her vocal ability as poutyface embodied the song with her pink pigtails flailing atop her head. She grabbed the guitar while the crowd clapped along for the rockin’ “Pretty Boy” and she was giving off some 90s and early 2000s vibes, with moments of both Alanis and Avril. poutyface showed another side with “Fboys Anonymous”, sounding like a female member of the Beastie Boys, while the crowd clapped on the build-up of the verses. For her final song, poutyface impressed with solid vocals on new song “”Rag Doll” with fans’ camera lights up during the ballad
Phoenix pop/rock artist UPSAHL played an impressive set on guitar, working the stage and keeping the energy up with “Douchebag”, blending effortlessly with the swag of “Time of my Life”, shaking her body while her band played in red jumpsuits. UPSAHL was center stage at the mic stand for popular tune “Drugs”, getting the crowd repeating the song title as she moved about the stage. I just put out an album a couple months ago about a terrible time of my life that turned out to be a great time in my life”, said UPSAHL. The crowd congratulated her with cheers. UPSAHL got everyone’s “middle finger to the sky”, working the stage on the rhythmic rock song “Lady Jesus”. Blue spotlights surrounded the artist who was back center stage with her guitar for the new tuner tune “IDFWFEELINGS”, jamming at the drum kit with her guitarist and drummer. On dance-rock tune “Lunatic”, UPSAHL jumped along with her fans under the red lights.
LA fashion-art rock band Palaye Royale played an explosive set Remington Leith jumping across the stage in a black jacket and skirt, while his guitarist Sebastian Danzig rocked a gold glam suit and drummer Emerson Barrett donned a shirt and vest. Leith was shirtless during the lively “Fucking With My Head” while the band played an impressive instrumental and the band encouraged madness and moshing from their fans. They also played a solid cover of My Chemical Romance’s “Teenagers”, mentioning that they saw the band play at The Shrine many years back.
The crowd cheered his name with vigor prior to YUNGBLUD‘s entrance, while a massive black covering enveloped the stage at The Shrine. Lips then flashed on a screen that said ENJOY THE SHOW and YUNGBLUD jumped up and down for his fans, shook his hips and slapped his rear, in black leather pants. A life-size rubber duck almost the entire height of the stage smirked at the crowd the entire night while the place was screaming like crazy for their rockstar, whose sleek set design also included 20 red Marshall speakers in a cube. The lip motif on the screen was perfect for the energetic opening song “Strawberry Lipstick”, with YUNGBLUD gyrating and teasing the crowd suggestively while the crowd sang along to the song, emphatically shouting “ay ay ay”.
The popular “parents”, his ode to parents not always knowing best was as smash as was “superdeadfriends” with strobe lights and pyro, YUNGBLUD jumping like a maniac and whipping his hair rapidly. By the end, the words FREAK SHOW on the screen by the end with YUNGBLUD’s hand up like a ringmaster. The Life On Mars Tour had officially arrived. YUNGBLUD stuck his tongue out, got playful like a jester with his fans and did a little volume control with his hands, raising them up for louder screams from his fans and he brought the noise down as well.
Brand new song “Funeral” was next with pink lighting and more pyro, already sounding like YUNGBLUD’s next anthemic tune in the vein of Duran Duran or Billy Idol, with some fans moshing. He strapped on the guitar for “I Love You, Will You Marry Me” and said “I can tell tonight’s gonna be a really focking good show”. Before the first bar could be sung, fans were already singing the first bar and he was impressed, the whole place was cheering during the ska-leaning song. YUNGBLUD walked on stage like a boss and of course gyrated with his guitar.
YUNGBLUD spit out his water on the crowd (or whatever it was!) before next song “Anarchist”. He was pointing to all his fans and said, “So Los Angeles, I’ll ask you again, are you feeling the love?” He kissed the air and ran across the stage like a carnival act. Prior to “mars”, YUNGBLUD asked his audience, “Have you ever felt like an alien? Have you ever felt like a freak? These people are your family. They will love you for who you are”. By now YUNGBLUD was in pink socks and a skirt, strumming his guitar for the incredible moment connecting with fans as they sang “Is there any life on Mars?” It could very well be a career signature song for YUNGBLUD, possibly his Green Day meets David Bowie moment. A fan joined YUNGBLUD on stage with the Transgender pride flag and the place erupted with love.
YUNGBLUD and his band played “weird!” and he lifted his skirt mid song, mentioning after that Columbus, OH previously had the loudest fans. The place was a screamfest again once he complimented his LA fans and then the grunge-leaning favorite “fleabag” smashed. It was one of the best of the night, YUNGBLUD pumped his fist to the sky and pyro cemented this rock anthem in history with the entire place joining in. YUNGBLUD fluttered his tongue at his fans, spit on stage, smacked the tambourine against his crotch and grabbed his guitarist around the neck during this high-energy song, followed by a huge roar. Mid-song he made his fans pinky swear they would jump, and that they did. Yungblud even let a girl in the front out who was likely about to pass out.
“Loner” kept the fans jumping and the lights flashing while everyone clapped on the final chorus and the sing-a-long fest continued with YUNGBLUD back on guitar for “Kill Somebody” while the fans echoed.
YUNGBLUD said, “What the fuck” and placed his hands on his face, taking in the moment while fans cheered for about a minute. It wasn’t the first time The Shrine sounded like a sport arena. He blew kisses to fans and they shouted his name back over and over. “I spent 19 years of my life walking around with people looking at me like I’m a freak. You know why I can stand on stage in a skirt and say what I believe in? ‘Cause of each and every one of you”. He pointed to all his fans. “Your individuality is the best fucking thing you’ll ever have. These people are your fucking family, look after each other”, and YUNGBLUD went into one final chorus of “Kill Somebody” with everyone’s hands up.
An energetic “I Think I’m OKAY” was next (without Machine Gun Kelly other than his voice on the soundsystem), and then YUNGBLUD asked, “Los Angeles, do you want to hear something new? Remember this song.” He sat at the red piano and played a snippet of new ballad “Sweet Horoin” off his upcoming album. With the relative silence other than his piano playing and vocals, this was an impressive showcase of YUNGBLUD’s vocal talent as well as his skills as a musician. The set ended with the ballad “teresa”, (which turns into a rock song) playing classical chords on the piano, powerfully connecting with fans as they sang along. YUNGBLUD belted and brought the house down.
For his encore, the mid-tempo pop/rock song “god save me, but don’t drown me out”, an inspiring moment with YUNGBLUD now wearing a sweater. YUNGBLUD threw roses and the sweater off his back into the crowd and the loud night of fun ended with an extended version of “Machine Gun (F**k the NRA)”, with YUNGBLUD pleading for a wider mosh pit.
Words by Michael Menachem
Photos by Victoria Smith and Alex Kluft