British rocker Yungblud brought his highly-anticipated “Don’t Wanna Be A Loner” tour to the United States and Canada featuring special guest and Scottish rock band SAINT PHNX as direct support. On July 13 the tour landed in Chicago at Lincoln Hall giving the windy city a taste of what the United Kingdom has to offer.
The lights dimmed, the screen promoting other concerts went up and the crowd went wild. SAINT PHNX gathered on stage and the three members went to their respective instruments. At first the crowd seemed to just bop their heads to the music but as soon as lead singer Stevie Jukes laid on the Scottish charm by talking with the crowd everyone seemed to pay more attention.
Throughout the entire set Jukes was all around the stage interacting with the crowd, even going as far as climbing up onto the speakers. About halfway through their set Jukes was introducing one of their older songs that held a lot of meaning to them. “King,” which came out in 2016, is a song about one day conquering your goals. Out of all the songs played that night this song struck a chord with me, because through all the hardships, I have somehow overcome everything and I am finally ending up on top, where I belong.
The last song they played got both Al and Stevie Jukes involved with the crowd. They split us down the middle, the left side of the crowd followed Al Jukes and the right side followed Stevie Jukes. During the non-melodic parts Stevie would sing “Oh, oh, oh,” and Al would sing “yeah, yeah yeah,” immediately after. They got the crowd to follow, and ended it with that inclusive moment which made their set even more memorable to me.
The moment finally came with a small introductory recording played before any of the band members stepped foot on the stage, setting the mood for how impactful these moments are to Dominic Harrison; Yungblud. He ran on stage, going straight to the front and immediately interacting with the audience. He kicked off the performance with high energy, playing his guitar, opening with “I Love You, Will You Marry Me,” climbing onto the speaker at the left side of the stage and jumped off it, landing securely on the ground running back up to the microphone in time to finish off the song.
Throughout the set Yungblud would stop singing, the crowd would carry on the chorus, and he would have the largest smile on his face. Disbelief, love and appreciation could be seen on his face when the entirety of Lincoln Hall sang back his lyrics.
Towards the end of his set Yungblud went off stage and came back with a guitar, the instrumental started playing for “11 minutes” and no one was prepared for the guest he had prepared for the Chicago date. Halsey ran on the stage and began singing, grabbing fans’ hands and screaming the lyrics with them. At points throughout the song Halsey and Harrison interacted with each other, making the performance unforgettable. The chemistry between the two made the experience so much more emotional. When Halsey would sneak glances at Harrison the love in her eyes was undeniable. Once the song came to an end she showed her support by having everyone cheer for Yungblud, taking the attention away from her. They snuck one kiss before she retreated backstage.
The last song performed was “Machine Gun (F**k the NRA).” Yungblud held his fingers in a gun formation and the band began to play the introduction. Yungblud was up and down the stage with the same gun formation and had the entire venue screaming “fuck the NRA” with their middle fingers in the air. The built-up energy from the crowd finally came to a head and in those last moments bursting with energy. When the performance concluded Youngblud told the entire venue he’d be in the back alley signing autographs. The amount of love and appreciation for his fans, or as he considers them family, is undeniable.
The concert had energy, a sense of community and huge surprises going down in the books as unforgettable for myself and many other attendees.
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