YUNGBLUD posted footage of last year’s Brixton show. I watch it now.
Before he even comes on stage, his voice is reverberating around the Academy.
“Have you ever felt like you’ve never belonged anywhere?”
I’m all by myself but still the question makes me shuffle in my seat.
“Have you ever felt like you can’t slot into the puzzle that is the world around you?”
I don’t want to answer that.
“Have you ever felt so lonely you feel like you’re not even here at all?”
There was a time I thought those days were over.
I’m not saying anything.
“Well, guess what… from this moment on you’ll never be lonely again.”
Am I crying?
“If you are here, you are with me. You are with US.”
I am definitely crying.
“Look at the people around you, you finally belong somewhere. These people will protect you.”
Brixton Academy crackles.
“These people will defend you.”
I think they actually might.
“They will love you and they will accept you for exactly who you fucking are.”
“In this family, you can be whoever the fuck you want to be without judgement.”
Is that even possible for me?
“You can look whatever the fuck you want to look like.”
Everyone in Brixton Academy believes it. YUNGBLUD tells them to cuddle and they do. When was the last time anyone hugged me? I can’t remember.
“These people have got your fucking back.”
No one has got my back.
“If there is anybody out there who has ever felt like they didn’t have a fucking choice…”
“Or that they couldn’t say fucking no…”
“Then you leave that in this room.”
I sigh. It’s too late for that. YUNGBLUD played Brixton in November. I’m a million years behind the rest of the world. As always.
I watch as YUNGBLUD gets into the crowd, then he comes back on stage wearing a skirt. He is free and I want to be free too. Listening to his music makes me want to jump out of the window and fly.
But I can’t fly.
So why does YUNGBLUD make me feel like maybe I can?
“This song is so fucking important to me,” he says before playing ‘casual sabotage’.
“This is a letter from me to you, saying thank you so much because each and every one of you saved my fucking life.”
Is this not the kind of thing I’ve been wanting to say?
“Before I found you, I felt so fucking lost in this world.”
I haven’t been saying it right.
“I got called a freak…”
My heart beats faster.
“…and a fucking reject…”
I don’t want to think about that shit.
“…and I fucking hated it.”
“I’m just a messed up kid with sewn up lips.”
The line goes through me like a surge of electricity. It will charge me up or it will kill me.
“Keep fucking going,” YUNGBLUD tells everybody.
‘hope for the underrated youth’ echoes that message. YUNGBLUD leaps around like he can’t control himself, like he doesn’t want to, like he doesn’t care about the rules that other people invented.
“I believe that the future is bright simply because we are the ones that are in it,” he says.
Is he talking about me?