Yungblud + renforshort @ O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK – 14th October 2021

Review and Photography by Robert Barrett

Five nights sold out in London, two in Manchester, and now two in Birmingham all within two months. Only one rising UK artist could pull this off, and that person is rapper and pop punk king Yungblud.  

Easily the que was the biggest I’ve ever seen at the O2 Academy, snaking round what felt like half of Birmingham before the doors had even opened. After an hour of waiting I entered the packed venue to catch renforshort’s support slot.


Leaning more into Pop than Punk, her set kept the overheating crowd going with some insatiably catchy chorus’s (“wannabe” is still stuck in my head). Chucking in a slow burning cover of the eternal Gorillaz Classic “Feel Good Inc” helped as well.

The lights dipped low as a curtain covered the stage, the bright red lips of Yungblud were projected onto it, requesting the audience go “F***ing wild”. They didn’t need telling as when the curtain dropped it was chaos. Yungblud burst out with an abundance of fiery energy with “Strawberry Lipstick”. Bounding across the stage leaping., kissing fellow band members it, it was full on from the get-go.

“This is a safe space for all” he beamed after the first two tracks, apart from the overcrowding it really did ring true. A variety of LGBTQ+ flags were thrown on stage (along with some bras I might add) that Yungblud paraded around through songs such as “Weird”, “Ice Cream Man’ and his collaboration Machine Gun Kelly “I think I’m OKAY”.

The energy never let up with Yungblud in overdrive for the entire set, even more impressive when you look at his recent packed schedule. Ending with an anthemic “Machine Gun (F**K Covid)” the sweaty crowd dispersed. Another incredible sold out show, I reckon it will be sold out arenas next for Yungblud.

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