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Friday, March 11

Monqui & AEG Presents

YUNGBLUD

The Life on Mars Tour

7 pm doors, 8:30 pm show

All ages welcome

$30 advance, $35 day of show

YUNGBLUD

Over the past 3 years, YUNGBLUD has built a hugeand devoted following of young people from all corners of the world that he considers a community rather than a fanbase. Bound by a love for his brilliantly outspoken and genre-bending version of 21st Century rock-and-roll music, that community has witnessed YUNGBLUD's rise from a struggling musician living in a Northern England council flat to a global superstar hailed by Rolling Stone as a "pop-punk rebel on a mission." But toward the end of touring behind his 2019 EPthe underrated youththe 23-year-oldartist felt suddenly overcome by a massive wave of insecurity.

"I realized that even though I'd been telling everyonefor years that it's all right to be who you are, I had no idea who I really was," says the singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist otherwise known as Dominic Harrison. "I was a nervous wreck and overcompensating all the time, so I decided to just stop everything and check myself."

Within days of that revelation, Harrison wrote what would become the title track to his newalbum weird!: an urgent and soaring anthem that redefines individualityfor the modern day. "That song is me sayingit's all right to feel like you're 12 different people at once," Harrisonexplains."There doesn't needto be any kind of cohesiveness in the way you think or look or behave-cohesive is for a textbook. So it'sokay to be completely full of contradictions, because that's the nature of being a real human being."

The second full-length fromYUNGBLUD,weird!emerges as his most emotionally complexworkto date. "It's a storyof coming-of-age andself-acceptance and liberation,in terms ofsex and gender and drugs and heartbreakand all the other twists and turns we go through in life," says Harrison, who refers toweird!as a "Skins" episode in album form. Doubling downonthe raw vulnerabilityfirst glimpsedon hispowerhousedebut album 21st Century Liability, weird! also looks back onmoments of majorupheaval that he'sendured in recent years. "I fell in love and got my heart broken, and when that happens it forces you tofigure out who you really are-it just obliterates every single guard you've put up," he says. "Making this album was the hardest thing I've ever done, because I really had to look inside myself, but it's also the mostfun I've had in my entire life."

True to YUNGBLUD's refusal tobox himself in, weird! embodies a wildly eclecticsound: Queen-inspiredharmonies, Beatles-esque chord progressions, elementsof dance-punk and glam-rock and hip-hop and metal. Workingwith his longtime producers/co-writers Matt Schwartz(Cold War Kids, Bullet For My Valentine), Zakk Cervini(Bishop Briggs, Machine Gun Kelly), and Chris Greatti (Poppy, Grimes), Harrison recorded at several studios in London and L.A., but also embedded the album with moments spontaneously captured oniPhone voice memos."I love imperfections, and how they feel soreal and pureand magic," notesHarrison, naming hyper-creative and boundary-pushing musician/producers likeJeff Lynne among his key influences on weird!."This record reallytaught me that there's no limit to where I can go or what I can do with my music, as long as I completely believe in what I'm creating."

On songs like "mars," YUNGBLUD reveals the rarebalance of conviction andsensitivity he brought to his songwriting and performance onweird!.With its delicatestorytelling and tendervocalwork, the acoustic-guitar-lacedtrack sharesthe narrative ofa young trans women Harrisonmet while playingWarped Tour in 2018. "She told me how her parents had come to the show with her, and how seeing ourcommunity helped them to understand that her coming out as trans wasn't just a phase-this is who she really was," he recalls. "It made me cry to think thatwe could have that kind of impact and change people's perceptions, just by being ourselves."

Another full-hearted celebration ofself-discovery, "cotton candy" deliversa dreamy meditation on sexual liberation, unfolding in airy textures and impossibly sweet melodies."To me sex and sexuality is about freedom and the idea that you can to lose yourself in other people of all genders, of all shapes and sizes, to find yourself and figure out who you truly are," says Harrison, whose co-writers on "cotton candy" include the hitmaking duo Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter.Meanwhile,"strawberry lipstick" presentsa delightfully warped portrait of all-consuminglust, its fuzzed-out riffs and explosive vocalsgiving way to a gloriously chaotic intensity.

One of the most poignanttrackson weird!, "god save me, but don't drown me out" rides the line between desperation and defiance, gradually building to a transcendent moment of radicalself-acceptance. "I wanted to paint a picture of what depression reallyfeels like-where everyone can be screaming at you, but you just can't hear anything at all," says Harrison. "I wanted this video to ignite a resemblance or a spark of self-love to highlight the idea that if you ever feel like you can't go on, it can get better."

Originally from Yorkshire, England, Harrison first started using songwriting as catharsis at the young age of ten. After picking up a guitar at just two-years-old, he later moved on to bass, piano, and drums, independently releasing his debut single "King Charles" in spring 2017 and landing his record deal by that summer's end. With 21st Century Liabilityarriving in July 2018, he's since scoredmajorhits with the gold-certified "11 Minutes" (with Halsey feat. Travis Barker) andthe platinum-selling"I Think I'm OKAY" (a collaboration with Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker that garnereda 2020 Billboard Music Awards nomination for Top Rock Song).Along with releasing the underrated youth(a top 10 debut on the UK Official Albums chart), YUNGBLUD put out Live In Atlanta-a 12-track effort showcasing the joyfully hellraising live performance he's brought to sold-out crowds in countries around the world and to leading festivals like Lollapalooza, Reading and Leeds Festivals, and Austin City Limits.Endlessly prolific, YUNGBLUD has also created two graphic novels: The Twisted Tales of the Ritalin Club(hisacclaimed2019 debut) and The Twisted Tales of the Ritalin Club Volume 2: Weird Times at Quarry Banks University(its 2020 follow-up).

In the making of weird!, Harrison kept hiscommunity of fansat the forefront of his thought process behind every track. "When I finally get to play these songs live, I want to walk out to a crowd of people who feel liberated and happy and accepted, and feel like the reason we're put on this Earth is a good one," he says. So, while much of the album delves into painful subject matter, it ultimately telegraphs an undeniablesense of hope. "My first album was severely bratty because I was so angry at the world, but this album is about finding a community of people who understand me, and about figuringoutwho I am from a place of love and acceptance," says Harrison. "I hope it makes people feel like it's okay to feel out of place or twisted or weird, because life is weird-but that's what beautiful about it. So don't ever try to live it as someone else. Live it as you."