The category was camp and the Life on Mars Tour delivered in spades for the final stop in Phoenix on Saturday. Led by manic British rocker Yungblud, the tour also featured Palaye Royale and Poutyface, drawing a sold out crowd to The Van Buren for a night of wild shenanigans.
Newcomer Poutyface started things off early with a brief but entirely captivating set. Her brand of cheeky pseudo-spoken word mixed with stellar vocals had the room bopping along. She was relatable and hilarious onstage, putting smiles on the faces of all the new fans she won over in less than 30 minutes. “Hey Neightbor!” had the kids rocking out, fists in the air while “Rag Doll” closed the set on a killer note that certainly left the room wanting more than just that taste of the superstardom to come.
Theatrical group Palaye Royale provided the direct support on this tour, bringing their over the top stage antics to an eager audience. The trio of brothers added a few more onstage members for the live show this time around and their constant motion had the crowd spinning. Singer Remington Leith was a tornado- constantly strutting from one end of the stage to the other and, at one point, jumping on the barricade to get up close and personal with their screaming fans. As always, “Mr. Doctor Man” rounded out a set of energetic rock songs and perfectly set the tone for the night’s headliner.
Yungblud has built himself a rabid fanbase over the years and the venues he’s visited in Phoenix have only gotten that much bigger over time. The Van Buren was literally packed to the rafters with showgoers of all ages- from the day ones of tiny rooms to those who joined with his most recent album. No matter what, Dominic Harrison was ready to spread his message of love and inclusion throughout every second of his lengthy time onstage. In typical dramatic fashion, the curtain dropped on a stage bathed in red as Yungblud sashayed through the first half of the set.
There were plenty of new songs for the room to dance to- brand new single “The Funeral”, barely a week old- while also mixing in some old favorites like “I Love You, Will You Marry Me” and “Anarchist”. The majority of the set was dedicated to his latest two albums and plenty of moments between songs to draw everyone into the family he’s spent these last years building. Midway through, he invited a fan onstage to properly come out to her family, waved LGBT flags with an intense ferocity and dared anyone to defy his mission of self-love and acceptance.
The fans absorbed every moment and the sound in the room was deafening until the end of the night and an encore of “God Save Me, But Don’t Drown Me Out” and “Machine Gun (Fuck the NRA)”. As per usual, Yungblud reappeared outside the venue after the set to an adoring group of diehard fans to end an epic tour on the highest of notes.
Check out all the photos from the show!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel