I first found DAY6 about eight months ago–an unexpected oasis of anthemic pop rock during a mild drought of BTS content that, predictably, became my new obsession. It was my first real venture into Korean rock, which I’d obviously knew existed in some form, but didn’t think had a place in my k-pop diet of binge-watching dance practice videos.
HOW WRONG I WAS. While I think my first exposure to DAY6 may have actually been through a video on JaeSix–lead guitarist/singer Jae’s own Youtube channel–in which Jae accosted Los Angeles passerby and made them react to their latest single “I Wait,”(who wouldn’t be a fan after that masterpiece tbh), the music is what got me truly hooked. “I Wait,” which I checked out in full after watching JaeSix video, was a glorious turtlenecked throwback to the soft rock bands like Coldplay and Semisonic I’ve always had a soft spot for. And the rest of their discography? UGH. Has DAY6 even heard of album filler?? Because every B-side is a true blue bop.
It didn’t hurt, of course, that the members are extremely attractive (I love Wonpil but literally every other member bias wrecks me daily) and the group dynamics are hilarious. My “Viva La Vida”-loving 14-year-old self and my 24-year-old newbie k-pop stan were both immensely satisfied.
Anyway, all of this is to say: I was fucking pumped for this concert. I traveled across several state lines for it! In the snow!
And it did not disappoint.
The show was held at the historic Tower Theater in Philadelphia, a appropriately-epic feeling venue big enough to house a formidable fanchant but small enough that there was literally no such thing as a bad seat. From my seat in the balcony, I had a perfect view of the entire stage and close enough that I felt like I wasn’t missing any aspect of the performance.
With a set list that kicked off with a interesting mixture of old and new–“I Smile,” “First Time,” and “Better Better,”–we got a sweet-but-not-sappy taste of the concert to come: soaring, did-they-swallow-the-CD vocals, guitar-ripping energy, and hella stage charisma.
Obviously with a discography as loaded with gems as theirs, we weren’t going to get every fave on our lists–but they did a great job of sampling some of the best from every album. We got treated to beloved B-sides like “Like That Sun”and “I Need Somebody” alongside iconic tracks like “I Wait” and “Dance Dance”–and of course, some of my faves from Youth Part 1–“Shoot Me,” “Talking To,” and “Warning!”
Had I been hoping to see YoungK perform that “Hunt” rap live? Yes. Desperately. But alas, it was not to be. That’s what I get for sleeping on them for so long.
The energy throughout was infectious–everyone on the ground floor was dancing and jumping for every song, although those of us in the balcony who tried to stand up were politely asked to take our seats. And the boys were obviously having a great time.
Highlights included Dowoon’s facial expressions (looking like a happy, well-adjusted Draco Malfoy), Wonpil’s angelic high notes, YoungK’s bass riffs, Sungjin’s signature rasp, and Jae’s hair and overall ~lewk~ (sorry Wonpil, he outsold). There was also a hilarious filmed sequence before the encore in which the group filmed their own impromptu music video that had Jae as director, Wonpil and Dowoon as main characters, and Sungjin in charge of blowing bubbles. It was…Oscar-worthy. I hope they post it online for all the poor MyDays who couldn’t attend to watch!
And then, for the crème de la crème: during the encore (which luckily included Letting Go, Freely, and Congratulations, else fans might have rioted) Jae came up and suprised everyone in the balcony during the encore!
He was a foot away from my face. Then he tripped up the stairs.
It was endearing.
Overall, a fabulous night! DAY6 know how to put on a show. Check out their comeback, dropping December 10th!