By Cecille Santillan-Visto
DAY6 1st World Tour “Youth” in Manila
Oct. 6; Kia Theater, Quezon City
IN AN ocean of Korean pop idols whose main selling point is pulsating dance moves, an honest-to-goodness rock band is very hard to come by. One can only name a few — CNBLUE, FTIsland, and newbies N Flying and Honeyst. All of them are under FNC Entertainment’s umbrella and of these, only CNBLUE has performed in the Philippines. CNBLUE is on hiatus with all four members undergoing mandatory military service.
When MyMusicTaste, a “fan-initiated concert making platform,” posted an online survey to check the interest for a local concert of Korean band DAY6, it was deluged with requests, and soon the show was set. Tickets sold out.
The five-member group — comprised of Jae (lead guitarist, rapper), Sungjin (leader and main vocalist), Young K (bassist), Wonpil (keyboardist), and Dowoon (drummer) — has built a solid following in the Philippines since its debut three years ago. Not initially familiar with their music, this writer took a serious dive into the group’s discography which led to an inevitable conclusion — DAY6 is a truly talented bunch of 20-something musicians with a respectable body of work.
And during their first Manila concert, held at the Kia Theater, DAY6 showed that with a little more experience, they can fight neck-and-neck with the more established Korean bands on the world stage.
DAY6 is the only band under JYP Entertainment, one of the biggest Korean talent agencies. As part of JYP’s unique marketing scheme last year, DAY6 had monthly “comebacks,” releasing two new songs (a title track and a side track) from January to November. The year-long promotion culminated with a launch of the group’s second full album, Moonrise, in December 2017. Since DAY6’s songs were chart-toppers, they were regulars in Korean music shows. They were constantly in the consciousness of K-music enthusiasts, resulting in the broadening of its global fan base.
DAY6 gave their Filipino My Days, the group’s fandom, a treat by singing all the title tracks in the Every DAY6 compilation.
They opened with “Smile,” followed by “First Time,” and the “Better Better,” from Moonrise. It was impressive that all members sing and, notably, they sound better live than in their recordings.
Their vocals were crisp and consistent even as they played their respective instruments.
The members took turns in saying the “energy here is amazing,” “you are great, Manila,” “we’ve never seen such an enthusiastic crowd.” DAY6 was visibly surprised at the reception that they received.
“Sorry it took us a long time to come,” said Young K, to which the audience replied “Gwaenchanha” (“It’s alright”).
There were other concert highlights. Jae, wanting to see their fans in the balcony and lodge sections up close, stunned them by going up the second floor during the performance of “Free,” the second to the last song. The crowd appreciated the unexpected fan service. Towards the end, the band thanked the fans and the sincerity of the message was evident.
DAY6 sang in Korean but the audience was singing along in most, if not all, songs. In at least two instances, the band accompanied the crowd as they sang to their heart’s content.
They sang 25 songs — ranging from hard rock to slow tunes and danceable numbers — during the nearly three hour show. VVIP ticket holders had a hi-touch session with the band after the show.
It was good for DAY6 to start small. Kia Theater was a perfect testing ground for the group, which is a newbie to the Philippine K-pop scene. After dipping their feet into what they initially thought was a just puddle of water, they are ready to make a splash by taking on bigger venues such as the Mall of Asia Arena or even the Araneta Coliseum upon their return.
Their time has come.