Very rarely do we see a mainstream band who diverges from the established J-rock type of sound when it comes to the rock genre in Korea. Fortunately, K-pop has been blessed with five guys who love to spill their feels all over hard riffs and deep lyrics in Day6, and their diversity in sound is what makes them a stand-out band riding that Hallyu wave.
Wonpil, Young K, Dowoon, Sungjin, and Jae took to the stage in Los Angeles last weekend at the Novo and faced a crowd of excited fans. Day6 sold out the venue early leaving fans desperately hunting for tickets in a newly dried up aftermarket with no recourse. In retrospect, they should have been in a larger venue, but I doubt anyone had any idea that this show would be as hot as it was before show day. Regardless, this was going to be one hell of a night and I was ready to roll in a packed press pit ready to do battle. There was little room to move as we all tried to maneuver around each other to get the shot and boy was it intense!
The moment the band took the stage, I knew this was going to be an action-packed night. The music started without any warning and Day6 blasted the audience with “Smile“, “First Time“, “Better Better“, “Whatever“, and “Say Wow” before pausing to allow the audience to catch their collective breath.
They introduced themselves; Wonpil calling out fans for knowing the songs perfectly at this show, Dowoon saying “Hiiii!” then excitedly drum soloing his intro, Sungjin greeting us in his stoic and broody manner, Young K briefly talking about how excited they were to be back in LA, and finally Jae, who was excited to be back on his home turf.
But there was no time for idle chitchat at this show, as there was a huge set list and they were planning to power their way through it like a seasoned punk band at a festival. They rolled right back into the music, performing “Pouring“, “Somehow“, “I Need Somebody“, “I Wait“, and “How Can I Say“.
The entire crowd sang along sweetly, as Jae laughed and said he wasn’t going to sing his parts. They met the challenge with no problem, as each song filled the venue from fans voices. They performed “Like That Sun” next, then of course “Be Lazy“, and followed by jumping right into “Dance Dance“, which had everyone hopping to the beat and they rode that wave to bring people down into the bluesy “What Can I Do“. Then a shift went down when “WARNING” was played, and it took us from blues to punk rock surprisingly hard and fast. Everyone screamed for it and the crowd surged forward as the gritty sounds drove everyone into action.
Afterward, there was a pause as Jae hit the mic, grinning from ear to ear. To our surprise, he informed us that Day6 had already blasted through 15 songs. The band took a break as he chatted about how the songs meant so much to them as they each worked so hard bringing these songs to their fans.
Jae then turned to his bandmates, and with a nod Wonpil started “I’m Serious“. They rolled into “Talking To” and finally “Shoot Me“, which had the entire audience revved up again as the band sprung through the different rock genres, shoving fans into different audible directions. It was wild to see them adapt so quickly as they changed up their sound. There was a definite curated feel to the set list, teasing fans from fun poppy punk to bluesy jazzy feels and into hard driving rock with a smidge of industrial sounds mixed in. It was a mixture that allowed people to experience what could have easily been three different bands at once.
Jae again spoke, giving fans a chance to calm down and prepare for the realization that we’d come to the end of the show. At least that’s what Jae said. He said the next group of songs were so important to them because it was the completion of a project that they’d poured their lives into. That Day6 had worked so hard to finish this project that it meant so much to them.
And with that they began the end. The entire audience sang the first verse of “Congratulations” as the entire band lit up in smiles listening to their fans singing one of their biggest, if not the biggest hit, in their catalog. Cannons fired massive amounts of confetti at the crowd and it was falling thick like the first snow of the season onto everyone. From here it was like being slammed with waves of emotions as they performed “You Were Beautiful“, “I Loved You“, and finally “I Like You“.
Day6 exited the stage and we all stood there feeling raw and emotional from the onslaught. But of course, it wasn’t really over. In true JYP Entertainment fashion, we were gifted with a ridiculously cheesy and hilarious VCR of Day6 filming the VCR themselves. The members played and laughed on camera as they thanked fans for their success and this tour.
When the band stepped back out on stage, they had changed from their snazzy casual sport coat looks to tour swag, and performed an updated version of “Letting Go“, which was absolutely beautiful live.
Then the guys said their final goodbyes to the audience; Wonpil ratted Jae out for being very nervous in front of his home crowd and everyone laughed. Wonpil reiterated how amazed he was to see the fans singing along so well to their songs. Young K got all mushy, saying, “We are your youth, at the same time you are our youth. It’s an honor to spend my youth with you guys.” How emotional was it for us? The girl in front of me broke down and started crying. Dowoon thanked the fans and talked about being excited to play in Jae’s hometown. His sweet attempt at English was “Thank you for coming … our … My Day” and had the entire audience dying from aegyo overdose. Sungjin, in all his quiet and shy demeanor spoke into the mic first in Korean then in English, thanking the audience and fans for enjoying the concert with them. “I’m so happy to have met you guys,” he said in deep English that made my heart skip a beat. Finally, Jae coaxed the audience a fever pitch of screams that had me plugging my ears. It was so intense I could feel the vibration in the air! “I saw people two-stepping in the audience and I was like ‘Yesssssssss!’,” he laughed into the mic. “Even the people in the back, we appreciate you!” He screamed as he pointed to the balcony and fans up top went nuts! Jae admitted to his nervousness because it was home and his family was here. He said normally he would play up to Sungjin, but today Sungjin realized how nervous he was, so he played up to Jae instead, relaxing him and making him laugh during the show. He was thankful for his members being there with him.
Day6 finished the night with “I Wish” and “Free“, and oh my god did they finish big! Jae jumped off the stage and into the crowd to the surprise of security. He greeted fans then disappeared into the crowd only to suddenly pop up in the balcony, causing fans to go absolute bananas! To my surprise, he wasn’t bum-rushed and fans kept their distance, remaining polite in their excitement and high-fiving him as he ran by. Jae greeted everyone, made his way through the crowd, stopped at the center of the front row of the balcony and gave his mom a big hug. The collective “awww” could be heard throughout the venue, and he didn’t stop there as he greeted more fans and ran around the balcony, having fun and laughing while the rest of the band started to hop off the the stage.
“Can we do one more song?!” Jae yelled from the top of the balcony down to the guys below. A minute passed and then “Sing Me” started. He headed back down to the stage and we thought the fanservice was going to end only to find Young K running through the balcony himself. He headed straight for Jae’s mom, hugged her tightly, greeted her with a bow and continued to greet fans. The girls around me absolutely lost their minds, screaming bloody murder as he passed us within a few feet of where we were standing. He high tailed it back to the stage before the song ended, and the band took their bow. After “Feeling Good” capped things off, because of course they did another song, the crazy show had come to an end.
We all walked out of the Novo, heart pounding from the final excitement, and all I could think was “Hot damn that was a good time!”
Not gonna lie to you, I showed up knowing the bare minimum about Day6 and left with a deep love for their music, their personalities, their laughter, their genuine enjoyment of their craft, and of course … a whole new bias with a buzz cut.
What a fantastic way to end an amazing tour! If you get the chance to catch Day6 live, do it because they’re an absolute blast live and well worth the ticket!