Knowing about a popular cultural phenomenon is one thing, getting thrown smack in the middle of if is an entirely different matter. I do pick shows to cover that I have no clue about, but look cool and interesting, so that happens to me on a regular basis. Last night I got a crash course in K-Pop thanks to Day6 coming to the State Theatre on a stop of their “DAY6 1st World Tour ‘Youth”.
A fairly new group Day6 is a boy band created by K-Pop Powerhouse JYP Entertainment in 2015. And like many such groups, they are a product, a brand. The music matters of course but members of such groups are the face of a mighty machine behind them. That’s is not limited to young fans. Case in point would be 2016’s Jingle Ball where plenty of women showed their teenage daughters how it’s done during the Backstreet Boys’ set. (Usually to embarrassed “MOM!! What the heck are you doing?” screams from said daughters. But last night was an entirely different level.
There was a different vibe at the State Theatre, lines of young fans everywhere. Most of them being under 30 (well most of them much under 30) seemed to be the only common factor. This was a diverse crowd showing that K-Pop has a strong foothold outside the Asian community. But for as busy as it was, everything was well organized from the security lines to handling media. The soundboard was massive with a crew of 10 staffing consoles and a couple of cameras. Photographers were behind the soundboard, so we were shooting pretty much from the lobby :). No problem since I had brought the long lenses but I felt sorry for a couple other photographers who had not.
I was impressed that the show started only a couple of minutes late. The loud cheers stated the moment the lights went down and pretty much lasted through the show. Unlike many boy bands Day6 play their own instruments so there there are only a few choreographed dance moves. I for one thing it worked out better that way. Fans seemed to agree with me. The volume for the band’s “Signature Introduction” blasted right through my ear plugs.
Tech was fully integrated into the stage show. Pretty much every large show was video screens these days. Well last night’s video screens covered all of the background and were constantly changing At on point all of the Day6’s members were enlarged on split screen. For a generation of fans raised on YouTube and phone screens it seemed perfect. It all was balanced to enhance the band’s presence rather than overpower it. As the show progressed a few trips into the audience kept fans excited and the finale with a rain of confetti was as well done as I have seen.
Last night may have been far from the gritty punk, gloomy new wave and synth sound that I tend to enjoy. But for 2000+ fans at the State Theatre it was a thrill ride for every minute of the show.
Set List: I Smile \ First Time \ Better Better \ Whatever! \ Say Wow \ Pouring \ Somehow \ I Need Somebody \ I Wait \ How Can I Say \ Like That Sun \ Be Lazy \ DANCE DANCE \ What Can I Do \ WARNING! \ I’m Serious \ Talking To \ Shoot Me \ Congratulations \ You Were Beautiful \ I Loved You \ I Like You
Encore: I Wish \ Letting Go \ Freely \ Sing Me