DAY6 at Festival Hall, Melbourne, November 15, 2019 – K-Pop Live Review

In June 1964, The Beatles played over three consecutive nights to cheering fans at Melbourne’s Festival Hall. Cut to 55 years later, DAY6 have returned to Melbourne for their 2nd world tour “GRAVITY” to perform on the very same stage that The Beatles once stood upon, on Friday November 15, 2019. Although it has been years since The Beatles graced the Festival Hall venue, witnessing an adoring crowd cheer for DAY6 members; Jae, Sungjin, Dowoon, Young K and Wonpil, made me feel in a way that nothing has changed.

Yes, Korean music is conquering the world. Unlike the struggles that long time international K-Pop fans had to face previously; such as hunting for a specialty store that stock K-Pop CDs or going overseas to South Korea to see our favourite artists live, times have changed. Korean music is much more accessible and K-Pop artists can now come to you (this tour alone was brought to Australia thanks to My Music Taste), as they all take their tours across the globe. And while most people may think that K-Pop is all about the dancing – DAY6 do not dance. They do however make you want to dance.

DAY6 are first and foremost musicians; Sungjin is a rhythm guitarist, Jae is lead guitarist, Young K is a bassist who doubles as the band’s rapper, Wonpil can play on the keyboard and synthesizer, and the youngest member Dowoon is the drummer. All members of DAY6 not only can sing, but also write their own music. And honestly, their songs are damn catchy!

Opening with “Best Part” and transitioning into “SING ME”, the crowd were overjoyed as the members appeared on stage one by one. Despite not having a support act, it didn’t take long before everyone was up on their feet, jumping and dancing. People were jumping on the floor so much, that I felt the floor bounce. Yes, that’s right; DAY6 made the Earth move!

Masters of both upbeat and catchy songs, the Festival Hall crowd were happy and active during the band’s energetic tunes such as “Somehow”, “For Me” and “Time of Your Life” but were also reflective during ballads like “I Need Somebody”, where DAY6 displayed incredible vocals, their versatility and moved some of the audience to tears. Addressing the Melbourne crowd like old friends, DAY6 appeared comfortable on stage, as if the stage was their home.

Shaking things up, DAY6 were clever to mashup their music together with well known Western songs; “Like That Sun” with Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”, “Days Gone By” with Bruno Mars“Treasure”, and “Blood” with Daft Punk and Pharrell’s song “Get Lucky”. I found this an odd combination, but also a clever surprise because they worked. Composing everything themselves, as easy as mashing up these songs together may have seemed, I understand it is a lot harder than it looks, and DAY6 made it look so effortless.

“Sweet Chaos” DAY6’s latest song, from their recently released third Korean studio album The Book of Us: Entropy, was performed live on tour for the first time EVER in Melbourne. Although a relatively new song, it was still incredibly well received by the crowd, already singing along word for word despite the language barrier and throwing in the odd ‘fanchant’.

When it came to trademark tunes; “Shoot Me”, “You Were Beautiful” and “CONGRATULATIONS”, DAY6 turned the Festival Hall audience into their own personal choir, and it was a beautiful moment to witness. During these songs, I felt incredibly overjoyed, as did the rest of the crowd.

As the night went on, song after song, happiness soon turned bittersweet, both the crowd and DAY6 aware that the show was coming to an end. Closing with “Freely”, the band were humbled but keen to return to Melbourne again on their next world tour, sharing to their ‘MyDay’ fans that in the meantime they wished for them to be happy, healthy, but most of all, safe.

Seeing DAY6 perform live at Melbourne’s Festival Hall felt like an out of body experience and yet also somewhat familiar at the same time. Like The Beatles, DAY6 performed at the now heritage listed venue to an excited screaming crowd and were equipped with their instruments, their incredibly moving music and their genuinely happy smiles. DAY6 looked so comfortable and confident on the Festival Hall stage, to the point where I honestly felt that the universe was showing me that a baton had been passed on.

It doesn’t matter that I don’t speak Korean, I felt every emotion behind lyrics of the songs that DAY6 were singing. Music itself is a universal language. Despite time and technology changing how we access it, a brilliant song in whatever language will always pull at your heartstrings, and DAY6 have TONS. Yes, times have changed but rest assured, with DAY6, the future of music is in good hands.

Photography by Grant Alexander.

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