DAY6 members seek to be musicians, not puppets

K-pop idols who play actual musical instruments have become rare, as most groups put more emphasis on synchronized dances and catchy songs rather than instrument mastery and musical skill. 

What’s rarer is a boy band with all members able to play musical instruments and who have trained in a big entertainment agency such as JYP, where girl groups have a stronger presence. 

In this sense, JYP’s five-member boy band DAY6 is one of the rare groups that has developed a strong reputation for individual members’ musical talents. 

DAY6, a five-member boy band, kicks off its World Tour with a concert in Seoul held at Jamsil Indoor Stadium, Sunday.

On Sunday, this reporter was invited to join their concert in Seoul that was held at Jamsil Indoor Stadium. Their performance began with the closure of the stage side wings before it reopened.

An introductory video was beamed onto the semi-transparent wings, then it showed a silhouette of the members when they started strumming the guitars for “Best Part,” one of the tracks in their latest album “The Book of Us: GRAVITY.” 

“We decided to name the concert GRAVITY, because we wanted to show how we are attracted to each other. In this moment, we are attracted to you (fans) as much as you are captivated by us and came here to see our concert,” Won-pil said, playing the keyboard. 

The most impressive part was their instrumental performances as each member demonstrated their instrumental skills in between, an endeavor through which they tried to show off their talent as musicians, not as just another team of K-pop idols who only dance and sing as they were trained. 

DAY6 drummer Do-woon plays at a World Tour concert in Seoul held at Jamsil Indoor Stadium, Sunday.

The group began to make a mark four years after its debut. The way members spoke to their fans was modest and they were careful not to brag. Some members were shy to talk about their performance and interact with the fans. 

“This is the biggest performance we’ve done so far. We’re able to have this big stage because of you and My Day (the official name of DAY6 fandom) fans,” Won-pil said. 

DAY6 guitarist Jae plays at the World Tour concert in Seoul held at Jamsil Indoor Stadium, Sunday.

Before DAY6 went through a lot of changes, Sung-jin had to play cajon and djembe for two years in the band. He then suddenly changed his instrument of choice to the guitar. Won-pil took the keyboard part since he had been playing piano for years. The band was originally an acoustic group called 5Live which then changed to DAY6 as a full-set band. 

Despite all vicissitudes, the band has won the hearts of music fans. During the concert, Sung-jin had to switch guitars, but managed to perform well enough not to disrupt the show. Young K also showed off his rap skills, maybe better than his vocals. 

Sung-jin plays second guitar and shows off his vocals.

The moving stage was one of the highlights in the concert. In the middle of “For Me,” the stage suddenly rose up about two stories, slowly moving toward the audience upstairs. 

Within a minute, the band was actually in the center of the hall, playing their instruments, floating. When SM Entertainment divided the stage into three sections for the EXO concert to get closer to the audience, JYP Entertainment took the stage in front of the audience, which was especially eye-catching. 

The set list included melody mashups of famous pop songs and DAY6’s music. For “Like That Sun,” they mixed in sounds of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” and for “Blood,” they started off with a nod to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” 

“We had an idea to mix the songs with our music, and so we did. Because they are our favorite songs, it was fun to produce this music arrangement,” Won-pil said. 

They interacted with the fans who sang along with their songs. 

“Time of Our Life” is the very song which made them famous ― they spent days at the top of the charts on several music streaming websites including Bugs and Naver Music. 

DAY6 also won the top prize in MBC’s “Music Show, Champion” and “Mnet COUNTDOWN” on July 25 and 26. 

DAY6 started its world tour in Seoul with shows from Aug. 9 to 11. The band will have 31 concerts in 26 cities across the United States, Asia and Europe.

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