Sympathy is extended to Day6 fans who arrive too late to bag a spot at the front the queue. By 7am on Sunday, 100 determined MyDays – the collective fan name – are already in place outside Brixton Academy, and will have the choicest view the five-man K-rock outfit when the show starts, 12 hours later.
But even the tardiest MyDays, still trailing in when Day6 kick f with the dual shoutalongs, Best Part and Sing Me, are rewarded with a performance that’s both frenetic gig and mass self-affirmation exercise.
And there’s the primary difference between the Seoul-based pop-rockers and the western guitar bands they admire, who include the Strokes and Kodaline. Any group can punch out a sharp, hooky set, but Day6’s show – only their second UK appearance – positions them as both purveyors slugging powerpop and watchful older brothers. “We’re here to make you guys feel better,” bassist/rapper Young K tells the lovestruck MyDays, a sentiment echoed by California-bred guitarist Jae, who speaks at length about his own “dark places”, concluding: “Live your own life, you got me?”
Unlike most South Korean boybands, Day6 write and play instruments, and seize the chance to show f individually with twiddly solos. But it’s as tousled, scissor-kicking brothers in arms that they excel. With a setlist spanning their nine albums and EPs and a bank cannons primed to shower confetti, they compress two hours into a ball energy that makes them naturals for festival bills. It’s immaterial that nearly everything apart from a cover Ed Sheeran’s Shape You is sung/rapped in Korean: empathy and “sweet chaos” – a song title that aptly describes this show – carry the day.