REVIEW: Yellow Days at First Unitarian Church

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WRITTEN BY: Jarek Rutz

As part of his debut American tour, Yellow Days performed in front of a packed house at First Unitarian Church on November 19th . The tour comes in the wake of his album Is Everything Okay In Your World? released a year ago, and three new singles that dropped within the past few months – possibly hinting at a new album.

Opening for Yellow Days was MorMor, a high-pitched male singer who could have been mistaken for the main act. The talented musician was performing songs off his June-released EP, Heaven’s Only Wishful. His upbeat melodies were a perfect contrast to Yellow Days’ calming harmonies.

The 19-year-old George van der Broek, professionally known as Yellow Days, developed his powerful voice by performing without a microphone in his hometown of Haslemere, England as a child. He privileged the Philly audience with these burly vocals by performing “The Way Things Change,” the first song of his set played for the eagerly waiting crowd. His willingness to incorporate and highlight instrumental sounds in his music was a pinnacle aspect of his concert, as the introductory track included a jazzy trumpet solo followed by a guitar solo by van der Broek himself, on his vintage powder blue guitar which he cradled like a baby throughout the concert. It was not just the first song that included solos; every song the 19-year-old played included several. Yellow Days is known for his voice, but the way he held and strummed his guitar was so effortless, the crowd was overwhelmingly impressed by his musicianship.

“A Little While” was the second song played. Perhaps his most famous song, this one comes from his debut album, Harmless Melodies, released in November of 2016. The audience really came to life when he played this classic. He followed this up with “Hurt in Love,” a song from his second album, Is Everything Okay In Your World? released in October of 2017. A lot of his songs are about the pain of love, and this track brought arguably the most emotion out of the artist. A lot of loud, soulful words like “yeah” are screamed in harmony in his music, but one
does not really notice it that much until seeing him live. Many artists have adlibs they use throughout their songs, which have an exponentially greater effect on the ears in person than they do on a digital track.

The crowd was most lively for Yellow Days’ two most jazzy songs: “Gap in the Clouds” off Harmless Melodies and “How Can I Love You?” – his new single released in late September. With most of his songs being rather slow, these two brought the funk to the venue, making the audience break out into dance and head-bops. An audience member said that his voice is “from another era”; appropriately, van der Broek performed a cover of Etta James’s 1968 classic “I’d Rather Go Blind,” fitting right in with the soulful vocal harmonies from that time.

After his set was over, the passionate Philadelphians wanted more. Following five minutes of a loud “one more song!” chant, Yellow Days and his band-members conceded and sprinted back onto the stage to perform “A Bag of Dutch” off Is Everything Okay In Your World. From Yellow Days and his crew drinking beers throughout the set, to the heavy use of improvisation

accentuating his musical talent throughout the concert, both the venue and his performance were
an amazing experience that any music lover can appreciate.

SETLIST:
1. The Way Things Change
2. A Little While
3. Hurt in Love
4. That Easy
5. Holding On
6. Your Hand Holding Mine
7. What’s It All For?
8. Gap in the Clouds
9. I’d Rather Go Blind COVER(Etta James)
10. The Tree I Climb
11. How Can I Love You?
12. A Bag of Dutch

Whaddya gotta say to that?