Being the first of its kind is an understatement when talking about The DigiTour. It is the first official Youtube tour that is completely made up of Youtubers, playing live instead of on a computer stream. The inaugural run of this tour featured Dave Days, Destorm, The Gregory Brothers and Ricky Ficarelli, as well as other acts featured in select cities. Check out our review and recap of the Urbana, IL date of the tour after the break.
As a multi-media platform, YouTube has evolved into many different things. It is home to funny videos of pets, comedic sketches, and musicians. In the past few years, YouTube has discovered their own brand of celebrities who have gained their own following by consistent viewership and subscriptions to their YouTube channels. With the growth of the music community, it was about time that YouTube conducted their own nationwide tour so people can see them outside their computer screen.
This leg of The DigiTour started with an introduction from Derek, whose YouTube alias is known as, “WhatadayDerek.” He came in strong to hype the crowd with a charming personality, along with comedic banter with the audience; even accusing one particular member of stealing his VIP badge, but it was all in good fun.
After two amazing local performances by indie-rockers Driftless Pony Club (lead singer’s YouTube channel: Wheezywaiter) and acoustic powerhouse Nice Peter, the first headlining act by the name of DeStorm entered the stage. DeStorm is a hip hop artist on TouTube who takes on challenges from his viewers and in turn has made some great songs for them. His energy and big personality brought people’s hands in the air and the crowd swaying back and forth to the beat. He opened with “Rapping Movie Titles” where just as the title says, he raps his whole life via movie titles. Following a song where he names around 30 or more different animals, he does his own verses over Rihanna’s “Turn off the Lights” and finally ending off with a challenge to freestyle about the different things stored in the audience’s pockets. DeStorm left the crowd not only bouncing, but in awe of his lyrical talent.
The second act to follow was literally an act. Star Kid is the group responsible for the Harry Potter musicals along with being known for famous co-founder, Darren Criss, of the television show “Glee.” They were a group of 7 singers, a keyboardist and a drummer. The crowd was really excited for them as they entered the scene with a song called, “In Love with Hermione Granger.” If the song didn’t call for all 7 singers, the rest would groove in the background. Star Kid’s musical theatre vibe kept the sea of people singing and dancing along to all of the Harry Potter tunes and ending off with a great number called, “Hogwarts.”
Dave Days is well known for his videos of him writing songs and singing to a card-board cut-out of Miley Cyrus. He relived those days when he brought the impossibly thin Disney star on stage introducing her with, “the rumors are true… yes we are dating.” It was a funny break from Dave’s pop-punk jams, reminiscent of Blink 182 and Green Day. His band had a high energy punk mentality, swinging guitars with fun stage presence. Dave had two guests with him on stage during his set. Ricky Ficarelli was one of his guests as the drummer of the band. He is a YouTuber who creates drum covers, featuring duets with himself, lights on the drum kit and other visual effects. He also played along with DeStorm for his songs. He’s not only a fantastic drummer with great technical skill, but his stage presence was very strong. His stick twirling and overall body movement let the crowd know that he was not the standard drummer who played in the back; he is also an awesome performer. Dave’s second guest on stage was a girl by the name of Kimmi Smiles. Her YouTube channel consists of random vlogging and talking to her viewers about zombies, cats, and other sorts of things that make her smile! She came up on stage to sing with Dave on an acoustic ballad called, “Olive You.” It’s a cute song about finding new love which starts off slow, but builds to a full rock number breaking through to the end of Dave’s set.
The last performers shocked a few people in the crowd. There were some who weren’t familiar with The Gregory Brothers, but are most likely aware of the iTunes charted hits they’ve released in the past few months. The Gregory Brothers are a group of 3 guys, and a gal, and on stage they have a back up band with a drummer, guitarist, and a bass player. Auto-Tune The News has been an ongoing Gregory Brothers project for around 2 years. It takes news clips from various programs and auto-tunes them reminiscent of T-Pain stylistic songs, even singing the word, “shawty” every once in a while. When the group got on stage I was confident they were going to blow everyone away, and they did! They may have auto-tuned most of their videos but there is no pitch correcting required with this group. They know how to SING! Their live show is epic to say the least, they played their most recent hit Charlie Sheen song, “Winning”, along with other great numbers including “Back it Up” which is their version of a dougie.
The greatest moments came when, “Bed Intruder” made its way into the set. The catchy hit was known all around the nation. I found myself grooving to the tune and singing along. Then finally the topping to the whole show arrived during, “Double Rainbow.” The Gregory Brothers eased the song in the middle and narrated to us a vision of reaching up to this double rainbow and ending with, “Well I’d be damned if it wasn’t a triple rainbow!” They then began teaching the crowd the chorus of the song which led into a grand build-up of the whole Canopy Club singing the nature anthem. Every member from each band and performance then hopped on stage and reunited with the audience one last time to destroy the show with one last bang and let me tell you it was, “So Intense!”
I think what’s best about The DigiTour is that the fans who’ve only been able to enjoy the artists through a computer screen, could now witness and meet them in the cities they lived in, and not have to drive out to YouTube conventions. The show was awesome and truly captured the YouTube sensibility of fun, no pressure entertainment with friends.
Information about the tour…
Tour: The DigiTour feat Dave Days
Artists: Dave Days, DeStorm, The Gregory Brothers, Ricky Ficarelli, Team Starkid, and Kimmi Smiles
Date: May 7, 2011
Venue: The Canopy Club in Urbana, IL