Amanda McHugh ‘18/ Emertainment Monthly Executive Publisher
May 20, 2016 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Phillip Lester (AmazingPhil) and Daniel Howell (danisnotonfire) performed their USA show of The Amazing Tour is Not on Fire—or, as Phil said in the opening of the show, “Phil is in Philly!” Back in autumn of 2015, Dan and Phil went on tour around the UK right when their joint book, The Amazing Book is Not on Fire (read a review of the book here), came out. The UK tour helped promote the book and give fans, or ‘phans,’ a chance to meet their YouTube idols in real life. Though considering much of Dan and Phil’s fan base is in America, Dan and Phil packed their bags and stage and ventured away from home for just about three months.
The workers of the Kimmel Center had their hands full with hundreds of young girls trying to get into the theatre. Right in the front was where merchandise was being sold, which is backing up the line to enter the theatre. While this reviewer chose not to buy anything (saving up for the Japanese Dan and Phil sweatshirt), they were selling USA tour merchandise. The shirt and sweatshirt features Dan and Phil standing in front of a distressed American flag. This image is also on the USA poster as well. Along with the wearables, they had lanyards, wristbands, and tote bags. They were also selling their book there as well. The prices were comparable to what they are on their US online shop. Hopefully if they have any leftovers they’ll be selling the remaining items discounted online like they did with the UK merchandise. If you’re planning on attending, go early. The merchandise before and after the show is insane. After the show was worse, though—the line was out the door and down the block, no joke—so plan ahead. This reviewer showed up an hour early and the line was already insanely long. However, the Kimmel Center workers were pretty good at line control.
No spoilers will be spilt in this review, but if you’d like an in-depth spoiler review, please click here. Only a general outline of the show, and how it felt to be at the show will be spelled out.
The show is more along the lines of what Dan and Phil do on their YouTube channels, rather than their book, and ran for one hour and forty-five minutes—in case you need to inform a parent of how long it’ll be. There were aspects of the book that were in the show, such as the segment of ‘reasons why I was a weird kid’ that Phil does. Phil’s reasons were pulled directly from the book. But other segments and references drew more from their channels and Twitter accounts. There is a gigantic screen onstage that showed different videos and images throughout the show. Even if you’re up in the balcony, you’ll still be able to see. If you haven’t met Dan or Phil and this is you’re first time seeing them, the show starts out pretty emotional and attacks the feels right away. To be honest, this reviewer cried before Dan and Phil even came out, and then for three minutes after they were onstage (the mother who was sitting to the left totally judged but it’s okay, right?). Throughout the show the comedy Dan and Phil do comes through, like Dan referencing how obnoxiously tall he is (even though Phil is only an inch shorter), and Phil wanting to do cute, quirky things.
The show is very obviously scripted, but Dan and Phil’s online personalities still come through as pretty genuine. They perform exactly as they are online and on their live streams. In a way it’s kind of reassuring to think that who they are online isn’t fake or isn’t an act. These are real people performing a scripted show, but still being themselves at the same time. There are places where they seem more genuine than others, and where the show feels more natural than scripted. Though for two people who aren’t live theatre performers, they still did an amazing job. Moreover, the show is directed for their younger fanbase. No shame in that though, considering the majority of their fan base is aged fifteen and under. But lines and segments did feel very young, though still enjoyable for this twenty year old reviewer. The show was everything you’d imagine it to be, but even more. While this article will avoid spoilers like the plague, there were some surprising segments and aspects.
*small spoiler alert* The show has an underlying, overarching plot one wouldn’t see coming. In the beginning this reviewer thought it was just going to be a collaboration of multiple different things, but it’s not. There’s a nice flow to it, and everything connects. Even at the end, all the loose ends are tied nicely. The show goes by super fast, so enjoy it!
Seeing the show end was sad, but knowing you’ll see them soon on the internet (and hopefully at a Playlist Live or VidCon event) keeps the fangirl hope shining through. The show does really feel like you are with Dan and Phil, which any fan can enjoy looking forward to!