Yächtley Crëw may be seen a merely a tribute band to soft rock, but singer Phillip Daniel (Philly Ocean) says it is much more.
“It’s kind of a dream for a lot of us,” Daniel says.
“We’ve been musicians all of our lives, and it’s really incredible to see how in this moment in time so many people are remembering and rediscovering this music.”
Daniel — an actor who once played a bartender on “9-1-1” — describes “yacht rock” as songs after 1976 comprised of “big vocals, even bigger hair and smooth, captivating melodies.” Think Christopher Cross, Hall & Oates, Toto and Rupert Holmes.
The term comes from the YouTube “mockumentary” of the same name that serialized the lives of the original singers, musicians and session musicians. The production had a “bad-on-purpose aesthetic.”
“It’s totally just made up, fabricated,” he says about the genre name. “So many people have learned about yacht rock in the last six, seven, 10 years. You already know what it is, but you didn’t know it was called yacht rock.
“There’s such a love in our culture for these incredible songs, hits of the ’70s and ’80s. Everybody knows the words. A lot of the songs that we play are not songs you hear all that much, but they’re songs that people know. They still remember them. The songs were so iconic. It’s impossible to not smile when you hear this music.”
Singing since he was 6 years old, Daniel calls himself an artist “through and through.” He and his fellow sailors started the band with no expectations.
“We didn’t know if we would do three shows or 3,000 shows, for six months or six years,” he says with a laugh. “Here we are, most than six years later, and it feels like it’s just taking off.”
Now, donning captain’s gear, Yächtley Crëw is getting in on it with its first original song, “Sex on a Beach,” which fits in perfectly with the genre. They’re well versed. Daniel calls himself an “’80s kid” whose parents listened to yacht rock in the car.
“A lot of the guys in the band grew up the same way,” he says. “It’s like guilty pleasure music. It comes on, you know the words to the chorus, and you start singing along. These songs are genius-level songs. Jackson Browne, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Steve Lukather, these are the best musicians of the last 100 years. They’re true masters of their craft.
“They have themes that everyone can relate to — love, good times and partying. Every one of our audience members and fans, they know what they’re coming to see, and they know what to expect. We put on a show. We consider ourselves — and we try to live up to this — the Kiss of Soft Rock. If you’ve ever been to a Kiss show, there are a lot of production and high-energy performances. We just do it smooth.”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 10
WHERE: Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe
COST: Tickets start at $31