Welcome back to another edition of best of weekly music shows! This week was quite the exciting week, showcasing comebacks from SNSD, Hyuna,Juniel and SG Wannabe, as well as the unit debut of Vixx LR. However, perhaps what generated more buzz was the Infinite Challenge music festival, which, held every two years, took place on Saturday this week. There were a lot of great performances that made choosing the best a very difficult task, but without further ado, here are my picks of the week!
“You Think,” SNSD, KBS Music Bank, August 21, 2015
Although I enjoyed both of SNSD’s double title tracks this comeback, I must say that “You Think” definitely lends itself better to live performances. “You Think” reminds me of a darker, catchier version of “Catch Me If You Can,” and the choreography didn’t disappoint the concept of the song — it was strong, sharp and fast-paced, creating a powerful performance that SNSD executed fairly well. The very brief dance break that follows the chorus in particular is a highlight that the MV failed to do justice, rendered all the more energetic by the fanchants that take place during their live. Overall, the members certainly impressed with their visuals, performance and charisma, resulting in a very enjoyable comeback stage.
“Get Out of My House,” Hyuna feat. Kwon Jung-yeol of 10cm, MBC Show! Music Core, August 22, 2015
Hyuna has performed a number of songs from her album on music shows this week, but this was the one that struck me as most aurally pleasing. Although Hyuna is known more for livelier pop songs, her voice actually lends itself very well to slow songs such as “Get Out of My House.” This performance presents a different side to her vocal colour, different from her usual squeakier tone, and both Hyuna and Kwon Jung-yeol delivered in this performance, sounding particularly good when their voices merged on the last two lines. And although this stage didn’t involve much performance, Hyuna’s emotional acting was fairly impressive in the sense that it didn’t fall into the common trap of coming off as listless, and actually looked relatively despondent.
“Fear,” Mino feat. Taeyang, Mnet Show Me the Money 4, August 21, 2015
Show Me the Money held their semi-finals this week, and this performance by Mino won him a position in the top 2. Rapping-wise, Mino’s execution of verses was strong and smooth, and featuring-wise, Taeyang carried the melody of the song without any problems; the two demonstrated great chemistry together on stage. However, the more redeeming feature of this piece for me was the lyrics, which, like the title suggests, details Mino’s fears having come so far to where he is today. The “shining moment” of the performance was thus most likely when Mino went up to the audience seats to hug his father, while speaking to him through his lyrics at the same time.
“Leon,” EU God-G isn’t EU, MBC Infinite Challenge, August 22, 2015
Infinite Challenge’s music festival is always an event to be looked forward to, for two main reasons: good music and fun stages. “Leon,” produced and performed by EU God-G isn’t EU — consisting of Park Myung-soo and IU — definitely satisfies the former, with a classy sound that seems right up IU’s alley, and well-incorporated rap parts through which Park Myung-soo (and his houseplants) were able to add some energy to the performance. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the song is based off the movie Léon: The Professional, and the inspiration is well incorporated into the concept, with the character cosplay, props, French phrases and all. Some of the best moments in the performance consisted of Park Myung-soo’s sudden and hilariously random initial appearance, the audience chanting along to the rap, IU herself rapping unexpectedly, and the unforeseen add-on performance at the end – guess Park Myung-soo got his EDM wish after all.
“Mapsosa,” Hwangtaeji, MBC Infinite Challenge, August 22, 2015
“Mapsosa” was probably one of the strongest stages of the night, performance-wise, and one look at the setup should already tell why; with bright lights, glittery outfits and the flame machine at work for the majority of the performance, the stage was nothing short of visually stunning. However, the performers are still the decisive factor in a stage’s success, and it probably helps that two of Hwangtaeji’s three members – (Hwang) Kwanghee, Taeyang and G-Dragon – are in Big Bang, who are well-known for their stage presence. That’s not to say that Kwanghee was overshadowed by any means though; as a matter of fact, his dancing and charisma were incredibly impressive, and the three did a great job of filling the stage and working the crowd. My only complaint would be with the song itself, which sounds slightly messy as a whole but has some catchy parts when you break it down into segments.
Readers, which performances were your favourites? Do you have any additional picks of your own?