Welcome to the final edition of Best of Weekly Music Shows of 2015! It’s the last week of December, which means that broadcasting stations are airing the year-end specials of their music shows, from Christmas specials (KBS Music Bank), to Goodbye 2015 (MBC Music Core), to the grand Gayo Daejun (SBS). The large variety of performances yielded as a result makes narrowing them down to a couple of the “best” a tedious task, and these performances below are some of — but not limited to — those I enjoyed most this week.
Infinite’s “Joy to the World + Love Letter,” KBS Music Bank, December 25, 2015
While it is well known that Infinite are good live singers, a cappella is interestingly something they haven’t attempted often. This rendition of “Joy to the World” thus came as a very pleasant surprise — it is beautifully executed, making use of the unique vocal colours of each member to create a calming harmony. The song choice of “Love Letter” was also a commendable one. It’s one of my favourite B-sides off their most recent album, and transitioned flawlessly from their intro; who knew that with the addition of a few sleigh bells and chimes, the song could sound so Christmas-y? Finally, with Sunggyu’s smiles, Woohyun’s hearts and Sungjong’s wink, the stage was fun to watch even with the members just standing there.
Exo‘s “Love Me Right,” KBS Music Bank, December 25, 2015
It’s been a while since we’ve seen “Love Me Right” on music shows, but when we are given the chance it’s always a treat to watch. I’m impressed by how energetic and bright they still are on stage despite their hectic schedules. The pink outfits may have looked out slightly out of place amidst the red and white given the Christmas theme of that particular Music Bank special, but at the same time, it gives off a fresh and lively impression that suits the mood of the song (and that is surprisingly different from whatever SM was doing with their outfits during that promotion period). Finally, a comment about their styling cannot go without a special mention to the return of Baekhyun’s dark hair and heavy eye-makeup — well done, stylists.
Shinee’s “View,” MBC Show! Music Core, December 26, 2015
Shinee is another group that made a comeback early this year, who has returned to reward us with another performance of “View.” With the same colourful sets and mismatched outfits, this performance had a sort of throwback appeal, and the members also carry out the stages with the same skill and synchronization as they did in May. Music Core tried to add some fanciness with their flashing lights and swiveling cameras — though whether it was necessary is up to interpretation. The highlight of the performance is undoubtedly the fanchants — their loudness and their close accompaniment with the chorus gave the stage even more energy than it already had, and is a great testament to the popularity of the song.
IU‘s “Twenty-Three,” SBS Gayo Daejun, December 27, 2015
Ever since the sneak peek of choreography in the music video for “Twenty-Three,” I’ve been looking forward to a live stage of the song, and IU didn’t disappoint with her performance at the Gayo Daejun. The setup was well-done, with the throwback to the cake in her MV, and IU performed well too. She survived the terrible sound system with clean vocals, and her dancing was equally as sharp and refined. Above all, her confidence is what makes the stage — coupled with the lyrics of the song, it sounds like a loud and clear message to her antis and a satisfying return to TV on her part.
Wonder Girls‘s “I Feel You,” SBS Gayo Daejun, December 27, 2015
Everything about this stage was on-point, from the vocals, to the styling , to the set; it truly gave off the impression of a performance made for a big festival. The bright lighting and sleek costumes were a nice move in changing up the darker sets and swimsuit variations of their regular music show performances, without losing the original theme of the song, and as much as I love their new band concept, the putting on of a dance-centered performance for once was more than welcome. And just in case you missed seeing the members on instruments, Yoobin did well with her drum break as well.
2PM‘s “My House,” SBS Gayo Daejun, December 27, 2015
Speaking of stunning stages, 2PM’s was another one that captured my attention with its grandeur (well done JYP). With the MV having the concept of a ball, their performance for the Gayo Daejun was the most ball-like yet with waltzing couples in lieu of the usual backup dancers, elaborate suits a step up from their usual classy outfits, and a rich sounding orchestral instrumental that sets the overall mood. The styling and theme also play to 2PM’s greatest strengths — their mature concept and outstanding visuals — along with the members’ personal talents, which was the case with Nichkhun and Jun.K’s brief piano interlude. Overall, the performance made up for showcasing the great song that is “My House” where the hasty promotions fell short, and reinforces 2PM’s statuses as experienced seniors in the industry.
Readers, what performances were your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!