Welcome back to Best of Weekly Music Shows, where we recap our favorite performances from the past week. This week the 30th Golden Disk Awards aired its digital and physical award shows over the span of two days; congratulations to all the winners, including Big Bang for winning the digital Daesang and Exo for winning the album Daesang.
On the weekly show side, there were a bunch of comebacks including Byun Jin-sub, Cross Gene, Nop.K, Stellar, Teen Top, and The Legend. iKon won first place on Mnet M Countdown while Suzy & Baekhyun took top honors on KBS Music Bank and SBS Inkigayo. Here are my picks for the week, and please feel free to contribute your favorites in the comments below.
Seventeen‘s “Adore U + Mansae,” Golden Disk Awards, January 21, 2016
I adored Seventeen’s glorious mash-up performance of “Adore U” and “Mansae.” While there were some mic issues, it didn’t detract from the intriguing take on their two title tracks of last year. From a piano led ballad rendition of “Adore U”; to a powerful dance break; to a hyped up rap intro to “Mansae”; and finally to the great combination of both songs, this had it all. It’s what we want to see from a special award show performance and is a statement to the talents of the group in creating unique stages for their audience.
Twice‘s cover of Miss A‘s “Bad Girl Good Girl” and Wonder Girls‘ “So Hot,” KBS Yoo Hee-yeol‘s Sketchbook, January 22, 2016
Seeing idol groups cover their seniors’ songs is always fun. All nine members of Twice performing to these iconic routines showed their ability to keep in sync and revealed the underlying dynamic of the group. There is a polish to their dancing as they hit the moves in “Bad Girl Good Girl” and staunchness to their delivery when they tackled Yubin‘s rap parts in “So Hot.” While Twice have definitely carved their own space in the K-pop market, it is absolutely fascinating to see them here as a sort of amalgamation of their JYP seniors.
iKon’s “Dumb & Dumber,” Mnet M Countdown, January 21, 2016
I may be in the minority of those preferring the sounds of “Rhythm Ta” to “Dumb & Dumber.” That is likely why I didn’t follow this round of promos very much, but I’ve finally given into the charms of “Dumb & Dumber.” Maybe it’s because they seem so at home performing this song. It isn’t quite polished — nor was it meant to be, but their “Dumb & Dumber” performances certainly lower this barrier of accessibility, making them seem more like a group who is enjoying their time on stage, rather than one putting up a hard front.
Dalshabet‘s “Someone Like U,” MBC Show! Music Core, January 23, 2016
“Someone Like U” may very well be my favorite song of 2016 thus far — pretty much safe to say my favorite K-pop song of January 2016. The ladies of Dalshabet back up the catchy Brave Brothers number with a lot of spunk. The choreography is striking as Dalshabet extend their fingers; when they connect with the camera, it’s like getting pointed out from the crowd. Unfortunately, this song hasn’t been performing very well on the charts, which is a travesty because — even though they recently had two members leave the group — “Someone Like U” is Dalshabet near their best, exuding confidence and power to a memorable tune.
Lucky J‘s “No Love,” MBC Show! Music Core, January 23, 2016
Really loving Jessi‘s look here. Her red suit was elegant and sharp. I also think that this is the most comfortable they’ve all looked performing “No Love” thus far. This stage had Jessi hyping up her bandmates J-Yo and J’Kyun, and they are giving a little extra on stage. There is a special charm to this group that makes them stand out. Maybe it’s their connection to their song and charisma, but it leaves me wanting to hear more of what they have to offer.
Stellar’s “Sting,” KBS Music Bank, January 22, 2016
“Sting” took a while to hook me, but now the Mono Tree produced song is on repeat. I think Stellar’s stage is well put together. While the moves during the chorus are simplistic, such as tugging on their shirts or shaking an enclosed first forward in a paw-like motion, their individual moments were great. Gayoung‘s newspaper bit was nicely done, and I also thought Junyool‘s solo dance break was on point. Hopefully Stellar’s quality run of singles are met with more popularity in the year to come.
Teen Top’s “Warning Sign,” SBS Inkigayo, January 24, 2016
I almost chose Teen Top’s M Countdown performance, where they had giant screens with prerecorded individual shots of each member singing their parts, but decided to go with this maroon suited one on Inkigayo instead. Teen Top are one of those groups that deliver when they dance. They cover a lot of ground on stage, and I love the variety of lines they paint with their movements. On top of that, their rhythm is almost perfect, hitting the beat with a knockout punch, yet they are smooth when they need to be. “Warning Sign” continues to grow on me, and Teen Top shows their increasing maturity as performers.
EXID‘s “Hot Pink + Up & Down,” Golden Disk Awards, January 20, 2016
EXID pulled out all the stops in their performance at the 2016 Golden Disk Awards. LE demonstrated her rapping chops at the start, and Solji‘s show stopping vocals were unfaltering. EXID have certainly come a long way — in terms of popularity and exposure — from where they were two years ago. They are brimming with talents and are magnetic to watch on screen. They have a distinctive EXID sound, and that’s a big deal considering that many other groups’ singles can end up sounding interchangeable. I’m excited to see what’s next in store for this group, and with this performance EXID remain confident in proving they’ve got the talents to back it up.