Welcome back, readers, to the Best of Weekly Music Shows! This week was slower with debuts and comebacks — NCT U and Sam Kim started the rounds on the shows, while Block B have started in with title track “Toy”– but the shows themselves were more upended than usual. Both Music Core and M!Countdown had special programs, for their 500th episode and 2016 KCON x Japan, respectively. The winners were just as discordant, with CN Blue taking Show Champion, Music Bank, and M!Countdown, Got7 winning on The Show, and Inkigayo‘s trophy going out to 10cm. These are some of my top choices for the week. Think I missed one? Link it in the comments!
Winner‘s “Sentimental,” Mnet KCON 2016 Japan x M!Countdown, April 14, 2016
KCON 2016 Japan was a treat to watch, seeing hits from throughout the year return to the stage, and what a stage it was. Many faltered on the massive stage used, but Winner rocked it like they’d never performed elsewhere. The ease and comfort of “Sentimental” has always been one of the best things about it, and Winner let that melancholy air flow through them and from them like miserable gods on high and it’s wonderful.
Hyosung‘s “Find Me,” KBS Music Bank, April 15, 2016
“Find Me” is a killer track; one perfectly suited to Hyosung’s performance skills. The lush, feminine class that she exudes is captivating to watch especially when paired with such a lush, feminine song. The choreography only adds to that, as the circle-oriented, sweeping style blends the power of the track with Hyosung’s grace and calm for a heady mixture onstage.
G-Friend‘s cover of Twice‘s “Like Ooh-Ahh,” MBC Show! Music Core, April 16, 2016
G-Friend has made a huge splash with their “power innocence” concept; best evidenced by their show-smashing run with “Rough,” but this performance of Twice’s “Like Ooh-Ahh” shows they’ve got what it takes to be sassy and full of pep. It’s fun and full of energy, with G-Friend owning their performance as if this has always been in their repetoire.
Oh My Girl‘s cover of SNSD‘s “Oh!,” SBS MTV The Show, April 13, 2016
Okay I admit it: I have to confess a weakness for special stages, but Oh My Girl’s performance of “Oh!” is probably the first among equals this week. “Oh!” has always been a hair too sweet for me, but this really works. Oh My Girl downplay the aegyo in favor a fun, sassy rendition of a K-pop classic that showcases just how much charisma they have, especially when compared to their much sweeter “Liar Liar.”
Sam Kim’s “No Sense” ft. Crush, SBS Inkigayo, April 17, 2016
Former K-pop Star runner up Sam Kim is destined for great things. With a rougher folk-rock voice, he’s a far cry from the slick polish that tends to dominate K-pop, but dayum, he’s good. This man was born to perform, with infectious charm and an uncanny knack for making it feel like he’s singing to you, computer screen physics be damned. Passionate, raw, intense, genuine, and playful all in one; Sam Kim is everything you could want in a musician. He. Is. Good.