Welcome back to Best of Weekly Music Shows! The last couple of months has seen an onslaught of comebacks as year’s end draws closer. Exo-CBX made their unit debut this week. Blackpink, Block B Bastarz, and VIXX were among those who held their comeback stages. Twice swept the trophies this week with “TT.” Without further ado, here are the performances that stood out to me this week.
Blackpink’s “Playing With Fire,” SBS Inkigayo, November 6, 2016
I’m personally not a fan of this song, but I do appreciate how perfectly put-together this stage is. The choreography is sharp and blocked to a T. The quartet is constantly in movement, and the diagonals and lines their choreography creates on stage is just wonderful. While I’m still a bit detached from their music, I can’t help but see how brightly they shine on the stage.
I.O.I’s “Very Very Very,” MBC Show Champion, November 2, 2016
I can’t believe these are I.O.I’s last performances! A year ago, these girls were just trainees slated to show up on another Mnet reality program. As the top 11 voted of 101 trainees who appeared on the show, they’ve gone on to become one of the biggest success stories of the year. “Very Very Very” is the culmination of that – the icing on top of a project group whose clock strikes twelve in January when their contracts end. Regardless, they add character and polish in their performance here that shows how much they’ve grown since the they started this Produce 101 journey. Hopefully, this will translate well when they all return to their respective companies and post-I.O.I careers.
Exo-CBX’s “The One,” MBC Show! Music Core, November 5, 2016
I was debating whether to include “The One” or Kangta and CBX’s “Growl” performance from Sketchbook, but opted for the former. “The One” is such a fun song and the choreography plays to that lighthearted spirit. There is some irreverence to it, with some clever throwbacks to their older choreography, and most importantly, CBX are into it. They know their audience and engage with them at every opportunity, and that is a pleasure to watch as they own the stage.
Twice’s “TT,” Mnet M Countdown, November 1, 2016
Speaking of cheeky choreography, Twice’s “TT” falls into that. Actually, most of their choreography has had that playful quality. It doesn’t necessarily emphasize difficulty or precision but aims to be fun, interactive, and cute. Twice’s team knows the image they’re going for and go to bat for them to push aesthetic over the technical difficulty. With Twice’s magical touch, “TT” has that mystifying catchiness that helps to solidify their dominance of the charts.
BTS‘ “Blood, Sweat, Tears,” KBS Music Bank, November 4, 2016
I was debating on which stage to include this week and — while I enjoyed the Show! Music Core version more — I couldn’t help but notice a slight mic mishap that pushed this one to the top of my list. Talk about covering up for the unexpected; Jungkook’s mic pack seemed to have come loose during V’s verse and the maknae masterfully got through his parts while troubleshooting a solution without a glimmer of worry on his face. All in all, BTS have been killer this comeback around. They continue to be pristine and charismatic in every fiber of their being while striving to be at the top of their game for each performance. Who knows where they’ll go from here.
Kwon Jin-ah’s “The End” KBS Open Concert, November 6, 2016
I am not an advocate for these stages performed in the rain as it’s not good for the safety and well-being of performers. That said, I had to include Kwon Jin-ah’s performance this week because her voice rings so true and honestly. Amidst all the elements going against her, she still captivates with her singing. Nothing is stopping her connection to the music and her resilience is touching and struck a chord with me.
VIXX’s “The Closer,” SBS Inkigayo, November 5, 2016
“The Closer” is the final piece of the Conception trilogy, and –to me— it epitomizes what I liked and disliked about VIXX’s releases this year. The song felt slightly unpolished at parts even though I love some of the harmonies and vocal layering. The choreography has so much potential and is great when there is synergy between the members, such as during Hyuk’s parts, but is missing a degree of sharpness and explosion of power at times when it’s needed. Altogether, their releases this year had the potential to be a legendary trifecta but just ends up being three very good releases instead.