Welcome back to another edition of Best of Weekly Music Shows! This week was the last week of November, also known as the last week of calm before the Christmas songs start pouring in. Music shows this week saw the return of Nine Muses, UP10TION and April, while Twice had their goodbye stage on Inkigayo. In terms of trophy distribution, Lee Hong-ki took home his first solo win on The Show (much to his adorable surprise), B.A.P proved they’re still going strong with their first win on Music Bank, and iKon established themselves as powerful rookies by winning on Inkigayo. Below are my picks for the week; as usual, feel free to comment yours!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6Ij-4y6D_Q]

Nine Muses’s “Sleepless Night,” MBC Show! Music Core, November 28, 2015

I must say that this performance of “Sleepless Night” gave me a very different impression of this song compared to the impression I got when I watched the desolate music video. With a bright set and relatively quickly paced choreography, it renders the song slightly more upbeat than one would have interpreted through just the lyrics or the music video, but I’m not complaining. The dazzling set and its grandness reminds me of the group’s “Drama” era earlier this year, which was certainly quite high up in the ranking of Nine Muses’ concepts, and the dance is characterized by the blending of smoother, sexier moves and with sharp motions in close time with the beat; all of these render the stage an aesthetically-pleasing piece.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRX2yqzLDdg]

Vixx‘s “Chained Up,” SBS Inkigayo, November 29, 2015

Despite the number of weeks this song has been in our Weekly Music Show posts, Vixx never seems to disappoint with their performances of “Chained Up.” The styling of the members for this stage is done especially well — the outfits in particular saw a change from the group’s usual suit-with-no-shirt fashion, but the half buttoned collar shirts don’t seem to offer any less of a viewing pleasure. As for the performance itself, it impresses as usual with its little stunts and just how well it aligns with the concept in general, and the members’ expressions in executing it (looking at you N and your occasional smirks) just make everything better.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIO0qS9Q_HM]

EXID‘s “Hot Pink,” KBS Music Bank, November 27, 2015

Although the song itself is receiving mixed reviews, EXID’s live performances of “Hot Pink” are as entertaining to watch as ever. The choreography does a good job riding the beat of the song, and also makes full use of the space available, which makes the stage seem busy (in a good way) and constantly alive. In addition, it is noteworthy that Hani’s stage presence in these public performances is undoubtedly that of a professional. I must also add that as much as I love the black and hot pink palette that colours the sets and outfits, the outfit for this stage is the first that seems to completely suit them in its simplicity, without any weird shiny tracksuits and slightly out-of-place jackets.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McxRUQhqy_A]

Ailee & Wheesung‘s cover of Baek Ji-young‘s “That Woman,” KBS Immortal Song 2, November 28, 2015

At first glance, this performance seems like simply a pretty-sounding synthesis of the female and male versions of the Secret Garden OST “That Woman/Man.” The execution is incredibly smooth, which is a given considering the vocal prowess of the two singers, and more importantly, the two have great harmonies and teamwork on stage together, which has been the case since their Singer and Trainee days. The true impact of the stage, however, is when the last refrain kicks in; I completely agree with the reaction shots during that part of the video — the ad-libs and Ailee’s high notes left me in awe, and they allow for a powerful explosion of emotion and heightened climax before the performance comes to a soft close.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpSHw68CaaM]

iKon’s “Apology,” SBS Inkigayo, November 29, 2015

iKon is back with double tracks, and of these two songs, “Apology” certainly caught my attention more. The performance of “Apology” shows that there doesn’t have to be a trade-off between the melancholy emotions of a winter ballad and the powerful choreographies that are typical to boy groups — iKon pulls off both surprisingly well with their matching of the sorrowful melody of the song with strong, sharp and impressively in-sync dance moves. This is also further amplified by the rough-sounding quality of some of the members’ vocals, such as that of Junhoe, which helps evoke the feelings of heartbreak conveyed in the lyrics.

Finally, a special mention to the beautiful set they performed in; both the nighttime streets and metal framework were extremely well designed, and the switching between the cold blue lights and warmer lighting have the respective effects of bringing out the desolate emotions of the song and adding some colour to the song’s highlights in an alternating manner.

(YouTube [1][2][3], Images via SBS)