Welcome back to the Best of Weekly Music Shows! The relative slowness of last week continued this week, with debuts from O21 and Lee Jin Ah, while Sistar made their obligatory comeback. Exo once again swept the music show wins, but that’s slightly less impressive this week, as The Show did not air, and Music Bank held their mid-year special. These are some of my favorite stages of the week.
CLC‘s “No Oh Oh,” MBC Show Champion, June 22, 2016
“No Oh Oh” is a fabulous summer jam, the mixture of jazzy soul on the chorus with 90s R&B giving it a bit more bite than the typical seasonal bop. CLC nail every aspect of this performance — the vocals are flawless, the delivery is fun, the choreography is quirky without being odd. Yet what won me over is just how 90s this stage is. The styling, the dance, the song itself; “No Oh Oh” almost out-90s the 90s itself. This has surpassed “homage” and gone straight to “nostalgia bomb,” in the best way possible.
U-KISS‘ “Stalker,” Mnet M!Countdown, June 23, 2016
If I had to describe this stage of “Stalker” in a single word, it would be “clean”. The vocals are perfectly clean, no stumbling, no warbling, just finely tuned harmonies killing every note. The choreography is equally clean, each step and movement is precise and purposeful. The formation changes and moves in rounds are crisp and sharp, exactly on beat. Even the all black styling gives a clean look, marking U-KISS as cohesive while not dressing them identically.
Soyou x Shownu‘s “My Ear’s Candy,” KBS Music Bank Half-Year Special, June 24, 2016
This list could have easily been comprised of nothing but the special stages from Music Bank‘s mid-year special episode, and I don’t think anyone would have blamed me. Still, this cover of Baek Ji-young‘s “My Ear’s Candy” is amazing. Soyou gets the chance to really utilize and flaunt her breathy, unique vocals, with Shownu providing the contrasting male edge. Yet it’s the little touches that give this performance such power, such as Soyou loaning Shownu her microphone 44 seconds in. The whole stage has this natural, effortless charm that lesser performers would kill for.
Hani x Jihun‘s “Trouble Maker,” KBS Music Bank Half-Year Special, June 24, 2016
My other selection from Music Bank is EXID‘s Hani and KNK‘s Jihun’s cover of “Trouble Maker.” It’s not as good as Soyou and Shownu — the camerawork is questionable, and Hani’s more than a little stiff and stilted — but it’s on here for one reason: Jihun. That kid is on fire here. His extremely flirtatious performance more than covers for Hani’s stiffness as he charms the audience with his suave, confident aura. It’s as if Jihun is attempting to woo the entire audience, and he succeeds.
Luna‘s “Free Somebody,” SBS Inkigayo, June 26, 2016
Luna is an phenomenally talented performer, and this performance of “Free Somebody” perfectly captures why: nothing ever seems hard for her. A dance routine that places emphasis on quick, precise movements seems as natural to her as walking, the demanding vocals of “Free Somebody” as effortless as breathing. She is owning this stage, having the time of her life, blowing her competition out of the water, and Luna looks as calm and untroubled as if she was lying on a beach. Making performing look easy is impressive, but what Luna’s doing is making it look natural, which seems impossible. . . until you see her sing.
Those are my favorite stages of the week! Think I missed any? Link them in the comments!