Hello and welcome back to the Best of Weekly Music Shows. Happy Chuseok as well, and I hope you enjoyed it, because Chuseok plays havoc with the music shows every year. Red Velvet made a clean sweep of trophy’s with “Russian Roulette”; a feat made considerably easier by the fact the only regular music shows to air this week were The Show and Show! Music Core, which no longer has a chart system. As such, most of this week’s picks were drawn from more unorthodox sources, simply because the orthodox ones were not available.

Laboum‘s “Shooting Love”, MBC Show! Music Core, September 17, 2016

Laboum might be known for their vocals, but it’s their energy that never ceases to impress me. They have a knack for popping whenever they appear on the stage, always elevating their performance. “Shooting Love” is a testament to that as Laboum balances the high energy needed for the cheerleader verses with the low-key-yet-still-alive performance required for the more sly chorus.

Seventeen‘s “Very Nice”, MBC Show! Music CoreSeptember 17, 2016

At first, I was extremely skeptical about an acoustic rendition of “Very Nice”. After all, the dance was what won me over, and an acoustic version would remove the killer horns, which are always the best part of pop music. And yet, here we are. This stripped-down version allows the surprisingly rich melody, usually buried under the blast of horns, to shine. The vocals are crystal-clear and perfectly suited to this more gentle take. Honestly, I think I prefer the acoustic to the original.

2PM‘s “Hands Up”, Dingo Music, September 18, 2016

The impressive thing about this is that I don’t really like “Hands Up”. It’s alright, but never did much for me as a party song. Apparently, though, context is key. 2PM singing “Hands Up” while they are out drinking and having fun makes for an infinitely more entertaining stage. Maybe it’s 2PM’s impressive ability to harmonize at various levels of intoxication. Maybe it’s that “Hands Up” arguably  works better as a chill, hanging out song than a club banger. Or maybe it’s Nichkhun spending most of the video with his hands up. No matter what, 2PM have definitely put a smile on my face.

Im Tae-kyung‘s “My Destiny”, KBS Immortal Songs 2, September 16, 2016

While most of the other music shows took the week off, Immortal Songs 2 decided to celebrate the season with a OST special. While this was frustrating due to a personal dislike of ballads, Im Tae-kyung’s rendition of “My Destiny” served as a frank reminder that a great artist can make anything good. He transforms the sappy ballad into something tender and genuine. There is heartbreak in every note; the whole performance is so raw and real that it needs to come with a kleenex warning.

Kim Dong-jun‘s “Like The First Day”, KBS Immortal Songs 2,  September 16, 2016

Usually, the stages from Immortal Songs  can be summed up with a variation on “listen to that voice”, and make no mistake, Kim Dong-jun is no slouch in the vocal department. Yet what truly won me over was how this performance of “Like the First Day” was staged. The choreography and acting took a nice rock ballad and tinged it with power and grace, something to cower before and stand in awe of in equal measure.

Those are my picks for the week! Any you think I missed? Leave them in the comments!

(Image via KBS, YouTube [1],[2],[3])