Welcome back to Best of Weekly Music Shows! This week saw the debut of Real Girls Project and the subunit Mobb. Among artists making their comeback this week included Ga-inHalo, Red Velvet, and Tae Jin-ahBlack Pink won first place on M! Countdown and InkigayoHan Dong-geun took first on Music Bank, and VIXX was crowned champion on The Show.

This week, I went an unconventional route with half my picks originating from music shows and the other half being from other places; feel free to include your conventional or unconventional picks in the comments below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jG14KBXrv4&feature=youtu.be]

Red Velvet’s “Russian Roulette,” KBS Music Bank, September 9, 2016

While I have mixed feelings about Red Velvet’s latest title track, I can’t deny how fun and catchy it is. As a fan of tennis, I love the stage theme. The camerawork is also a breath of fresh air. Per usual with SM, the live is only live in dance not singing, but the girls bring it. I love the melodic 8-bit breakdown and the football post dance during the “heart bbbbeat” chorus is my favorite.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy6fizlq26U]

Ga-in’s “Carnival,” SBS Inkigayo, September 11, 2016

“Carnival” is theater. Ga-in immerses herself in the grandiose orchestration, and the performance follows suit. At times, a bit of restraint in either the production or performance could have been helpful in building more connection with the audience. However, that doesn’t mean her live stages of “Carnival” are anything short of extraordinary. I love the use of umbrellas. As they spin and provide different levels of framing, it adds a wonderful pop to the stage.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqmQbDMb-5M&feature=youtu.be]

Nu’est’s “Love Paint,” SBS MTV The Show, September 6, 2016

Nu’est are wonderful during their live performances of “Love Paint.” They strike a balance between their smoother and more powerful movements. I enjoy the backup dancers functioning as shadowed extensions of Nu’est. And as always Baekho and Minhyun are killing the vocals. “Love Paint” illustrates their continued growth and signifies a positive direction for the guys of Nu’est.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMTr-FcvjKw]

After School’s Raina, Monsta X’s Kihyun, and BTOB’s Hyunsik’s “Beautiful Goodbye,” SBS Inkigayo, September 11, 2016

This stage from Raina, Kihyun, and Hyunsik was a nice collaborative effort. The three of them played piano and added some wonderful harmonies. I wish there was more interaction between them, but they kept in pace with one another and still conveyed a strong emotional connection to the music they were singing.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adfXDnm5mfI]

Spica’s cover of 2NE1’s “Ugly,” f(x)’s “Hot Summer,” T-ara’s “Roly Poly,” Yoo Jae-suk and Lee Juk’s “Apgujeong Nallari,” and Miss A’s “Goodbye Baby,” Dingo Music, September 11, 2016

A hit medley of popular songs from 2011, Spica shows us why they are considered one of the top vocal groups in the game. Props to the guitarist, Kim Jun-wook, for powering through those different rhythms, but most of all, great job to these girls for giving us consistently interesting vocals. They always impress me in these unconventional stages, and I am probably not alone in wishing they can piece together a couple of solid title tracks to become better recognized.

[youtube https://youtu.be/ALuxXIHWYS8?t=1m11s]

Yezi and Babylon‘s “Chase,” 1theK, September 7, 2016

This has been a bit of an unconventional week of picks for me — but like the writers of the drama W twisting the rules to their favor, I thought why not? Yezi and Babylon’s “Chase” isn’t a live stage performance but their jazz version of “Chase” is just amazing. I like the whole staging of the back-to-back couches and the filter that picks up on the color red. It just adds this smoky mystique to the whole affair and enhances an already great pairing.

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

Subin‘s cover of Andra Day‘s “Rise Up,” Official Dalshabet, September 11, 2016

While this is technically an upload of a cover, Subin has just been doing so much this year that I felt it deserved a pass, if solely to recognize her efforts. I love her solo songs this year, and she’s really proven herself to be quite the star, in terms of production, writing, and singing. She’s great here, covering the difficult “Rise Up” and flexes her range with some confidence.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPUSzO2-a6I]

Urban Zakapa’s “Thursday Night” feat. Beenzino, Dingo Music, September 8, 2016

I am absolutely in love with this rendition of Urban Zakapa’s “Thursday Night.” I’m a big fan of hearing songs sung outside of a traditional staged setting. The fun van set-up added a sense of closeness between the performers, and the sound comes out clearly in the confined space. This is such a feel-good song and the chemistry between Urban Zakapa and Beenzino coalesced into an infectiously vibrant and entertaining rendition of the song.

(KBS, SBS, Dingo Music, 1thek, Official Dalshabet, Image via SBS)