Welcome back to the Best of Weekly Music Shows. This week was slammed with new music and stages. Hyorin, BtoB, BAP, Mamamoo, Astro, T-ara, and Kyuhun all made comebacks, crowding the stages and making my job pretty tough this week. The debuts of Victon and Momoland only made things more tricky. Show Champion did not air this week, but everything else aired as usual. Twice took the top honor on M!Countdown, Inkigayo and Music Bank, while Vixx claimed The Show.
“Replay”, Astro, M!Countdown, Mnet, November 10, 2016
“Replay” is a classic, which makes covers of it fun already. But given that I am a Shawol, Astro’s performance was guaranteed a slot on this week’s list. The cold truth is that this is a great cover. The styling is exactly what Shinee wore way back when, the dancing is sharp, the harmonies smooth. Plus, they had to rework the formations from 5 to 6, which is far more difficult than with larger discrepancies in numbers, and Astro did a great job with the alterations, handling the smaller switch-a-roos as if they’d always been there.
“Make It Rain”, Bastarz, The Show, SBS MTV, November 8, 2016
There is a large part of me that wants to be appalled by “Make It Rain”. The hollow ego-trip and how it veers into the oddly, extremely, and misplaced should rub me the wrong way. But it doesn’t, and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the killer beat. Maybe it’s how much fun Bastarz appears to be having on the stage. Or maybe it’s the suits, and the contrast they provide by forcing the mind to ping-pong between the classy visuals and crass audio. In any event, I really enjoyed this stage.
“Decalcomanie”, Mamamoo, Show! Music Core, MBC, November 12, 2016
The MV for “Decalcomanie” might be complete trash but the song is not, and this stage proves it. Power and grace radiate from Mamamoo in equal parts. Their vocals are powerful and crisp, as is their dancing. Funky and fun, this performance rescues “Decalcomanie”. That and the styling. There is not one piece of clothing I don’t feel a powerful urge to own.
“Don’t Believe”, Berry Good, Simply K-pop, Arirang, November 11, 2016
Berry Good has been flying under the radar since debut, but “Don’t Believe” has the potential to change that. The track pulls from reggae and tropical house for a mellow but potent sound. Yet it’s the vocals that really sell this track, the delicate sopranos and gentle harmonies conveying a powerful vulnerability that speaks to the listener and drags them headfirst into the pain Berry Good is selling. Their solid live vocals only enhance an already moving track.
“Playing With Fire”, Black Pink, Inkigayo, SBS, November 13, 2016
“Playing With Fire” is likewise a mellow fusion of tropical house and reggae. However, rather than playing for vulnerability, it uses the same sound as a platform for strength. Black Pink’s vocals sound solid not in that they’re able to perform live without issue — though they are — but in that they sound rock-steady. There is a core of steel in their delivery; a certainty that is rarely heard from girl groups.
Those are my favorite stages of the week. Any you think I missed? Leave them in the comments!