Merry Christmas and welcome to the Christmas edition of Best of Weekly Music Shows! This week’s music shows were a joy to watch, as they featured a number of festive performances, as well as bringing back groups that have promoted throughout the year, given this episode will be the last in 2016 for some music shows. While holiday releases were still trickling in, music shows saw no new debuts this week. Big Bang proved their long lasting strength as a group by sweeping the first place of award shows this week, interestingly enough with both of their title tracks, “Fxxk It” and “Last Dance” on M Countdown and Music Bank respectively. Here are my picks for the week after much deliberation – please do add your favourites in the comments below because this list is but no means extensive!
Pentagon, Imfact, SF9 & Snuper‘s “First Generation Idols Special Stage,” KBS Music Bank, December 23, 2016
With a number of first generation groups having made comebacks in the last two years, along with the never ending stream of new group debuts, it’s always exciting to see younger groups cover classic hits of first generation groups. Music Bank included a medley of four oldie-but-goodie jams, firstly with Pentagon covering H.O.T.’s “Warrior’s Descent.” The boys of Pentagon put a modern twist on the original, all the while maintaining the fierce and sharp beat of the track. Imfact’s rendition of Sechskies’ debut song “School Byeolgok” stayed true to characteristics of the original performance with the infamous “back-down” move in the choreography, but they also put their own spin on it with the driving synth beats. SF9, with their orange-accented tracksuits, covered Shinhwa’s “The Solver;” Not only did this rookie group nail the vocal and rap parts, they definitely showed that they were a dance group with the slick dance break. Last but not least Snuper covered g.o.d‘s “To My Mother,” and as them name suggests, it’s a more emotional piece; the members thus did a good job of capturing both the emotions in the original and the sharp choreography.
Seventeen‘s “Boy Group Remix + Very Nice,” KBS Music Bank, December 23, 2016
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I will never ceased to be amazed at Seventeen’s remixes. Following their girl group remix from last year, this year they pulled off an equally impressive boy group one; the transitions from one choreography to another are incredibly smooth, with the group using their large numbers to their advantage, and the melding of lines from various songs sounds natural to the point where it could’ve passed for a single piece – who knew that “Lotto” and “Hard Carry” go along so well? Not to mention Seventeen, as always, impress with their energy on stage, giving the performance a touch of fun.
Mamamoo & The East Light‘s “1st Place Songs Remix,” KBS Music Bank, December 23, 2016
Mamamoo have also been receiving praise for their medley consisting of the songs that have won 1st place throughout the year, and given their vocals skills it shouldn’t be surprising how well they pulled it off. The group effortlessly covered a variety of genres, from the ballad openers, to the more laid back K-pop releases, then using “The Eye’s” buildup to introduce the final part of the medley featuring the most upbeat idol hits from the year. I’m also impressed with the versatility of the members’ vocals in delivering both the lightness of girl group songs and power of boy group ones, and their rendition of “Whatta Man” even added a beat that made it more addictive than the original.
Red Velvet‘s “Russian Roulette”, MBC Show! Music Core, December 24, 2016
Of all the Christmas themed performances on this special of Music Core, Red Velvet’s has my vote for the best Christmas rendition of their original song. The chimes and sleigh bells fit so naturally into the track of “Russian Roulette,” and if you thought the song sounded infectiously happy before, the new instrumental has rendered it even merrier. In addition, while the group’s styling has had it’s ups and downs, these Christmas outfits are definitely a hit. Oh, and welcome back Yeri!
Laboum‘s “Merry Christmas in Advance”, Mnet M! Countdown, December 22, 2016
IU’s “Merry Christmas in Advance” has pretty much become one of Korea’s Christmas anthems, climbing back up the charts when this time of year rolls around, so I’m happy to see this song being performed on music shows. Laboum did a great job of covering IU’s vocals, and I’ve only recently learned from having seen IU perform the original live that “Merry Christmas in Advance” also has an simple choreography, which Laboum also pulled off adorably. Finally, their performance ended with them holding up signs that say “praying to escape being single,” which basically sums up my Christmas wishes.
B1A4‘s “Last Christmas”, MBC Show! Music Core, December 24, 2016
This isn’t a Christmas themed Best of Weekly Music Shows article without a traditional Christmas classic! B1A4’s cover of “Last Christmas” is enjoyable on all fronts, from their execution of the song, to the visuals of the members and the stage, to the performance in itself. The performance was a perfect combination of cuteness, charisma, and audience engagement; the members’ vocals are impeccable, and even Baro’s single “Merry Christmas” in his low voice was memorable.
(YouTube   , Image via MBC)