Welcome back to the Best of Weekly Music Shows! This week was, to put it mildly, pure chaos. We saw comebacks from Black Pink, FT Island, Mamamoo, 9Muses, and more. The winners were equally tumultous. G-Dragon took the top spots on Show Champion, Show! Music Core, and Inkigayo. Meanwhile T-ara won on The Show– their first music show win in five years– while over on Music Bank, Hwang Chi-yeul won for his first time, period. NCT 127 rounds out the winners circle over on M!Countdown.
“Remember” 9Muses, M!Countdown, Mnet, June 26, 2017
Despite the difficulty of ongoing member losses, 9Muses has rallied with “Remember”, which is all the right kinds of eerie and delicate. The song is good, the vocals are all right, but just look at this stage. This is aesthetic perfection. The sheer robes over satin rompers are seductive, but give a sense of distance and authority that gives “Remember” real gravitas. The make-up is the same, dark but enthralling. The choreography draws heavily from voguing, all intricate hand movements and precise formations. It’s sleek, it’s moody, and it’s impossible to look away.
“Baby” Astro, Music Bank, KBS, June 23, 2017
Stop this, Astro. Stop being charmingly earnest. Stop having R&B-influenced dance songs with infectious grooves that you’d have to be dead not to appreciate. Stop having vocals with the perfect amount of playfulness to match the levity of your song and melt my heart. Stop using choreography whose impressive fiddliness and need for unison is on the level of Twice, and I must therefore love and respect it. Stop dressing in ways that give me 90’s flashbacks, thus giving you a nostalgia boost. Stop having amazingly adorable in sync head movements, which impresses me on a level normally reserved for kicklines, because kicklines are easier. Stop making me love you.
“Critical Beauty” Pentagon, Show! Music Core, MBC, June 24, 2017
Full confession: I love “Jailhouse Rock”, passionately and without irony. So, “Critical Beauty” sampling it and using that sample as the foundation of the mix is a pretty much guaranteed way to get on this list. It’s not just the guitar they borrowed, either. Pentagon oozes confidence and swagger, acting as if they know the entire audience is watching them and can’t look away. Probably because they can’t. The crisp white suits are the cherry on top, classically old school and utterly modern, fitting both styles more easily than most outfits can manage one.
“Mind Control”, Top Secret, Simply K-pop, Arirang, June 23, 2017
It’s rare that the “vomited on by an 80s thrift store” look can be counted as a positive, but for Top Secret, it works. “Mind Control” as a song is straight from the late 80s in every way possible. The New Wave-inspired synths, the distinct compression and audio effects on the track, the unrelenting cheese. The end result is pure fun, and Top Secret looks like they’re having as much of a ball performing as I am watching. Sure, it’s rather simple, but sometimes, it’s the simple things that really matter.
“Yes I Am”, Mamamoo, Inkigayo, SBS, June 25, 2017
Mamamoo is one of those groups where the question isn’t if one of their stages will blow me away, but which one. Inkigayo won out for how simple the stage was: no back-up dancers, eye-popping costumes, and only a semi-elaborate background. This put the emphasis of “Yes I Am” where it should be: on the ladies and their message. The pure defiance of “Yes I Am” comes across much more strongly here, transforming from a declarative sentence to a statement: we are strong, proud, confident, arrogant ladies, and nothing will get us to bend even an inch. Anyone who doesn’t like it can kiss off, and anyone who does is invited down their rabbit hole.
Well, those were my favorite stages of the week. Any performances you think I missed? Leave them in the comments!