Welcome to another installment of Best of Weekly Music Shows! Instead of looking at our favourite stages of the past week, this time we will be spotlighting our top performances of this year. Looking through the many, many stages to choose from really makes you realise just the countless number of debuts, comebacks, and special stages that are packed in just one year.
Without further ado, here is the list of our top picks in no particular order — ranking them would be another challenge in itself. Let us know in the comments what your favourite performances of the year were!
NCT 127‘s “Cherry Bomb”, MBC Show Champion, June 29, 2017
Admittedly, NCT doesn’t always have the best styling, but this stage is one exception. The pink-themed outfits (and in Taeyong’s case, his hair) as well as the sharp, synchronised choreography really gives the cohesion that the stage so needs, especially with such a disjointed song. What is impressive about the performance for “Cherry Bomb” is the intricate and creative dance moves, especially towards the end of the track; this really sets them apart from other groups. Aside from the flashy lights, the stage is relatively simple, opting to focus more on the group’s actual performance without the use of major props, and NCT 127 pulls it off perfectly with flair and charisma.
VIXX’s “Shangri-La”, MBC Show! Music Core, May 20, 2017
“Sophisticated” is the word that I would use to describe this stage. VIXX always pulls through with a new and refreshing concept that works, and their lush and oriental-themed stage for “Shangri-La” is no exception. From their majestic purple coats, to the creative use of fans (you can even hear the sounds of their fans snapping open in this stage!), to their alluring expressions especially during Ravi’s and N’s little moment, makes this stage a definite must-watch.
BTS’ “Not Today,” Mnet M! Countdown, February 23, 2017
BTS’ stage for “Not Today” seriously gives me chills. The sheer intensity of this performance, augmented by the charisma that the members exude as well as by the addition of back-up dancers, blows me away. Although this is a very much a hype song, BTS performs with such effortlessness and charm, affirming their status as a top group of the industry.
Exo’s “The Eve”, MBC Show! Music Core, July 22, 2017
Another top group in K-pop is undeniably Exo, who always manages to outdo themselves. The iconic choreography for “The Eve” during the first part of the chorus is simple with very few moves, however, it is performed with such strength and just the right amount of allurement that makes it difficult to look away. This dark and enticing performance is, simply, Exo at its finest.
Jonghyun’s “Deja-Boo,” KBS Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook, May 13, 2017
Although “Deja-Boo” wasn’t released this year, I picked this stage in particular as it really shows off Jonghyun as a musician and a performer. The jazzy remix of his solo debut track complements perfectly his smooth and agile voice as well as his musicality. It is the tiny details of this performance — the charming ad libs and the little salute at the end — that make it so distinctively him. Although the stage is pretty much bare save for the back-up dancers, this doesn’t stop him from dancing and performing his heart out — he truly shines here as our Bling Bling Jonghyun.