As mentioned last week, I’ve recently begun following KBS Top Band (탑밴드), a “band survival” show where amateur bands compete against each other for a shot at 100 million won and an LG 3D home theater system for all band members. With so much music even without subtitles it’s a fun and interesting watch, especially if you’re already familiar with some of the bands and other faces turning up on screen. Of course it is also good opportunity to get to know some new bands, which is why I’ll be writing about it here.
All episodes can be streamed through the official site if you have a KBS account (foreigners can sign up too, but be prepared to verify your real name with a passport scan or similar). The first episode aired on June 4 and can be found here: Top Band First Broadcast – ultra session players you have never seen anywhere
The very first episode was designed to draw viewers attention and kick off the show rather than focusing on auditions. N.EX.T guitarist Kim Se Hwang, jazz drummer Nam Goong Yon, bassist Song Hong Sub (of legendary Love and Peace), and fusion jazz keyboardist Chung Won Young all got to show off a bit before a band consisting of some of the show’s judges and coaches, namely Cherry Filter, Spring Summer Winter Fall, Shin Dae Chul, G.Fla vocalist Jung In, You Young Suk (of Blue Sky fame), and my own favorite guitarist Lee Hyun Suk, performing Shin Joong Hyun’s 미인.
After some audition highlights two new bands were introduced for a competitive moment. There was the voice actor band On Air, with Lee Sun (who does the voice for Pororo) as vocalist versus a band called Soriana where all members were announcers for KBS. On Air recieved coaching from Jaurim guitarist Lee Sun Kyu before performing Magic Carpet Ride. Soriana were instead coached by Kim Se Hwang before performing 그대에게.
Before the show was over, Kim Jong Seo and Park Wan Kyu sung Queen’s We Will Rock You and Don’t Stop Me Know together.
Apologies for the non existing commentary on this episode – there’ll be a lot more to say when there’s actually something happening in later episodes.