Top Band 2 Episode 5: 300 Seconds Sliding Part 1

Continuing where we left off yesterday, the commentary of episode 5 of Top Band 2 is now ready for the second half of the show. KBS offers VOD to anyone with a KBS account if you want to watch the full episode.

In addition to myself the Top Band 2 commentary panel consists of Lightinthemind of Korean rock is real, Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle, Ranya of K-Underground Sweden and Xtian aka drowningn00b.


Halfway through episode 5 the Triple Tournaments that made up the second stage of Top Band 2 wrapped up and clips hinting on what is to come in stage three are shown. An audience of 2000 has been invited to a venue in Incheon for the occasion, filmed early April, and some fans get to state their biases on camera.

Anna: I wonder if it’s just the editing or if most people that got there really only knew of the big name bands. Unfortunately it is likely the latter. I’m happy and disheartened at the same time, seeing that fan scream over Daybreak… One thing I’ve had to realize from this commentary series is that the world of k-indie fandom has changed a lot just over the last couple of years. I’ve seen fans of some bands we’ve criticized take it all with ease, simply acknowledging that people have different opinions and instead being happy that ‘their’ band is getting some attention — and that made me so proud to be a k-indie fan. Other fans of bands we were much kinder to instead couldn’t see any rationality behind the opinions we were putting forth and retaliated in a style similar to what has turned me away from the comment sections of k-pop sites. Even so, discussion is always appreciated and that was a much needed reality check for me. And of course it’s great to see that people are really engaged in their fandom. Keep the comments coming!

Dahee: The screaming Daybreak fangirl really annoyed me. But I admit that this is probably because I don’t like Daybreak, and therefore cannot understand her frenzy. Maybe if she were screaming over Kim Kyung Ho, I would nod sagely and think that she has excellent taste in men. As for nasty comments…I like to think that the trolls who hiss whenever their favourite bands/idols are criticized are, in actuality, eleven-year-olds who are procrastinating from their math homework. That, or they are ACTUAL trolls who crawl out from under bridges every once in a while to flail wildly at computers. That would be kind of cool, actually…


For stage 3 KBS have brought back the rotating stages with 5 minutes play time from last year’s second stage audition. The first mission is also somewhat similar to that of the first season with bands having to cover one 90’s hit song from a selection of 148 k-pop songs total. The jury panel with 20 members is back too. The four main judges all have 100 points each at their disposal, the 20 members of the jury each have 20 points.

Anna: I love covers and I’m so easily excited by 90’s k-pop! This is bound to be awesome!

Dahee: Apparently all 148 songs are ones that hit number one on the music charts in the 90’s. Isn’t that a little…restrictive? I mean, that’s gotta be a lot of dance and ballads…Well, if the bands are creative enough, we should see some interesting results. Off-topic: Why does Shin Dae Chul’s hair look kind of purple in that one interview? O_o


Jury Members


Song Hong Seob (producer)
Seo Jeong Min (The Hankyoreh journalist)
Kim Ko Geum Pyeong (Munhwa Ilbo journalist)
Kang Myung Seok (10Asia journalist)
Han Hyung Kyung (professor of applied music)
Kim Dae Hyun (Infinity Music president)
Lee Hyun Suk (music critic)
Phil Yoon (vocal trainer)
Lee Seung Hwan (composer)
Seo Jeong Min Gap (music critic)
Ahn Gi Taek (producer)
Sung Shi Kwon (music critic)
Ki Myung San (Seokyo Music Labels Association president)
Sung Woo Jin (music critic)
Seo Byung Ki (The Herald economy journalist)
Won Yong Min (Oi Music Magazine editor)
Choi Gonne (Gonne Band)
Lee Keun Sang (composer)
Ryou Ho Seok (Swimmin’ Fish)
Joyumn (Gate Flowers)

Anna: The jury offers a few surprises. I’m fairly certain I saw Gonne Band among the bands that didn’t make the video auditions, but Gonne has been invited to the panel anyway. And I know for sure that Swimmin’ Fish auditioned but didn’t make it, so to see leader Ryou Ho Seok there was an even bigger surprise. Maybe they’re hoping to be able to pull a Monni next year? I can’t help but wonder how the panel was picked.

Dahee: I was surprised by some names on the panel too. What was the reasoning behind these choices…?

Lightinthemind: I can understand journalists being there since the mass media has always been the 4th power. But musicians? Wouldn’t they be biased a lot since almost all of them know each other?


Monni: “비창” (Lee Sang Woo cover)

Anna: Monni seem awfully popular with the audience. But since when is Monni a five member band? This started out as a show for bands with their permanent members. Inviting other musicians to play with them might make for a better performance, but doesn’t really show what the band itself is capable of. That said Monni are offering a nice enough cover and I can hear why they’d want a keyboard to support them.

Dahee: That was a pretty performance, if, as You Young Suk said, a little dull and ordinary. It was very…Monni of them. Are they showing their limitations already?

Lightinthemind: I think they showed the performance that fans were waiting for. Nothing bad to say about that, but nothing to be extremly excited about either. And take a look at how they were coming to the stage! So confident as if everything is in their hands. But I’m happy that other bands finally made them worried.




Shin Dae Chul: 85
You Young Suk: 88
Kim Kyung Ho: 90
Kim Do Kyun: 85
Sub-total: 348
Jury: 270
Total: 618

Anna: I had thought they’d get more, but from the other bands it seems like a pretty good score from the main judges.

Dahee: Pretty high score, I’d say. They played well, but other than that, did they do anything creative enough to prove that they really deserve it?


YaYa: “보고 싶은 얼굴” (Min Hae Kyung cover)


Anna: YaYa start by using half a minute for soundcheck. Judging by the original YaYa should be able to make a very good performance out of this. They’re keeping it easier on the ears than they did last time, but still manage to keep their tango number a bit interesting. I still want more from them though. And a bit of harmony on top wouldn’t hurt.

Dahee: At first I was like, “Huh? This is YaYa? Are they trying to be more mainstream?”. And then they went with the familiar screechiness at the end again, and I didn’t know what to think. The smile on Kim Kyung Ho’s face is interesting, and I wish they’d shown his commentary, considering that his score was somewhat low. Shin Dae Chul says they’re going to become stars.

Lightinthemind: Still YaYa are doing great! I like the pick of the cover and that tango dance. But I suppose that they were too nervous because of the scene that You Young Suk caused while judging them earlier. And that played against them.

Anna: Aya even confessed to being a You Young Suk and White fan. I feel for them.




Shin Dae Chul: 89
You Young Suk: 84
Kim Kyung Ho: 82
Kim Do Kyun: 80
Sub-total: 335
Jury: 236
Total: 571

Anna: I thought for sure the jusywould value them higher than this, but perhaps they’re reacting to the same discordance I’m picking up from YaYa.

Dahee: The jury’s scores are lower than I expected. Are their tastes too skewed towards mainstream music? Is this fair, I wonder?

Lightinthemind: I’m so happy You Young Suk didn’t give them low marks, but what’s with Kim Do Kyun?


Super Kidd: “” (Lee Jung Hyun cover)


Anna: This is fun! I really like this song in original and the way Super Kidd has taken it on is both fun and a bit goofy without disrupting the good melody. You Young Suk looks very entertained. This actually feels like a very good, updated version of the song. Super Kidd have already exceeded my expectations in this competition.

Dahee: I was actually a bit of an Lee Jung Hyun fan back in the day, and I remember dancing to this song when it was popular. So I found SuperKidd’s remake at first rather safe and a little boring, considering that Lee Jung Hyun herself is so wacky and out there. And then suddenly they went into that transition with that scream and became something I could appreciate more. It didn’t really feel like SuperKidd, though…which might be why I liked it, haha.

Anna: Actually that’s what I thought too. It didn’t really feel like Super Kidd. But then it reminded me of the Super Kidd I used to like many years ago and I liked their performance even more.

Lightinthemind: I think they did the thing each band should do with covers. To remain themselves but to still seek for the feelings of the original and transforming it according to today. That’s why I am staying a fan of them in this competition.




Shin Dae Chul: ?
You Young Suk: ?
Kim Kyung Ho: 95
Kim Do Kyun: ?
Sub-total: 364
Jury: 310
Total: 674

Anna: I wish they’d shown what score the other judges gave as well. If nothing else for the fun of having a point of reference. Nevertheless a well deserved score.

Dahee: Haha, Kim Kyung Ho is so shyly cute as he says that he’s going to give them a high score. But yeah, they deserved it.

Lightinthemind: As I already shared my thoughts…. I was extremly happy when they jumped over Monni!!!


Black Bag & Javo Island

Anna: We could see from the scoreboard after YaYa had played that both Black Bag and Javo Island had already played as well. I remember last year they showed these sliding performances in a somewhat different order than they had been recorded and I really hope that’s what’s happening here so we won’t be missing out on even more performances. Neither band is listed among the Top 49 on the official site yet either, so there is still hope. Looks like Black Bag did really well though, raking in a total of 610 points. Javo Island with their 572 points were just barely spared the bottom placement by YaYa.

Dahee: Whyyyyy? I wanna see how Black Bag did! I feel like I’ve been cockblocked.

Lightinthemind: *Still….Sit still not to say anything about the editors* Ok…after a deep breath I think that to show the results of bands without their performance is unfair. Hope we receive what we want.

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