It’s a day early, but since episode 8 of KBS show Top Band 2 sort of had two parts that’s the way we’ve portioned our opinions this time. KBS offers VOD to anyone with a KBS account if you want to watch the full episode. Daum does not allow video embeds, but if you follow the links below you’ll get to see the full versions of all performances, including the one that wasn’t shown on TV.
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. Today we’re gathering our thoughts on the third stage of the competition.
After 49 bands were selected for further competition in Top Band 2 through Triple Tournaments, the final 30 that move on to the next stage are almost settled. During this stage the bands get 300 seconds to perform while the four judges together with a jury of 20 decide who will qualify by issuing points, more details in the first post on the sliding stages. Only four bands remain to play when this episode begins.
Romantic Punch: “애모” (Kim Soo Hee cover)
Anna: I love this song, but can’t help but find it an odd pick for Romantic Punch. The beginning is quite weak, and even when it finally takes off they’re not bringing their core strengths. It’s far from bad, but I had expected much more from them.
Dahee: I’m not impressed. I agree with You Young Suk and Kim Kyung Ho that they brought their own flavour to it, but I wonder whether that flavour didn’t overwhelm the strengths of the original song and made them sound kind of…annoying. And as usual, I have problems with the vocalist. I keep wanting them to win me over, but it just isn’t happening, I guess. On a side note, I loled when the members of Rose Motel told the vocalist that if he takes off his shades, he can join their band. Now I really want to see what he looks like without the sunglasses.
Lightinthemind: Without sunglasses he is like a university student)) So I don’t think he will suit Rose Motel’s image. If talking about the song, overall I find it a bit… complicated to go smoothly and encourage the audience. As if they combined all of their strengths at once but forgot the part about heart. For example I find the long solo of the vocalist nothing but useless in this part. BUT! If I’d be at Green Plugged while listening to that song I’d really enjoy it.
Shin Dae Chul: 90
You Young Suk: 90
Kim Kyung Ho: 96
Kim Do Kyun: 88
Anna: I’m surprised the jury didn’t give them more, but maybe this is more of a girl’s band.
Dahee: I’m confused by Kim Kyung Ho giving them the highest score he’s given any band so far, but maybe it can be explained by the fact that he’s normally a fan of theirs. (Er, he is, right?)
Lightinthemind: The lowest score from Kim Do Kyun and no explanation. Very low score from jury and again no explanation. On these occasions I just have a want to write to the PD or whoever and ask for an official statement.
Black Bag Eliminated
Anna: I did not see this coming. Obviously they didn’t have the score to stay, but out of the actual rookies on this season of Top Band I had them down as the band that would be most successful without the show. I’m sure we’ll get to see more of them elsewhere eventually.
Dahee: This is so sad. There are so few rookies left now…This makes me grumpy.
VenEZ: “마지막 승부” (Kim Min Kyo cover)
Anna: There’s something about VenEZ that doesn’t sit right with me, but even so I can’t ignore that this is a good performance. Considering how late it must be and how many hours they’ve spent just waiting at that venue they’re offering very good showmanship and manage well to spread some energy around what little is left of the audience. You Young Suk compares the vocalist to Ronny James Dio.
Dahee: Agreed, this was good. The best we’ve seen from them so far. The vocalist sounds much better here than he did during the Triple Tournament. Kim Kyung Ho looks really impressed.
Lightinthemind: I’m not impressed at all. I can’t get rid of the feeling that they don’t belong to these times and they can’t win over the modern audience, especially with those young hipsters and lovers of twee pop flooding over in almost every country nowadays. They just need to do smth to step to the side of straightforward rock otherwise they’ll be forgotten after several years of being active. Sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings, but as judges and producers our rock legends should see much more further than now.
Shin Dae Chul: 85
You Young Suk: 90
Kim Kyung Ho: 96
Kim Do Kyun: 93
Anna: A very good score for a no-name band, putting them at position 10 when only a few bands are left to play.
Dahee: Good for them. I have no real objections to this. (Although, again, I wonder at Shin Dae Chul’s score, and wish they’d shown his commentary…)
Lightinthemind: I feel with Shin Dae Chul here, my lovely ajusshi.
The United93 Eliminated
Anna: It’s a shame to see them go, but at least they got some air time and with that possibly a few new fans. They’re still young and shouldn’t give up hope yet.
Dahee: These eliminations are seriously so depressing…
Lightinthemind: I’m really sorry for United93, but I wish we could hear from them more often since the show.
The Koxx: “Dreams Come True” (S.E.S cover)
Anna: The Koxx find out that Vanilla Unity have been eliminated before it’s their time to get up on stage and seem to worry a bit. Miles better than what they showed in the audition earlier. This is more like The Koxx that I know. I would’ve liked to see them play out the refrain a bit differently, but overall I think they’d done well with the arrangement and the performance. I wonder if Shin Dae Chul thinks they’ve done well enough.
Dahee: I don’t think this is awful, but I’m not particularly taken with it, either. There were some moments in it that made me frown a little, and there were some moments that I thought were pretty good. Overall, this band still isn’t for me.
Lightinthemind: Erm. Khm. What to say? It is the band I know. The arrangement I know. But they could really have done better than this. What’s with the refrain? What’s with the sometimes low voice and synth? But with the guitar and electronics and the voice of HyunSong it places the song as part of their repertoire.
Shin Dae Chul: 90
You Young Suk: 89
Kim Kyung Ho: 85
Kim Do Kyun: 93
Anna: The jury apparently likes The Koxx even more than Daybreak. I’m not sure they really deserve a score this high from that performance, especially considering how well other bands have played, but they are no doubt one of the top bands in Korea and I suppose the score reflects that more than anything.
Dahee: Once again we see a decided division of opinion between the judges. Shin Dae Chul says they’re a band who can become renowned on an international level, which I feel is kind of an overly dramatic thing to say. (But by now we know that Shin tends to lean towards Ze Drama.) I’m agreeing with Kim Kyung Ho’s score the most amongst the judges (and no, it’s not because I’m a fangirl, I promise). This performance just did not wow me, and I really don’t think they deserve such a high score. I really want to sit down with this jury and get a look inside their heads…
Lightinthemind: Definitely the score is based on their popularity more than on their performance. But we all know where the roots are to all of this…
Frida Kahlo Eliminated
Anna: They had it coming. A great band, but the style they choose to show is not something they can expect to gain a lot of new fans with today. I hope this doesn’t discourage them and that we’ll get to see a new Frida Kahlo album eventually, one where they instead of showing what they used to be make the same kind of adaptations to their music as they did to make their third album matter in spite of a long hiatus. Mark Choi walks with them.
Dahee: This breaks my heart. Siiiiiiigh.
Gogoboys: “미안 미안해” (Tae Jin Ah cover)
Anna: I’ve been keeping some statistics while watching, but in the end things didn’t add up. Studying the list of names closely, there was no mention whatsoever of Gogoboys! They must’ve played some time after Jung Band without getting a high enough score to make it into the top 30. And here I’ve been happy that the editing finally improved with the seventh episode…
Dahee: I’ve been waiting and waiting for Gogoboys’ performance, but in the end they didn’t even get a brief mention. Even Javo Island got a mention! What is this injustice, this blatant disrespect??
Anna: Unlike Javo Island, at least Gogoboys’ performance has been made available online. I think they’re doing a good job being themselves even with the cover, but in all honesty it wasn’t all that exciting. They can do better than this.
Dahee: Why would the show choose to at least mention Javo Island during the episodes, but then not make their performance available online…and then not mention Gogoboys AT ALL during the episodes, and make THEIR performance available online?? The lack of logic here boggles my mind. Ahem. ANYWAY. The arrangement is cute and very them, but I agree that it wasn’t very exciting. I expect more energy from them than this. But maybe they were just really tired…?
Lightinthemind: Dear editors, please throw away your diplomas. You can’t do THAT bad with the program for TV when a lot of people are watching. Gogoboys did a good job but not as impressive as they could. Anyway I liked the cover and I liked their slow start and faster refrains. So I’d be happy to watch the reaction of the judges and audience to their song.
300 Seconds Sliding Total Results
Bands Qualified for 4th Stage
|5||Wiretap in My Ear||675||363||312|
|21||Au Revoir Michelle||637|
|25||Harry Big Button||621||336||285|
|28||Crimson Butterfly Ensemble||618|
Lightinthemind: I saw only now that Monni are at the bottom of the list. Isn’t it quite strange for a band of such popularity? Or maybe it is a good trigger for them to do smth outrageous or just step into another field to show their abilities?
As for the first 10 places I saw bands really worth being there and some strange decisions which I can’t appreciate. My number ones in the ‘freak-list’: Yery Band and Achtung. Why throw away many good bands and leave this sort of… sorry, I can’t even find the words to define them.
Dahee: Notice that some of the really popular bands have stayed mostly thanks to the biased judging. But I’m most confused about Coreyah being on this list.
Anna: There are many things about this ranking that I find very interesting. One being, as pointed out by Lightinthemind, the low ranking of Monni. Another being the sort of big names that aren’t on it. Still, considering how many good bands were introduced by the first season of Top Band I find it disappointing that only there are but five names in the top 30 that I’d never heard of prior to this show, illustrating just how poorly this season has managed in presenting new talent. But the most refreshing part of this list is seeing Rose Motel at the very top. Whether they come out as the Top Band of this competition or not, they’re the biggest winners of the show this year.
|Remnants of the Fallen||569|
|Vanilla Unity||? (<604)|
Anna: Bands where we didn’t get to see the scores of the judges and jury are overrepresented here. I wonder if that pattern will be repeated later on? There are several of these bands I would’ve loved to see more of. Most, actually. But I’m feeling particularly sad about missing out on more of Unside and AshGray in this competition.
Dahee: Almost all of my favourites in this competition have been eliminated now. *sadly strokes “Unside jjang!” banner* The only rookie band that really has a chance to get far in this show now is Rose Motel. And while I love them, this entire situation makes me really, really grumpy. HMPH.
Lightinthemind: I’m so sorry for AshGray, YaYa and Vanilla Unity…