After going to Pentaport Rock Festival in episode 14, KBS2 survival show Top Band 2 continued with the remaining Top 8 Pentaport performances in episode 14, aired on September 1st. 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 click the song titles below the full performances are available for viewing.
In addition to myself the Top Band 2 commentary panel consists of Lightinthemind of Korean rock is real, Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle, Sangha of strangeseasons and Fabien of Kimchi Popcorn, Ranya of K-Underground Sweden and Xtian aka drowningn00b. This week offered a few surprises both in performances and the end result.
Song Hong Seob (producer)
*Lee Jae Shin (composer)
Kim Dae Hyun (Infinity Music president)
Phil Yoon (professor of applied music at Korea Nazarene University)
Han Hyung Kyung (professor of applied music at Kyung Hee University)
*Ahn Soo Hyun (professor of applied music at Korea Art College)
Lee Hyun Suk (music critic)
*Lim Hee Yoon (Donga Ilbo journalist)
Seo Jeong Min (The Hankyoreh journalist)
Ki Myung Shin (Seokyo Music Labels Association president)
Lee Seung Hwan (composer)
Ahn Gi Taek (producer)
Seo Jeong Min Gap (music critic)
Kang Myung Seok (10Asia journalist)
Sung Shi Kwon (music critic)
Seo Byung Ki (The Herald economy journalist)
Seo Woo Jin (music critic)
Lee Keun Sang (composer)
*Shin Kyu Seob (session drummer)
Kim Ko Geum Pyeong (Munhwa Ilbo journalist)
Anna: I wonder why they didn’t think of doing this already for the last episode. I doubt anyone outside the Top Band 2 production team would be able to know just from the name and photos who those jury members are. Since the presentation of the jury for the sliding stages Phil Yoon has changed titles, and either I couldn’t read properly then or a couple of the jury members have had the spelling of their names upgraded.
Lightinthemind: Finally I am joining the commentary series and ahead of this post I want to say that I can’t watch Pentaport mission with calm heart, since I was there for the next two days after Top Band stage and totally know and feel like I am still there. So please forgive me for any nostalgic notes in comments.
Fabien: I think you had an excellent reason for missing the last episodes, Lightinthemind! About the panel of jury, it’s quite varied and balanced.
Dahee: I’m totally going to be paying attention to who gives what kind of score, and end up comparing all of them in the end. Because I’m nerdy like that.
Anna: I did that… Wanna see my spreadsheet?
Chung Won Young Talks Peterpan Complex
Anna: So the coach of last year’s Top Band winners come out in support of Peterpan Complex. But wait, Jeon Ji Han used to be a student of his? Suddenly this little segment is much more interesting!
Dahee: He talks about how Jeon Ji Han stood out from the students even back then, and how he showed so much charisma on stage even in front of just fellow students. Loving this background info!
Anna: And Locomotive is pregnant? Congratulations!
Dahee: Apparently she found out after they applied for Top Band. Yes, congrats to her! How much longer is the show running for? Hopefully her pregnancy won’t cause any problems during the live shows. This is, of course, assuming that Peterpan Complex makes it to the live shows.
Fabien: As a drummer it must not be an easy deal to perform while being pregnant. Congrats and good luck for the following months.
“손에 손잡고” (Koreana cover)
Anna: If it hadn’t been Peterpan Complex I would’ve thought this a very ill advised song pick, but judging from all we’ve gotten to see of Jeon Ji Han throughout this show it should be a perfect match. I love how he has the audience singing along after only doing a small part on his own, but unfortunately I’m not as amazed as I’ve become accustomed to whenever Peterpan Complex takes on the stage. Until Locomotive starts singing, that is! Did she ever do that in a Peterpan Complex arrangement before?
Lightinthemind: I always thought that Peterpan Complex can do almost any song in their own way, so it wasn’t quite a surprising pick but I was a bit unimpressed with the beginning. As if Jeon Ji Han was trying to play with audience, not a good thing just starting singing. Anyway afterwards they turned to what we expect from Peterpan Complex until that balloon (which at first seemed to me more like fallos) and Locomotive singing. That is really matching Jeon Ji Han’s voice! Finishing on the high note with vocalist almost running the stage – everything seemed like they were pretty sure in the result (though not telling this loudly)
Sangha: I’m really digging the electro aspect and I love the overall arrangement, but Jeon Ji Han is too all over the place. He didn’t sound his strongest either. But ah, Locomotive! And the balloon thing is really cute.
Dahee: This isn’t my favourite Peterpan Complex performance or arrangement, but it’s still a good one overall, and I enjoyed the little touches like Jeon Ji Han grasping his hands to emphasize the lyrics. I liked how it started, and I was a little bored in the middle, but then as soon as Locomotive started singing I got into it again. It ended very strong.
Fabien: When I heard the bit from the original song I wondered why they would pick such a terrible song. It reminded me some of that popular folk music called Schlager and gave me an urge to puke. But hopefully Peterpan Complex could manage to make it listenable and, even more, enjoyable. I also felt the sing-along part was too soon, but had I been in the crowd I’m sure I would have been in the mood and all crying of happiness. I really like the electro arrangement and the Locomotive’s part is a perfect example of how autotune can be perfectly used.
Jury Score: 156
Anna: Actually a bit higher than I had expected, but I can imagine being there for that performance would’ve made all the parts I thought dull or cliché instead become magic festival moments where everybody just loves each other.
Lightinthemind: Singing together near that big stage with all the lights and magic sky of Korea with great music and perfect mood gives the results.
Sangha: This is way higher than I expected!
Dahee: I…wasn’t expecting this score, either. I wonder what the jury liked so much about it? Maybe they’re bigger softies than we give them credit for.
Fabien: Maybe for once the jury was also singing and waving with everyone else? We can also expect a very high score from the audience. Yay, my favorite will probably go on to the next stage!
Interview & Backstage
Anna: I never imagined Monni to be nervous for a performance like this! It’s actually kinda cute. Also sweet of Kim Kyung Ho to offer some last minute coaching. And I never realized just how tall their drummer is before. So funny when that Top Band staff member walks up behind them during the interview, only to realize that he’s on camera and runs off to the side.
Lightinthemind: Oh, sweetie Kim Kyung Ho. Really like a true coach supporting his team to the last minute before the start. And that faces of band! Why they were so nervous almost like praying and deeply breathing before going to the audience? Maybe smth wasn’t prepared in good quality?
Dahee: I wanna give Kim Kyung Ho a big hug. And aww at their nervousness.
“어쩌다 마주친 그대” (Songolmae cover)
Anna: I’m very underwhelmed right now. It’s not at all bad, but after their Gayo Stage mission I had expected them to bring more of my favorite Monni also to this performance. With this song they should’ve been able to do it throughout, but it’s only really towards the end that I’m feeling any real energy.
Lightinthemind: Sorry, but is this really Monni? The song after their cover still smells trot and not very fresh. And those strange jumps. Where is his cool image?
Sangha: They all look so good, wow. Kim Sini is going full out as usual and he sounds awesome. I like how they tried to something different from the original song, but it only ended up making this performance more underwhelming. And Im In Kyung, as much as I love her, just cannot fully pull of this song. The bassline is so important in this song, and I feel like she’s not completely there yet to really pull it off.
Dahee: They certainly could’ve used more energy, but I actually like the arrangement overall. It would’ve been better if they’d switched things up and experimented some more, but I get that they were trying to keep the song’s charms intact. (And, er, I say this as a complete Songolmae fan, so I’m obviously biased…)
Fabien: This sounds to me like an average performance from the season 2 of I Am A Singer. No, this is not a compliment. Actually to be fair, every part is well done, but I just don’t feel anything special for this performance. I cannot get into this beat without feeling bored after a minute. Not my cup of tea, sorry.
Jury Score: 129
Anna: Maybe they could’ve gotten a few points more, but it’s a pretty fair score.
Dahee: I think it’s a tad lower than they deserved, but I certainly understand why they got it. They should try to learn some of their coach’s stage mannerisms.
Fabien: I would have expected this score from the audience. From the jury it seems a bit lower than deserved.
Lee Seung Hwan Talks Pia
Anna: A popular name that one. At first I thought he was the Lee Seung Hwan in the jury, but double checking just now it seems the jury member is just some random composer. I like that he provides a context to show photos of the Pia members of kids..
Dahee: Awww, what cute kids they were! Interesting to read what they wanted to be when they grew up back then.
“기타로 오토바이를 타자” (Sanullim cover)
Anna: Yes! Another heavy arrangement from Pia! But I’m not a fan of the forced hard rock intro. Surprisingly enough it’s when the synth joins that I find this arrangement the most interesting — when it comes to Pia it’s usually the other way around for me. And the part where it’s more synth than rock focus is fantastic! Even Shin Dae Chul that looked so disengaged earlier is smiling now. And more heavy stuff! Wow, Pia!
Sangha: I’m loving this a bit too much! Love the synth sounds, and Ok Yohan sounds really good, and Hyeseung is just phenomenal on the drums! Such a great performance.
Lightinthemind: That is that Pia I love! The mix of different styles in one song brings awesome impression. But at first I was quite disappointed with the song pick, cause recently I heard so many covers of it (even in Top Band maybe?) Anyway, Yohan is showing all his skills and might of voice. The synth is added and this brings me to heaven. But in the ending there was a bit too much of a brit-rock way similar to The Koxx, if not for that I’d be really jumping with joy.
Dahee: I was a little bored at first with that repetitive opening, but yes, when that synth kicked in, I got very excited. Give us more of this, please, Pia! Lol at MC Jeon Hyun Moo’s look of awe during the performance.
Fabien: Overall a good performance the first half getting boring and uninspired. But the second half is exactly what they needed to bring at this stage of the competition. The voice still sounds to me a bit weak, but that electro sound was perfect to go along.
Jury Score: 141
Anna: They get a thumbs up from Shin Dae Chul and a good score from the jury. Nice job!
Lightinthemind: I feel like they deserve more… Really, why such a low score? The jury members are fans of ballads?
Dahee: It’s definitely a good score. Good for them.
Fabien: Yes, still a good score. I don’t feel like they would have deserved more.
Yoon Jong Shin Talks Achtung
Anna: I was wondering who they’d persuaded to talk about Achtung. Maybe they do have a future outside of Top Band! Definitely the dark horse of this competition, although to me it’s seemed more like luck than anything else so far.
Anna: Had no idea the Achtung members were this accomplished! And those soundtrack songs were actually very nice.
Dahee: Yeah, amazing how much work they do outside of the band. I’m really enjoying all of these factoids on these bands.
“한동안 뜸했었지” (Love & Peace cover)
Anna: I was gonna compliment them on a song pick and arrangement that really flatter Achtung’s style with the acoustic guitar, but then they ramp up the bass and drums and it’s more of that Achtung I still can’t wrap my head around. I’m finding this extremely difficult to listen to.
Sangha: I just can’t get enough of the bass. Ahn Byung Chul is just a beast on that bass! They all sound really good, and I really like the arrangement. A very polished performance. And I love the energy, and the crowd seems to be really into it!
Lightinthemind: Please leave me that guy on the bass and drums and put somewhere else the vocals. I got interested in their try to step more to composition but in the complex it is not the result for my ears.
Dahee: I really like this! I was super impressed by the arrangement, and I keep getting the impression that they’re improving with each performance. I’m definitely starting to warm up to them now. That bass was on fire!! And even the vocalist’s voice is growing on me. The power of a strong arrangement…
Fabien: Is Kim Kyung Ho such an excellent coach or did they improve so amazingly by themselves? I can definitely listen to this. There is still that voice that is no better than my old cat when I annoy her, but still. The arrangement is one of the finest among the eight bands and they stick to their folk rock sound, which is a change from the other bands. Also, as they’re the last to represent the bands undiscovered before Top Band, maybe i should be more indulgent to them.
Jury Score: 169
Anna: What? 169 points!? That’s the highest score of the competition! When we saw the 9 and then were shown the surprised faces of the audience I was expecting the second number also to be a 9, or maybe even an 8 and then have the first number turn out to be 0, but I was severely mistaken. It’s really touching to see just how happy they are about it though. Even Kim Kyung Ho looks like he’s about to cry! Five 10s and seven 9s. The jury really loved this.
Sangha: Wow! I can already see some of you in this discussion shaking your heads in disbelief (Achtung was never really popular among this panel, haha) but ah, this is kind of great! They were really impressive this time around, and the crowd absolutely adored them. This was way higher than I expected, but it was still one of the best performances this round.
Lightinthemind: And I am the person who dislikes Achtung as much as it is possible. I see now they are gaining popularity. (Seeing girls surrounding vocalist after the concert and presenting him gifts I really feel like there is something wrong in this world). Anyway, this score is above my expectations and raises strong puzzlement. What is in this band? What is it I can’t see? Ah, and why is the vocalist crying so much during the show?
Dahee: WOW! Great score! What a shocking turn of events! The band that none of the other bands even considered to be a competitor turned out to get the highest score! I love stories like this. And AWWW at the crying. Apparently Achtung really suffered a lot while preparing, especially since no one expected them to do well, thus the tears. Good for them!
Fabien: I like more the unexpected turn of events than the actual score. I can’t understand why they get so much but this brings doubt to all the other bands. Achtung are the true outsiders of this competition.
Special Stage I: Gate Flowers with Shin Dae Chul – “Ghost” + “잘자라”
Anna: Gate Flowers have done really well for themselves since the first season of Top Band, but then they were the most successful band of the bunch before entering the competition to begin with so they probably would’ve managed fine anyway. Although sharing a stage with Shin Dae Chul is probably something they would’ve had to fought long and hard for if he hadn’t already been their coach. This sounds a lot better than anything of theirs I can recall from last year!
Dahee: Aww, why such a short clip in the broadcast? I wanted to see more of the performance!
Lightinthemind: I am really impressed with Shin Dae Chul holding performances with Gate Flowers (yes, it isn’t for the first time) I think this shows his affection towards his bands he is coaching. Really a good example of mentor. But I don’t see the progress of Gate Flowers and that is disappointing.
Fabien: Is something wrong with me if I expect to see Shin Dae Chul performing next year with Coreyah ? :-P
Romantic Punch vs. Monni
Anna: When Monni found out that they moved on I started worrying for Romantic Punch, but then I saw what a low score they got from the audience. That’s kinda embarrassing, actually. I’m happy Romantic Punch got a higher score, but had expected the audience to give them much more.
Sangha: I’m happy to see both bands move up but I really want to see Monni step up their game….
Lightinthemind: Glad for both bands!
Dahee: YAY for both bands moving on! That’s a pretty good score for Romantic Punch.
Fabien: I don’t really care about Monni but I’m really glad for Romantic Punch.
Peterpan Complex vs. Achtung
Anna: The two top scoring bands, according to the jury, put up against each other. Of course both will have to move on. Although this episode has left me feeling more affectionate towards Achtung than ever before, I can’t get over the idea that the high audience score in part was caused by the sing-along part. With that in mind I’m even more surprised that Peterpan Complex didn’t score higher.
Dahee: Achtung totally deserves to move on, and I’m SO happy that Peterpan Complex made it, too.
Lightinthemind: In the end they are facing each other. With all those strange judging opinions with putting aside so many rookie bands finally we have the result for which Top Band should have been created. I mean high potential band vs. established one. And despite my dislike I am proud for the rookies who managed that.
Fabien: I agree with Lightinthemind. Now all the bands seem to have equal chance and none of them is privileged for having a name. And I am especially happy for Peterpan Complex. Seriously, three months ago I would never imagine them going so far.
Super Kidd vs. Transfixion
Anna: Just one of the bands eliminated? After those performances I had expected both to go. And these are two bands that faced each other already during the triple tournaments! This time it’s up to the music fans and Super Kidd come out with nearly twice as many audience votes as Transfixion. Although I wasn’t a fan of their performance myself, I still think 68 points is too harsh. And now that the preferences of the audience have been established it’s almost too obvious which of the remaining two bands will be eliminated.
Sangha: Oh no, Transfixion. They haven’t been so hot on this show and their arrangements always seemed lacklustre, but it’s still so sad to see them go. And oh my god, Kim Do Kyun, please! The band look really uncomfortable when he says that it doesn’t matter if they get eliminated or not.
Dahee: Haha, yeah, Kim Do Kyun could definitely have phrased that better. Ouch on the audience score for Transfixion. How embarrassing…Can’t say it’s surprising, though.
Lightinthemind: And I thought that Transfixion have more audience love. Maybe that almost on the edge cutiness of Her Check played it’s role?
Fabien: While I usually like Transfixion, to be fair, I think it was the weaker performance of the bunch. Kim Do Kyun is harsh but right, they still got far and shouldn’t keep any regret.
Rose Motel vs. Pia
Anna: A surprisingly low audience score for Rose Motel, but as expected they moved on anyway. I suppose this also explains why Pia could be seen on Immortal Song 2 same day as this episode aired. But wait? Pia made it too!! For some reason Shin Dae Chul doesn’t look very excited about the outcome though.
Sangha: My heart sank when Rose Motel made it, but then Pia passed too and I wasn’t so sad anymore! Surprisingly low overall scores for both, though, considering how popular both bands are.
Dahee: I was SO worried for either band being eliminated, and was super relieved when it turned out that they got identical scores. Ouch on the audience scores, though. They’re even harsher than the jury!
Lightinthemind: Hey, people! What’s up with you? I saw sooo many of you the next day cheering for Pia and a big crowd standing under heavy rain but enjoying Rose Motel the day after! What was the problem with voting? Those scores are not fair!
Fabien: Surprisingly low, that’s right. But in the end their rank feels right. I still don’t understand why there is only one band eliminated, but I like the outcome. Before the start of this round I couldn’t make my mind on four bands that deserved to leave. I’m glad in the end to see almost all of them again next week.
Kim Do Kyun’s Last Words to Transfixion
Sangha: And here is Transfixion looking very uncomfortable…
Dahee: Haha, Kim Do Kyun’s dispensing wisdom, but I don’t think they’re ready for wisdom just yet…
Next Week’s Preview
Sangha: It seems like they will bring back one eliminated band for the next round. Wiretap In My Ear, HarryBigButton, Nemesis, Yery Band, Number One Korean and Transfixion will compete for the last spot. I’m wondering why they’ve decided to do this, though? I’m happy that HarryBigButton and Number One Korean might have another chance at getting further in the competition, but this is just way too close to the final rounds to be bringing back eliminated contestants. We just spent two weeks on the top 8, and now we go back to top 8 instead of the top 6. What a mess.
Dahee: Yes, I’m very confused about this as well, and am annoyed that they handpicked just a few of the more popular bands to bring back. It hardly seems fair, even though I’ll certainly be happy to see them again.
Fabien: Exactly. I can understand for Wiretap as they got eliminated in the round before, but why bring some of the too many bands eliminated before? Too many of them would have deserved to come back. And this strategy just looks like a blatant way to extent the show.
Special Stage II: Baekdoosan – “주연배우”
Anna: Yay for Kim Do Kyun! Still, every time I see Baekdoosan on TV nowadays it seems they only play their newer songs which to me are far less interesting than their old stuff.
Dahee: Yes, finally we get to see Kim Do Kyun play on this show! Er, isn’t this song an older one of theirs? From their second album? I could be totally wrong about this…