The final episode of MUST Era of The Band was anti-climatic to say the least. Because of some controversy surrounding finalist band Galaxy Express it was broadcast a week late and had been cut half an hour short. This happened at a time when our commentary panel was quite busy, so only Youngmi and Xtian aka drowningn00b could join me in sharing their opinions. Watch the episode yourself through Mnet’s free VOD service.
In the last episode of Era Of The Band, we get to see Daybreak and Romantic Punch battle it out for the final price. The theme of the final stage is “Jump! Indie”.
Anna: Wow, so they just cut all mention of Galaxy Express? Not even a half-hearted excuse as to why they’re not on the show, even though there’s obviously three bands standing on stage? Not that I can blame Mnet for the circumstances (although I would’ve very much have liked to find out what would be the consequences had they let GE be shown on TV in spite of the recent drug scandal) but with 1 week’s delay I had hoped they’d show more imagination. Though I suppose we should be happy to get to see anything at all.
Youngmi: Release Galaxy Express! This means nothing to me without a video of their performance :(
Xtian: This is such terrible timing for GE. I know drugs are illegal, and if the rumors of what he was doing with those drugs are true, this case is more detrimental to GE than it is for Mnet. That said, EVERYONE KNOWS! All of the Korean rock scene, both artists and fans alike, knew of the arrest as it was happening, so Mnet can’t claim ignorance on the matter. It’s a sad day when a major media outlet won’t acknowledge a legit social concern like drug use, but can punish other acts for petty concerns like mid-riffs. At least bring another random band back to give us the full hour! Pull some random Top Band bullshit, or something. Anyway, I’m glad its down to Daybreak and Romantic Punch, two of my favorites this season. Let’s do this!
Daybreak – “하드코어 인생아” (Okdal cover)
Anna: Nice! I didn’t realize what the theme would mean at first, but covers of songs from other indie bands? I would’ve loved to see this sooner! Lovely stage setting for Daybreak with all the reed. This careful Daybreak is another thing I would’ve loved to see sooner. Are they like this on album too and I just didn’t find out sooner because of my bias against them? Nothing groundbreaking, but I really appreciate it all. The nice and calm bit is very pleasant, and once they get to the actual rock part of the arrangement it’s so good I think I might actually have to go see these guys live when the opportunity arises.
Xtian: Wow. I loved that cover. Like Anna, the beginning was nice, but my mind kept drifting, worrying it was going to be that calm throughout. Then the rock part struck and it paid off. Blown away. And that rising keyboard bit before that? Genius!
Romantic Punch – “일탈” (Jaurim cover)
Anna: Yes! Romantic Punch covering early Jaurim? This has to be good! Opening with “Romanza” is a sure way to get on my good side, as cliché as it may be. Look at the audience! Absolutely loving what they see! To be perfectly honest I’m not really a fan of this song and I suspect that’s why I can’t get into this as much as I had hoped, even though Bae In Hyuk is his fun and energetic self.
Xtian: I never thought of this, but it makes perfect sense for Romantic Punch to cover Jaurim. Both have similar traits in performances and are led by crazy good vocalists. But I can’t believe how fantastic that performance was! How can you not like this, Anna? Goose bumps all over and jaw to the floor the entire time. Of course he’s wearing a boa head piece! Why the hell wouldn’t he! Gosh, I love them. LOVE THEM, I TELL YOU!!
Daybreak – “범퍼카”
Anna: Like their song from the semi-final this is another Daybreak song I’ve heard way too much, but strangely enough I’m enjoying this as well! Is it age? Or why do I suddenly find myself getting into the kind of music I usually shun? The performance on stage is nothing special, but they’re doing it really well
Xtian: Those fangirls in the beginning covering their mouths with the scarves are so dramatic.
Clearly a crowd favorite because it took me a second to find it. It was fun, but clearly RP trump DB on stage. As fun as it was, that guy cannot keep my attention.
Romantic Punch – “토요일 밤이 좋아”
Anna: This is such a classic Romantic Punch song! They’re connecting well with the audience, as usual, but somehow it doesn’t seem like this went as well over as the Jaurim cover earlier? Or perhaps it’s just a projection of my own feelings as I find myself disconnected before the song has come to an end. Perhaps this is an example of a song I’ve heard way too much and instead grown tired of.
Xtian: You know what you are, Anna? Jaded. That is such a good song and it worked for what they wanted. Man, can he jump any more throughout this episode? Rock gods right there, man! m/
Special Stage: “손에 손잡고” (Koreana cover)
Anna: Look how sweet! Mnet has put together a special Hand In Hand Band, with Okdal, Nine and Park Sol singing + Jeon Ji Han & Locomotive from Peterpan Complex, Goonam’s Lim Byunghak and session drummer, and Pia’s Hullang playing the instruments. The song has been done far too many times and it sounds like Peterpan Complex recycled the arrangement from Top Band 2, but regardless it’s always nice to see members from different bands work together like this.
Xtian: That was cute. Not enough energy for my tastes, but not bad.
Anna: That looks like one fun after party! So this was it? No winner named for TV purposes? I guess this confirms the rumors of Galaxy Express winning it all. Too bad we couldn’t see what they did this time. Judging just from what we’ve seen of Daybreak and Romatic Punch, my vote would’ve been for Daybreak this time.
Youngmi: Galaxy Express winning the whole series just put Mnet in such a horrible position with the editing. Needless to say, they didn’t even get their cash prize (or those stupid cameras they promoted every single episode!) for winning first place. So stupid. At least give them that!
Anna: I’ll have to say this was a thoroughly enjoyable series! I hope to see Mnet produce more shows with a similar format and should probably go back to start watching all the non-competition programs on indie bands they’ve produced in the past. It’s a pity it came to end the way it did, but it was great while it lasted and even made a few new k-indie fans out of my k-pop friends.
Youngmi: Despite the controversy that hurt the program in the end I never saw a program that put so much effort into displaying Korean indie bands (the right way) as this one. A big round of applause to the staff who worked hard to give the bands justice and make a show as honest as possible. It was all about the music which I appreciated most in the end.
Xtian: Loved it! Such a fun and invigorating show. Totally looking forward to season 2, despite no clear winner for this season.