Top Band 3: Final

KBS2’s band survival show Top Band 3 launched early October 2015. A total of 11 episodes were broadcast until the winner was crown. Indieful ROK’s Top Band 3 commentary series fell a bit behind, but here is finally what myself and Kevin had to say about episode 11, broadcast December 11. If you want to watch the show yourself all episodes can be streamed from the official site


For the final Kim Jong Seo, has been invited as a special judge alongside the coaches. Just like the semi-final, the Top Band 3 Final is broadcast live on a Friday evening with TV audience directly influencing the results by contributing votes at 100 won each. There will be 2 rounds with the judges casting votes for each. The total score is calculated as follows:

Total score from judges (max 800p) + 1200 * number of viewer votes for the band / total number of viewer votes


What A Circus – Proud Mary (CCR cover)

Anna: Continuing down the rock road. The performance is typical What A Circus fun style to watch, but I’m not really into the arrangement. Then I was never much into the song itself, having disliked it from a very young age (from my dad’s record collection, it was the Creedence albums I could never get into). Maybe this is actually pretty good, but personally I like this even less than What A Circus’ previous funk performances.

Kevin: Honestly, not a big fan of this song. It’s interesting that they’ve been experimenting with rock sounds lately, but they probably should have picked a different song to cover. It gets pretty tiresome near the end, especially with that unoriginal saxophone melody. I’m not sure if I prefer the funk performances over this, but it had potential. A lackluster way to start the episode off, I’ll say that.


Asian Chairshot – 타박네야 (folk song)

Anna: I’m not familiar with this song from before, but I like how solemnly they approach it. And I love the guitar when they make it heavier for a while. Great arrangement, showing another new side to Asian Chairshot. I don’t know what more to say, really.

Kevin: The singing is a strong element as usual – emotional and great vibrato. Last episode’s performance had a more raw, screaming type of approach, and while there’s still that element of rawness prevalent here, it shows a different side to them which we normally wouldn’t get to hear. Most of the song relies on dark, moody atmosphere, but later there’s the wall of guitar noises which brings a different type of dynamic vibe to the song.


Judge Scores, Round 1

What A Circus Asian Chairshot
Yoon Il Sang 96 95
Kim Jong Seo 97 98
Shin Dae Chul 95 97
Rose Motel 96 95
Total 384 385

Anna: The judges were all really into What A Circus and Kim Jong Seo proves to be the most generous judge. I take it they’re all more accepting of CCR songs than I am. Happy that they were equally generous towards Asian Chairshot, though I wonder if their performance was as well received with the TV audience.

Kevin: Both bands seem to have relatively large support from the public, so it’ll be interesting to see what the results will be. Kim Jong Seo and Shin Dae Chul favoring Asian Chairshot is no surprise, and neither is Rose Motel favoring What A Circus. It all falls into their personal styles. On that note, it’s great to see Kim Jong Seo here, he’s one of my favorite artists.


PIA – Storm Is Coming

Anna: The winners of Top Band 2! Though I’ll have to admit that aside from being very excited about the news of PIA re-recording 3rd Phase I haven’t paid them all that much attention since. Glad to hear them doing something heavier again. Maybe I should check out their 6th album to see if there’s more where this came from.

Kevin: I have to say, the intro drumming sounded pretty bad. I don’t know why, but it felt like he missed a few beats and the overall beat came out sounding compressed for some reason. Thankfully, the song picks up with the guitars and vocals, including powerful screams, which were great.


Asian Chairshot – 반지하제왕

Anna: Oh yes! I was saying before that Asian Chairshot had already performed their strongest songs on this show, but with that I kind of ignored that the band’s entire first EP is all awesomeness. This is very Asian Chairshot and sure to be extremely awesome to everybody at that venue. Not sure how well this transfers to people hearing the song for the first time at home in the sofa, however. Regardless, I’m loving it.

Kevin: Glad to hear more of that doom influence in the guitar riffs. I like how they played them pointed straight up in the air. This is headbang material right here, especially with those breakdowns, though the calmer parts were also quite pretty. Funny to see those old ladies in the crowd enjoying the performance. I hope Asian Chairshot will gain more fans after this is all over, regardless if they win or not.


What A Circus – 젊으니까 괜찮아

Anna: Now this is more like the What A Circus shown in earlier Top Band 3 episodes. Charming and easily digestible. Towards the end of it, however, I’m already feeling like I’ve heard the song too many times even though it’s my first time listening.

Kevin: It’s funny how Asian Chairshot and What A Circus are basically polar opposites of each other. One is dark and aggressive, while the other is bright and happy. As for this performance, it’s somewhat lacking in energy, but it makes up for it in charm. Very positive and uplifting, the crowd seems to be loving it.


Judge Scores, Round 2

What A Circus Asian Chairshot
Yoon Il Sang 94 100
Kim Jong Seo 93 95
Shin Dae Chul 95 100
Rose Motel 98 96
Total 380 391

Anna: Look at that! 100 points from both Shin Dae Chul and Yoon Il Sang! I did not see that coming from Yoon Il Sang, but am so happy.

Kevin: If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time a perfect score has been given, at least during this season. I could be wrong, but either way, it’s quite an impressive feat. Happy to see it’s going well for them.


Sinawe – 희망가

Anna: It’s always so interesting to me to see Sinawe for the first time in a while, because I never know who will be in the band. Besides Shin Dae Chul himself, of course. Glad to see that Kim Bada is still there for the vocals. It appears Shin Dae Chul has recruited bassist Kim Jeong Wook from his brother’s band, Seoul Electric Band. Seems like it’s P.O.W’s Nam Gung Suk behind the keyboard. And that should be AFA’s Park Yeong Jin behind the drums. Sounds about as awesome as one would expect.

Kevin: It’s interesting how we’ve come to know Shin Dae Chul has a judge throughout this season, so to see him on stage during the last episode feels fresh and somewhat humorous. While I highly enjoyed this performance, it’s still a shame that Sinawe left their heavy metal roots in favor of alternative rock. On that note, we also have Kim Jong Seo present who was a former member of the band before starting his solo career. A great final performance for this season. So much energy from the crowd!



What A Circus Asian Chairshot
Judges    764    776
TV Audience    572 (48%)    628 (52%)
Total   1336   1404


Anna: Yes!!!! Even though I was a month late in watching this episode, I’ve managed to keep away from spoilers so had absolutely no clue who would win. For that reason I had sort of expected it to be What A Circus, but yay! Asian Chairshot!! So super happy for them! Congratulations to the 100 million won!

Kevin: Though I’ve also managed to avoid spoilers, this comes as no surprise. I’ve said it time and time again, but they truly deserve it. From day one, besides already being a fan, I had a really good feeling they would do well. So seeing them win just proves me right. God, I’m so proud of them. This was a great season, and overall, it’s been a pleasure to be part of this.

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