Top Band 3: Quarter-Final

KBS2’s band survival show Top Band 3 finished a month ago, but here at Indieful ROK we’re still not done with our Top Band 3 commentary series. Last week we found out which 2 more bands would be included in the Top 8 for this season. This week Kevin and myself have watched episodes 8-9, broadcast November 21st and 28th respectively, to find who made it to the Top 4. If you want to watch the show yourself all episodes can be streamed from the official site

For the Top Band 3 quarter-final, the bands that made the Top 8 will be facing each other in 1:1 tournaments. In the end only 4 of the bands will remain. The Mission: Song for One Person. The coaches together with 200 people in the audience will vote for the winner of each round.


Round 1: Streetguns vs. Apnea
Round 2: Lunafly vs. Band So
Round 3: A’Z bus vs. Asian Chairshot
Round 4: Oriental Showcus vs. What A Circus

Anna: Oh no! Either A’Z bus or Asian Chairshot will end up eliminated right away! I had wanted to see Streetguns, Apnea, A’Z bus and Asian Chairshot all move on to the semi-final, but already half of them are guaranteed to be out. On the other hand, half of them are guaranteed to move on so there’s always that.


Round 1: Streetguns vs. Apnea


Streetguns – 꽃이 져서야 봄인 줄 알았네

Streetguns dedicate the song to Tiger’s niece Bae Kyung Jin.

Anna: It was nice and all getting a thorough introduction to her, but I would’ve preferred some more focus on Streetguns seeing as this is a competition to promote the bands. I’m liking the song a lot more than I had expected. Fun and light with a good melody. And Streetguns are entertaining as always to watch.

Kevin: The niece does seem nice, but there should be more focus on the bands themselves. Nonetheless, it was a great performance. A bit lacking in energy, but still highly enjoyable. The screaming at the beginning was silly though. Judging from the reactions alone, I could tell Rose Motel would give the highest score.


Rose Motel: 93
Shin Dae Chul: 90
Yoon Il Sang: 90


Apnea – Teardrop (Massive Attack cover)

Apnea dedicate the song to Kim Eui Myung’s girlfriend, designer Kim Cha Eun

Anna: Seems Kim Chae Eun is responsible for Ryu Hye Jin’s stage fashion and also helps the band out with makeup. Yes! I love this song! Though unfortunately the Apnea version comes out kind of flat to me. The vocals aren’t coming through properly and it sounds like either something is missing from the arrangement or the mixing is bad. I appreciate the dancers though. Looking at this I can’t help but feel a bit sad for Apnea. This could’ve been so beautiful. Epic, even.

Kevin: Yes, this definitely had high potential. The keyboard brings in a very cool atmosphere while the guitar makes it all the more epic. However, the vocals don’t leave much of an impression once again. I would prefer to hear them cover korean songs, honestly. They didn’t really do this song justice which is a shame.


Rose Motel: 90
Shin Dae Chul: 92
Yoon Il Sang: 89



Streetguns Apnea
Coaches 273 271
Audience 101 90
Total 374 361

Anna: Even before the performances, this was the expected outcome. Too bad for Apnea, but they seemed to take the loss well.


Round 2: Lunafly vs. Band So


Lunafly – Yesterday (Beatles cover) + 일어나 (Kim Kwang Seok cover)

Lunafly dedicate the song to Yun’s mother

Anna: This doesn’t sound bad at all, though I had expected them to sing an original song. The transition between the two songs is a bit weird though. Yoon Il Sang looks very happy regardless. As Yun try to engage the audience in some singalong it again becomes clear that either something isn’t going all the well in the studio or the sound mix for TV hasn’t been set up properly

Kevin: It’s nice to see Yun is still close with his mother. Being a K-pop idol usually leads to not being able to see your family as often. I would have liked to hear more of the Beatles cover. It sounded quite nice, actually. Very relaxing. The transition between songs could have been done much better though. I quite enjoyed the guitar solo in “일어나” along with the powerful singing.


Rose Motel: 91
Shin Dae Chul: 90
Yoon Il Sang: 93


Band So – Wild Flower

Band So dedicate the song to Deulgukhwa

Anna: I appreciate that for the first time this episode we get to see more of a band put in focus. Even though Band So is really more about So Eun Joo, each band member also gets a chance to account for his relation to Deulgukhwa amidst some typical Jeju-do sceneries. It’s great we get to hear another original song from Band So. I actually like them a lot more like this than when doing the 60’s, 70’s covers. Considering that this performance was in honor of Deulgukhwa, it also seems suitable with the change to Deulgukhwa’s own “그것만이 내 세상” towards the end. Great job!

Kevin: It’s great to hear more original songs, though I also enjoyed some of Band So’s covers. Their introduction video is my favorite so far, especially when they’re playing guitar on a beach. I’m all for such beautiful landscapes, not to mention bringing more focus to the actual band members. Fitting song choice, but the vocals here felt a bit unbalanced at times. It was a straight-forward performance and they did well, but it wasn’t impressing me.


Rose Motel: 89
Shin Dae Chul: 90
Yoon Il Sang: 91



Lunafly Band So
Coaches 274 270
Audience 122 125
Total 396 395

Anna: I totally thought Band So would win this! Yoon Il Sang and his bias… Rating the band on his own entertainment company higher than any other. Though the judges have overall been a lot more generous with their scores than I had expected. Now I’m also wondering how the audience scores are working. If 200 people are voting, then shouldn’t the total audience score be 200 at the most–assuming they have to pick sides? Or is it rather that they get to vote whether they like the band or not when performing, but then Streetguns not getting more than 101 points doesn’t make sense. I’m confused.

Kevin: I actually preferred Lunafly’s performance overall, but Yoon Il Sang’s biased attitude still feels annoying. Doesn’t surprise me though, as I’m sure the judges have more appreciation for those covers. I honestly have no idea how the voting is supposed to work.


Round 3: A’Z bus vs. Asian Chairshot


A’Z bus – 어떤이의 꿈 (Bom Yeo-reum Gaeul Kyeo-ul cover)

A’Z bus dedicate the song to vocalist 우주

Anna: Interesting choice to dedicate the song to a band member, though I did enjoy the snapshot of 우주’s everyday life. Also interesting to cover a song that was already covered by another band during the competition. Although as much as I like A’Z bus, this really isn’t doing it for me. Only towards the end do I hear the A’Z bus that I expected. Awesome, but somewhat too late.

Kevin: Seeing 우주’s everyday life was not only fun, but it’s a way for people to both relate more to her and put into perspective that artists usually have regular jobs. I’d imagine it being hard to live off your musical career unless you’re very successful. Nonetheless, she seems to have pretty good relations with her colleagues. This was absolutely my cup of tea. The vocals were spot on – very harsh yet emotional. I love this raw energy they bring in. It was also nice seeing the crowd sing along.


Rose Motel: 91
Shin Dae Chul: 90
Yoon Il Sang: 92


Asian Chairshot – 탈춤

아·체극장: 운수 참 좋은 날

Anna: What happened to all of Hwang Young Won’s beautiful hair?! The Asian Chairshot short drama preceding the performance was entertaining, but I couldn’t get who they dedicated the song to. Taxi drivers? Finally! My favorite from Asian Chairshot! A most captivating performance of a fantastic and versatile song. I wish the TV audience could get to see more of the video displayed on the megatrons. This was stunning. Haha, apparently Hwang Young Won’s mom wanted to see more of his face, that’s why he cut the page.

Kevin: I’ll admit upfront – this performance gave me chills. Absolutely stunning, that’s the best way to describe this. Simply beautiful, these guys are still blowing my mind with their energy and instrumentation. It’s like if you were to take the best elements of A’Z bus and improve upon it, making it even more crazy. There’s no doubt they’re gonna get the most votes. They deserve to win.


Rose Motel: 91
Shin Dae Chul: 95
Yoon Il Sang: 93



A’Z bus Asian Chairshot
Coaches 273 279
Audience 124 123
Total 397 402

Anna: Scores are getting higher and higher. Yay for Asian Chairshot! Pity to see A’Z bus go, especially as the audience preferred them, but at least they got their name out there. Glad to see such high scores from the judges for


Round 4: Oriental Showcus vs. What A Circus


Oriental Showcus – 을의 연애 (IU cover)

Oriental Showcus dedicate the song to vocalist Kim Ja Young

Anna: Now this was interesting! The band reenacts the search for a vocalist and how they knew Kim Ja Young was the one. Since I’m not really into the kind of music that Oriental Showcus make, Kim Ja Young is what anyway makes me like them so I’d say they made a great choice. Not really into this particular song either, but I guess it was enjoyable enough. Shin Dae Chul seems to be a fan, complimenting them on their 1930’s Harlem style arrangement and chromatic harmonica solo.

Kevin: Thankfully I haven’t listened to the original in a while so I don’t have that instinct to compare the two versions and just judge the performance in itself. Overall, I quite enjoyed it. The harmonica solo was especially a nice touch. Though I didn’t care much for the megaphone singing, though I bet it would have sounded better in a studio version. Otherwise, it’s the usual Oriental Showcus affair – lots of colorful energy and layers of instruments which all fit together nicely. I have high hopes for them so far.


Rose Motel: 92
Shin Dae Chul: 93
Yoon Il Sang: 93


What A Circus – Oh Happy (Country Kko Kko cover)

What A Circus dedicate the song to drummer Kim Jae Kwang’s daughters and saxophonist Cho Jae Sin’s son and daughter.

Anna: Nice choice of song to cover! Fun song, fun performance. Hideous jackets. This is the most I’ve liked any performance from What A Circus so far. Not bad at all!

Kevin: Aw, their daughters are so cute. This was really catchy, it even had me snapping my fingers. Very groovy and funky, those words immediately came to mind during the drum solo. Gotta love that 70’s psychedelic rock-esque keyboard sound. Even though the saxophone is supposed to be an important part of their music, it usually comes off as silly in a bad way, and that holds true once again. Either they should try to find a better saxophone player, write songs that utilize it in a better way or just drop the saxophone all together. The latter would make a drastic difference though, so I don’t know how that would work out. It’s a shame that I keep having that issue with them.


Rose Motel: 94
Shin Dae Chul: 93
Yoon Il Sang: 91



Oriental Showcus What A Circus
Coaches 278 278
Audience 113 144
Total 391 422

Anna: I did not see this coming. I do know other people tend to like this kind of music more than I do, but 422 points? That’s an awful lot. But then What A Circus did actually manage to appeal also to me this time. Well deserved then, I suppose.

Kevin: Even I have to agree, What a Circus winning by such a large margin is inconceivable. To be fair, they both did great in general, but it’s a shame to see Oriental Showcus lose.


Quarter Final Results

Streetguns, Lunafly, Asian Chairshot and Streetguns made the Top 4 of Top Band 3.

Total ScoreCoaches ScoreAudience Score
Band So395270125
A'Z bus397273124
Asian Chairshot402279123
Oriental Showcus391278113
What A Circus422278144

Anna: I’m so happy Asian Chairshot made it. That was the most important thing for me when this part of the competition started. If the top 4 had been selected based on score rather than having the 1:1 setup, we would’ve seen A’Z bus instead of Streetguns in the semifinal.

Kevin: The crowd really seemed to like What A Circus, it seems. I wonder what their main demographic is. Anyway, I’m glad to see Asian Chairshot so high up. It would be amazing to see them win this season.

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