I meant to start recaps last Friday, but I decided to wait until the shows became just that much more interesting, courtesy of EXO-K and upcoming comebacks from 4Minute and SISTAR.
EXO-K - "MAMA"
Where to start, where to start. Oho, this is gonna be fun. :D I've expressed my dislike for EXO, and while I'm not going to defend myself for it, this "performance" just solidifies the fact that I don't like them. First of all, the purpose of a live performance as a measure of talent and skill is based around the concept that live performances are live. That you only have one chance to perform a song from start to finish, and regardless of whatever mistakes you make, what's done is done. Making mistakes doesn't make you untalented, it makes you human. But trying to hide those mistakes makes people suspicious. If I wanted to watch a perfect performance with studio vocals and no mistakes, I'd watch the music video. Better cinematography, better quality, no screaming fans so I can listen to the song in peace. This performance was pre-recorded, repeated more than five times, and lip-synched. Let's end it at that. Second, if they keep this up, this bad habit of lip-synching, it's yet another strike on their stage deportment. The SBS Gayo Daejun was a big, fat, strike one -- being disrespectful to their seniors, and the audience -- and this is another one. Okay, fine, DBSK, Super Junior, SNSD, SHINee and f(x) have all done it at certain points of their careers, and some of them continue to, but EXO have a lot to prove. Just for the record, DBSK did not lip-synch their debut performance, and anyone who thinks that way should go learn their history. They're also debuting in a time where technology is incredibly sophisticated and broadcast stations readily have the needed equipment to handle live performances. Although SBS isn't the best out of the three, the other acts on today show that they're perfectly capable of handling live performances. EXO have so much hype to live up to, and continuing to lip-synch and pre-record their way out of things will turn a lot of people off. Me included.
BTOB - "Insane"
I've heard a lot about BTOB, but like a few of the other acts on today, I've never seen them perform. Bad "Love In the Ice" cover aside (whichever of the members were singing it), BTOB are okay. They're not amazing or anything, but the song makes them sound like decent live singers, and it's catchy in certain parts. I'm not impressed, but I'm not turned off either.
NU'EST - "FACE"
I watched one of NU'EST's earlier performances a few weeks ago, and to say it was painful would be an understatement, so I stopped following them altogether. But I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised to see that they've greatly improved! I thought they were forever doomed as the male AS in every sense of the word, including live performances, but I see I was wrong. The vocals are still rough around the edges, but they sound, and look, much more comfortable on stage. I'll be keeping my eye on these guys.
Spica - "Painkiller"
I have actually never heard any Spica material, nor have I seen any performances, but this was pretty good! Strong vocals over-all, okay material, and actual stage presence! This is what I've been saying about being comfortable on stage -- it shows when you not only know what you're doing, but when you're sincere about it as well. That and pink hair and black pants girls can really sing!
B1A4 - "BABY I'M SORRY"
I wasn't really impressed with the recording of this, but I actually enjoyed today's performance! It's good to know that B1A4 have abandoned that horrid excuse for a song they were promoting last year, and have moved on to much better things. It's not the best song, or the best performance, but it's catchy, it works, and it's ever so slightly effortless. We're making progress, B1A4! Progress!
Nine Muses - "Ticket"
So I see we're still not very decent live singers, Nine Muses. The performance itself was okay, the song is on the bland side of being okay, and there's nothing really outstanding or interesting about anything.
CN Blue - "Hey You"
It was an okay performance, and the song is very CN Blue, but above all, it's good to know that someone finally put the drummer close to the rest of the band. Took you guys long enough!
Big Bang - "Bad Boy" + "Fantastic Baby"
Everyone had better be taking notes during Big Bang's performance, or else! They sounded a bit strained today, and as usual, someone turned their backing track way too high, but even if you're just watching the YouTube video you can really see and feel the performance. It's effortless but precise, it's fun when it's supposed to be, but it's not out of control.
SHINee - "Sherlock"(WINNER)
I don't know if it's just me, but something about this performance is off. Sure, everything was done almost perfectly, and there's no doubt that SHINee have become amazing performers, but it's as if the intensity of the vocals didn't match the intensity of the rest of the performance. It's not the technicals, because the notes were pretty much all there, it's not the emotion either because everyone sang with conviction, and it's obviously not in the volume because if that was the case I could've just turned it up. The levels didn't match this time around, I'm afraid.