Sunday, November 24, 2013

Miko's Favorite MAMA Performances

KPop fans around the world have been looking forward to this end of the year event where actors, actresses, groups, and musical artists from various parts of the world come together to recognize the achievements and popularity in one venue outside South Korea. Or something like that. Fortunately, this posts isn't focusing on the awards, but rewinding to the past. I started watching the MAMAs in 2010 with little to near nonexistent care of happenings of the show. It was something new to experience and compare to other shows I've watched in my lifetime. Somehow I've been roped into watching it year after year.

After watching the MAMAs for 4 years, have I grown to care about the happenings of the show? Eh...I guess. I could expand on that thought a little more, but I'll save it for later. Just a heads up, I probably won't be doing a v-log about this year's...and I'll explain my reasonings for it later as well. For now, I wanted to share my favorite live performances from the past 3 years at MAMA.

Big Bang's Tae yang, T.O.P, and G-Dragon Triple Threat (2010)
Songs: Tae yang - Break It Down & I Need a Girl, T.O.P - Turn It Up, G-Dragon - INTRO of GD&T.O.P Vol. 1, GD&T.O.P - Knock Out, Hallelujah

Few may know my struggles with Big Bang, but back then I was a full on supporter of them. I know many would disagree, but it felt like around that time Big Bang, at least broken apart, was on a hot streak. What I enjoyed about this performance was that it highlighted the best of each member and showcased their individual strengths, then brought them together gradually to a powerful performance with one of my favorite songs, "Hallelujah".

Wonders Girls (2010)
Songs: So Hot, 2 Different Tears, Nobody

I remember being so shocked once this deep, sensual remix of "So Hot" kicked in, while the girls were hanging from the ceiling. My jaw dropped and I was engaged that they took a song that's been played so much and took it to a new level. The thing I love about this performance was how strong and confidently they performed in those heels together to "2 Different Tears". I was really impressed with their synchronization and vocals as they danced.

2NE1's Break myself (2011)
Songs: Lonely, I Am the Best

2NE1 was really hot that year and I didn't think it was possible for them to step their game up so much since they debut. Even though "Lonely" isn't one of my favorites, the song was performed beautifully and the box effects really complimented the tone of the song. The transition to "I Am the Best" wasn't too abrupt either and brought the energy way up. Honestly, I think this is one of their best performances.

B2ST feat. Lang Lang & Trouble Maker (2011)
Songs: Lang Lang - Moonlight Sonata, B2ST feat. Lang Lang - Fiction (Orchestra ver. & regular ver.)

I know a lot of people were anticipating the big reveal of Trouble Maker and we got it. A nice brief taste. Why did I like this performance? Well, Lang Lang's piano work was beautiful and added to the dramatics of the overall performance. I was so happy to hear an orchestra version of one of my favorite B2ST's songs being performed live. It wasn't overdone or anything. I was very pleased and they even gave those who enjoy the original version a moment to see that awesome foot work. Also, I want to add that Trouble Maker surprisingly didn't take away from the experience. A perfect sample of what was to come in the future, at that time.

Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre - Legendary Hip-Hop Stage (2011)
Songs: Snoop Dogg - Drop It Like It's Hot, Next Episode

I was really shocked to see this on MAMAs at all, since it isn't Asian and potential language, but I guess they're used to self censoring themselves for TV. Anyway, it has to be obvious why this is a favorite. Nostalgia! Plus it has been forever since the two collaborated on stage together and they brought a lot of energy and excitement to the stage. It was great seeing the Korean artists wilding out to it.

Koda Kumi - MUSE (2011)
Songs: Ai no Uta, V.I.P, Bling Bling Bling

The inspiration for this post lies within revisiting this live. I really, really like Koda Kumi and I was happy to have some diversity on the show amidst all the kpop artists. Koda Kumi looked absolutely beautiful and performed her heart out with "Ai no Uta". Reasons this is on my list is quite obvious: Koda Kumi completely slays your favorites! I was a little nervous with her performance of "V.I.P", but in my opinion, I thought she was quite tame, despite the risque outfit choice. Her music choices I think helped mix up the vibe of her performance from keeping it too mature.

Ga-in's Lady Mamalady (2012)
Song: Bloom

How do you follow up a sexy Japanese female artist? A sexy Korean female artist. I'm sure Ga-in got some flack for her music video for "Bloom" and probably her sexually charged live performance, but you have to admit that it was memorable. She looked beautiful, sounded amazing, and the movement was very smooth. I really liked the transitions and the manly accessories.

Epik High feat. Lee Hi - HATE Mental Hospital (2012)
Songs: It's Cold feat. Lee Hi, Don't Hate Me

I will admit that I'm still not completely satisfied with this label move, but this was probably the best performance last year. Essentially, I really like "It's Cold", but I felt like Lee Hi was not ready for the big stage. She has time to make up for that and it wasn't unbearable. The transition though from seeing Tablo and Mithra on screens to being on stage in full Batman villain gear was a shocker. I loved the chaos and energy. It looked like they had a lot of fun, but I wish they didn't experience so many technical difficulties though.

Adam Lambert (2012)
Songs: Whataya Want From Me, Trespassing

Adam Lambert is an artist that can simply command a small stage with himself and a band. He has such a powerful voice that you can't ignore it and he just gives his all when he delivers his lyrics. Although this performance may be forgettable compared to the big production, gimmicky kpop acts, I still think it's worth looking back on for its shear simplicity and strength.

Block B - Red Carpet (2012)
Song: Nillili Mambo

Even though this wasn't on the main stage during the actual show, I was happy to see them performing at all, especially to such an awesome song. I expressed in the v-log that I really love their costumes to point that I want to imitate them some day. Anyway, I will acknowledge that they are not the best of dancers and they know that too, but I believe this performance played to their strengths. There's minimal group choreography and it gives each member a moment in the spotlight with the back-up dancers. They really owned that red carpet stage with confidence and I hope they get another opportunity to perform for the MAMA audience again.

Big Bang's Monster in Me (2012)
Songs: Crayon, Fantastic Baby

Start with Big Bang, end with Big Bang I guess. haha This was a rough year between myself and them, but they surprised me in a good way. They took a song I wasn't particularly fond of and spun it into something creative to bring the members together. It was great seeing the individual sides of each member as they performed G-Dragon's "Crayon", color coded and all. Despite the technical flubs (and lyric mess up), I thought this was the best part of their performance. Because of the circumstances of their schedule, I was able to forgive their performance of "Fantastic Baby" since it was a great closer with tons of energy and visual appeal.

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