Top 5 Best Live Vocals of K-pop – Mara’s Choice

So last week, Von shared his top 5 vocals for live performances in K-pop and I have to say I hands down agree with all his choices. But of course that is expected because we typically share our K-pop song discoveries almost everyday – I introduced him to IU and he introduced me to Gaho and this scenario keeps on repeating almost everyday!


I laughed at how he struggled cutting down his list down to 5 but now that it’s my turn, I have to admit it’s a piece of work! With my K-pop playlist getting longer everyday, I had to travel down the memory lane to screen the live performances that I really love the most.


Finally, here you go…


1. All for You by Seo In-guk and Jung Eun-ji

Top 1 for me is the very first song I saved to my offline Youtube videos. I’m not even kidding you. It’s literally the very first one. I just had to save it because, unfortunately, their version of this song isn’t on Spotify. It’s none other than Seo In-guk and Jung Eun-ji’s “All for you” performance on Mnet in 2015. This is an OST for their drama together, Reply 1997, but I was too late to only discover it in 2018 after watching the drama. I am one of those people who did not know that Seo In-guk was a singer before he was an actor so the surprise from seeing him sing so powerfully with all these belting and huskiness in his voice added to my excitement. Jung Eun-ji’s voice is similarly powerful but with a hint of idol-cuteness. How their voice clearly blended in this song was just, uh-mazing!



2. Only One for Me by BTOB

When it comes to live vocal performance of male K-pop idols, it will always be BTOB for me. Not only do they have the most beautiful vocals (for me) in K-pop but the fact that they always sing live (most of the time even without ear-pieces) made choosing very hard for me. Amongst all their live performances on and off stage, their tipsy live for their song “Only One for Me” that they did for Pikicast in 2018 was my most favorite. They did this after their drunk live performance of “Missing You” received so much love. I read that they actually had a can of beer before this performance to “literally” get tipsy. I expected no less of BTOB to sing this excellently (and crazily for that matter) but if not for Yook Sungjae covering his mouth in the middle of the song, one might assume it wasn’t live as it sounded perfectly like the recorded version. It looked like they were only having fun but, whoa, their vocals are just perfectly on point!




3. Re-bye, How People Move medley by AKMU (Akdong Musician)

Third on my list is also an old performance. It’s the 2016 performance of AKMU (who were then called Akdong Musician) for the show Run to You. This was 2 years after their debut but we can see how young they still are in this video. This is the very video that brought me to them. With Su-hyun’s crystal clear voice and Chanhyuk’s charming voice so stable in this very playful performance, who would not learn to love them after even just this one video? There are many more live performances from AKMU as of today. They have grown and improved a lot over the years, but for me, this is a different level.




4. Dear, my Dear by Seo Eun-kwang

Back to BTOB for my fourth entry to the list. This time it is their main vocal and  leader-nim Seo Eunkwang’s performance for his solo song “Dear, my Dear” for Dingo. Sorry to my first love, Lee Changsub, but my tears fell the first time I saw this video so it’s my pick! It’s a pretty positive song expressing overwhelming love and sincere gratitude but this very performance really moved me. I felt how he was helplessly in love. It was said that this song was dedicated to Melodies in gratitude for waiting for him. His vocal was so smooth and controlled like a perfectly traced drawing in this performance. His perfect synergy with the pianist also made the performance even more emotional. I can only imagine Melodies ugly-crying for this performance. 😂




5. Aloha by Henry Lau and Lee Su-hyun

The cutest entry in my list for the 5th rank is Henry Lau and AKMU’s Lee Su-hyun’s performance of the song “Aloha” for their show Begin Again. This duo is always my favorite from this team as their voices are always so good together. But out of all their awesome live duets on the show, this is my top favorite. I can’t help but go “delulu” on this one that I totally ship them despite the age gap. 🤣 Even Jung Seung-wan felt  like it was one heart-tickling performance. However, vocal wise, there really is nothing to explain why this performance and these singers are on this list. Just click play on the video below and I’m certain you’ll nod your head yes! 




So there goes my top 5! After this will be a very serious (🙈) brainstorming with Von for our consolidated top 5.


What do you say? Share with us your top 5 live vocals in K-pop in the comments below!


Featured photo from Cube Entertainment.


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HanaDulSes is a blog created by cousins Von and Mara who share the same enthusiasm to the Korean Popular Culture. This blog centers in three things: Korean Skincare, Korean Popular Music and Korean Drama. Thus, the name: hana, dul, ses! With the Korean wave being at the peak of cultural blending, we aim to provide a rookie guide to people who love similar Korean contents as we do.

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