Music Bank, April 22nd, 2011: “Rising Sun” – DBSK

Breathed a huge sigh of relief when this performance aired and I didn’t see Cassies at each others throats a la SMTown ’10, when HoMin performed that DBSK oldies medley. Not necessarily because I hate fanwars (because fans annoy me to death in any situation), but because it’s a sign that the two parties – HoMin and JYJ – have finally separated for good and are on their way to creating their own identities as two different groups.

I still think it’s pretty unfair for HoMin to continue capitalizing on DBSK’s old songs, especially while JYJ is forced to leave their former career in the dust for fear that uttering a single line from an old DBSK song will grant SM permission to breathe fire down their necks. It sucks, but that’s just business, yo. To be honest, I’ve been wondering what SM was planning to do with DBSK’s old songs since Day 1 of HoMin’s comeback. It’s definitely true that a two-member rendition of “Mirotic” or “Bolero” will never be as epic as the original, but you can’t throw a 200+ song repertoire away like that just because you’re missing three members.

Provided that HoMin’s planning on doing a concert tour or two before their career officially comes to a close, I’m fairly certain that SM will find a way to adapt DBSK’s old songs to HoMin’s current setup and structure. It’s just a matter of how. The “Rising Sun” performance at today’s MuBank is our best glimpse of how HoMin will carry DBSK’s old songs – and to be honest, I don’t really mind it.

It’s clear that Yunho is not Yoochun and Changmin is not Junsu and no HoMin performance of an old DBSK song will ever be the same as the original. But in the end, it’s never going to be a matter of HoMin making a HoMin-ified version of an old DBSK song. It’s going to be HoMin performing the song like they always have while also covering all the missing parts. If you listen to the “Rising Sun” performance carefully, you’ll notice that Changmin delivers Junsu’s opening line in the exact same way that Junsu would have (1:15), and Yunho delivers Jaejoong’s lines in the exact way that Jaejoong would have (1:29).

What’s especially notable is how Yunho delivers Yoochun’s rap at the beginning of the song (0:51). In the original version, the rap break is split between Yoochun and Yunho. In this version, Yunho covers the entire rap break himself. However, he uses a different tone of voice when he raps Yoochun’s lines, and then reverts to his regular voice when he raps his own lines.

It’s probably just habit – not only have Changmin and Yunho heard these songs a million times by now, but they’ve heard them sung by the same five people a million times. At that point, one’s perception of a song isn’t just shaped by the notes and the lyrics of the song, but also by the voices of the people who sing them. DBSK’s pre-breakup songs don’t belong solely to HoMin, and they know it – subconsciously, at least. And I kinda like it that way – how Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu’s “ghosts” are still floating around in the song – if only because it fills my bitter little dried-out DBSK fangirl heart with pre-breakup DBSK happiness.

Also, can I say how much I love their styling for this perf? Up until now, I hadn’t seen a performance of “Rising Sun” where the members were dressed in something obscenely hideous and ethereal (hideously ethereal?). And now they look like grown-ups reminiscing on the past and omg I’m going to cry ;_; As awful as it was, “Rising Sun” was the song that turned me into a DBSK stan – primarily because of that epic modal chord at the end of the chorus. As much as I’ve facepalmed at their recent work, I still miss these guys like whoa. K-pop would be such a happier place if they were still together as five ;_;

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