SHINee on MuBank, 3/23/12: “Sherlock”

This is ridiculous, yo. The choreography for “Sherlock” is laughably embarrassing at points (slo-mo walking? body waves? pseudo-Russian kick-dancing?!) but it’s probably the most intense choreography SHINee has gotten to date. Pair that with a super-intense vocal line and you wonder how SHINee isn’t in the hospital hooked onto IV drips after every performance. Oh wait.

To be honest, I wasn’t super excited about “Sherlock” to begin with — the mini-album was okay, but it’s one of those albums that you set aside after the first few listens, only pulling out a select few favorite tracks every now and again whenever you’ve run out of stuff to listen to. “Sherlock” is good as a lead track, but it’s not something I would put on repeat constantly. On top of that, I figured that promotions for “Sherlock” probably weren’t worth following since they would only last for about a month before SHINee’s whisks themselves back to Japan. But after today’s MuBank perf, I can’t help but want more!more!more!

It’s not to say that SHINee’s performance today was flawless or that “Sherlock” is just that good a song, but I just really love watching idols work their butts off on stage, and “Sherlock” is an excellent example of that. For all its ridiculousness, the choreography is insane and I just love watching SHINee move. Granted, this choreography would probably be at a completely different level if it were performed by a bunch of legitimate dancers, but it’s SHINee’s greenness and lack of polish that really makes this performance for me. I love watching Onew and Minho dance for the sole reason that their bodies are so naturally resistant to rhythm and flow, so that whenever you see them pull off crazy choreo like this, it just makes things all the more impressive.

I’ve never bought SM’s claim of SHINee being “Asia’s Number One Dance Group” (because oh-my-gee-have-you-SEEN-onew), but the reason why I love watching SHINee perform is because their performances are always so earnest without underrating their potential. SHINee probably gets the hardest choreography in all of SM, and for good reason — they might not all be natural dancers and movers, but they work hard to pull it off and it shows. And that’s what I like best when it comes to live performances, I guess — watching idols work hard.

I think it would’ve been easy to say the same thing around the same time when SHINee was promoting “Lucifer,” because that song was acknowledged by SHINee themselves to be the most difficult piece they’ve ever had to work with. But with “Sherlock,” SHINee’s pulling off even more intense stuff without as much as a whimper. That’s a sign of growth; a rare find within a K-pop world where you’d be hard pressed to find an idol group that isn’t depreciating in quality.

One should be cautious, though, that a song like “Sherlock” runs the risk of wearing itself out before its expiration date, simply because it’s inherently too high-energy and too intense. It wasn’t until I watched today’s live performance that I realized that, like “Lucifer,” “Sherlock” is basically one huge climax…and that can get exhausting to watch and to listen to.

Also, did they really have to choose “Stranger” as the intro song for first-week promos? You can’t really perform a song like “Stranger” without going through the whole thing, and I can’t help but feel that a three minute-long song overstays its welcome as an opening track. “Alarm Clock” would’ve been such a better choice…but we can’t have it all, can we?

 

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