There are four main Music Shows that will be aired on Korea’s TV station every week namely M!Countdown, Music Bank, Music Core and Inkigayo.
During my trip back to Seoul in March, I’ve decided to attend one of these music shows and I’ve went to 2 April 2011 recording of Music Core. I decided to attend Music Core for 2 main reasons. The first reason is Onew is one of the host and he’s my fave member of SHINee and secondly, I’ve heard that Music Core has a bigger studio, thus a higher chance of watching the live recording live. So at 6am on 2nd April 2011, my friend and I made our early morning trip to MBC Dream Center.
The Music Core recordings consist of 2 components, the pre-recordings and actual live recording of the show.
Not all artists have pre-recordings. Usually the popular bands or comeback performances of bands are pre-recorded. During the pre-recording, you will get to see the performance of the band about 2 to 3 times. As an international fan, you’ll know that is kind of opportunity rarely happens when a K-pop artist visits your country to perform. So yes… treasure this opportunity.
While I was at the pre-recording for U-Kiss comeback, U-Kiss performed “0330” four times just to get the perfect performance for the camera and for the audience watching at home. Watching the pre-recording performance was an eye-opener as it was interesting to see what goes behind the camera as the various camera men will discuss on the best angle to capture the performance and such.
I also witnessed the professionalism of U-Kiss. After their first performance, the group members crowd to the side of the stage to watch their recording of the first performance and was discussing on ways to improve their performance. During the whole recording, U-Kiss showed a sense of seriousness which I was a little not used as I was so used to seeing the fun-loving U-Kiss members when they are on stage. However, I grew to appreciate seeing the serious side of U-Kiss as they are trying to give their best for their fans. With all the seriousness aside, the Kiss Me group was also treated to little cute moments from the U-Kiss boys.
After U-Kiss was done with their pre-recording of their comeback performance, they thanked the fans and went backstage. We were also treated to other pre-recorded performances from rookie band Chi Chi and singer Yang Pa.
As for the live recording, audiences were allowed into the recording studios at about 3pm. If you are queuing as a SHINee fan, please take note that you’ll be seated at the side of the recording studio as the MC stage is situated at the side, away from the main stage.
For artists who have performed during the pre-recordings, they do come out and perform again at the live recordings and this is a bonus and a nice little treat for the audience as the performances might have a little of aegyo here and there and it’s not the polished version of performance you see on TV.
Some of the performances watched during the live recording: U-Kiss – 0330, CN Blue – Intuition, DBSK – Before U, ZE:A – Here I am, Infinite – Nothing’s Over, Girl’s Day – Twinkle Twinkle, Wheesung – Heartsore Story, Yangpa – It hurts, Clover – La Vida Loca, Orange Caramel – Bangkok City, 4 Minute – Heart to Heart and Mirror Mirror, Song Ji Eun – Going Crazy, Chi Chi – Don’t play around
After the recording has ended, a group of fans were waited by the exit of the MBC Dream Center hoping to catch the last glimpse of the artists when they leave the building. I personally don’t think that it is necessary to do this as all the artists’ cars have heavily tinted windows and you wont be able to see a thing. However, if you are intending to do so, the best place to try your luck to see is to cross to the other side of the street like these Infinite fans.
How to get into recordings?
1. Be early! Pre-recordings start about 10am – 11am. Please do note that some fan clubs require you to register early for places in the queue as there is a limited number of people that the Music Core studio can take.
2. To get into the recordings, your main ticket is the artist’s album. Bring along the latest album on the artists that will be performing on that day. You can usually find the artist’s schedules on their official website or fan café.
3. To increase your chances of getting into the recordings, you might want to bring the latest albums of a few bands that are promoting for that period along with you. With several CDs, you can queue in the different lines for the different pre-recordings. However, if you intend to do so, please do it discreetly as Korean fans don’t really like this as they are loyal to their fave bands.
4. Find the artists’ name stands and queue. Be sure to be early to be the first ones in the line. However, for international fans who are not members in the official Korean fanclub, please do take note. Korean fan club members have first priority, they might queue later than you but they will be slot before you in the queue. Depending on the popularity of the group, the items that will consider you to be first priority or not depends as well.
(i) Queuing system of DBSK fans
1st priority: Fan Club membership card, a slip of paper with proof that you supported the band though online downloads purchase, the latest album purchase
2nd priority: DBSK fan club membership card and latest album.
3rd priority: DBSK’s latest album
While I was there, I went in as part of the Kiss Me group as it was U-Kiss’s comeback’s performance on Music Core and this was how the queuing system works.
1st priority: U-Kiss membership card and latest album.
2nd priority: U-Kiss latest album.
** Just a note, for those fans with the membership card, please do bring along your identification card or passport for the management staff to check if your identity and the membership card matches.
Things to note:
- Be prepared to wait and spend close to the whole day there. I was at MBC Dream Center from 8am just to see the pre-recording of U-Kiss’s comeback performance which began at about 1pm and the live recording started at about 4pm which lasts till about 5pm plus.
- NO photography or recording is allowed in the recording studio. I have seen the audience trying to sneak a few photos and videos while the recording is on and was asked to leave the recording studio when they were caught.
- It will be best if you have some knowledge of the Korean language as the fans coordinator will give out instructions in Korean and their knowledge of the English language is quite limited. So in order to communicate better with the coordinators of the show, it’s best if you know a little Korean.
- Cheer! Having a good and loud fan chants is the main part of the fan clubs. It not only hypes up the atmosphere but it also brings a whole new feeling to cheer for the bands that are performing live. Don’t worry if you do not know the fan chants, usually the fan clubs will give out sheets of paper with the fan chants on it. However, please do make sure that you at least know how the cheers are going to be. Some fan clubs will also give up fan supports like official balloons to other fans to help cheer for the other bands.
To all those readers who are planning to make a trip to Music Core, hope you enjoy yourselves there and enjoy the experience and atmosphere. I for one enjoyed myself that day even though it was tiring as I not only get to watch the performance, I also met a lot of new friends, international friends and new Korean friends as well.
How to get to Music Core:
Take the subway to Jeongbalsan Station 정발산역 (Line 3 – Station no. 312)
It’s about 1hr from the city center for Seoul.
At Jeongbalsan Station, follow the signs leading to the exit to MBC Dream Station. MBC Dream Station is approximately 20mins walk from the train station.