I never got the chance to see BTS live on this tour or any tour. The fates were against me when they were in my city last year. So this was my only chance to experience them.
I haven’t watched a concert film properly since maybe *NSYNC’s No Strings Attached at Madison Square Garden (I know I’m dating myself). But I ventured into the city, against freezing wings, to watch BTS’ Love Yourself in Seoul in theaters. After donning myself in what little BTS merch, my Tata beauty band and Chimmy face mask, I had, I settled in. This was the second time this year I went to the movie theaters to see something BTS related. I went to see Burn The Stage: Movie and I have to say, it was one of the worst film experiences I’ve ever had. That ARMY filled audience wasn’t kind and screamed/talked the entire film. After that, I wasn’t sure what to expect today. With this being a concert film, I went in with an open mind and almost welcomed the hyped energy from ARMY. Boy, what I actually got was unexpected.
I have to admit, I arrived a little late. Blame MTA! Anyway, I got into the dark room and expected fans to be singing along to Same Me or doing a fanchant. What I wasn’t expecting was to hear no audience participation, no lightsticks, nothing! For a second, I thought the theater was empty but alas, people were in the nice recliner seats just enjoying the serenades of Park Jimin and Jeon Jungkook.
Quickly finding my seat and catching my breath, I immediately started my own fanchants under my breath and a dance party in my seat. The people next to me, who I kept sneaking peaks at throughout the whole film, showed almost no emotion. Even when V shot hearts to the camera; stone faced. I guess they were stronger people than I. Regardless of the lackluster crowd, who at times clapped after a performance or two, the highlight of my mid morning excursion was Bangtan Sonyeondan! Let’s discuss the concert.
Due to my tardiness, I missed the opening but with my research, I know I missed IDOL. Not too sad about that because it isn’t one of my fave songs. But coming in on Same Me, truly was a treat. There isn’t much I can say negative about BTS when it comes to performances. It’s the reason why I actually got into them. Their stage presence is always on an 11. The energy is always there and the dedication seeps through. Either it be a movie screen or the screen of your phone on Youtube, you feel what they’re leaving on that stage. The fans in the stadium received that energy and through it right back at them. Watching the waves of ARMY Bombs and the fanchants being sung for each song really gave me goosebumps. My heart swelled when Suga held out the mic and the audience filled in the purposeful gaps of the song. If I knew how to speak Korean, I’d be one of them for sure. Especially during I Need U, I was doing my best to keep up with them.
Now, the fashion! With every outfit change, I thought I was seeing the reincarnation of Liberace. Glitter on top of rhinestone mixed with flowing silks. Flash, flash, flash! Even with their solo stages, each outfit had… personality of its own. Personally, wasn’t a fan. I found myself snickering at one point when Jin was doing Epiphany. His suit basically looked as if a florist had vomited over him. Whew chile… if was much. However, when it came time for them to do their encore stage, each were fitted in white tops and blue jeans. I know from all the fan cams I watched over the summer and fall, that these were coming. But to see them actually performing in it, I felt as if the personality of each of them were shinning on that stage and not a blinged out top. I mean, V took my breath away in his cardigan and circle rimmed glasses. I’m so easy.
What also took my breath away was the set list. In particular, the inclusion of some of the songs that made me fall for BTS. Come on, they did a medley of Boyz with Fun, Attack on Bangtan, Fire, Silver Spoon (hip thrusts and all), and Dope. I was so close to jumping out my seat and dancing along with them with my no rhythm ass. Even though there were songs that I wish were included, *cough* Cypher 4 *cough*, I think the set list was a good mixture of new and old. Each had a solo stage and my bias’ proved why they hold the spots they do. But it was Jung HOEseok, who for some reason always leaves me shook after seeing him on a stage. When he started his solo of Just Dance, I was mesmerized. Maybe I”m a secret Hobi stan in denial. I’ll investigate at a later date.
As the film neared the end of its 2 hour run time, I started to have thoughts. As a multistan, I was torn because seeing the success of this tour and film, I want all artists to reach the heights of BTS. They show that it CAN be done in this age of fickle consumers. I also started to think about concert culture. How precious it is and how it is more than just the few hours that make the experience what it is. It’s the people in your section or the ones you’re pushed together with in a pit. I don’t want to compare it to war because I’ve never experienced that, but it is the closest thing to the trenches I can think of. Strangers, going through this one event that unites for more than that moment in time. I get why some concerts don’t allow the usage of cameras because why have a filter? At the end of the day, it’s you and the gift that artist shares with you. It’s your shared moment.
Cause of your Euphoria.