The last time BTS performed in concert for a live audience it was October 26, 27, and 29, 2019 in Seoul, the grand finale of their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself World Tour, the highest-grossing tour ever by an act performing mostly in a language other than English. The sold-out shows took place at Seoul Olympic Stadium for a total audience of about 130,000 people.
This weekend BTS took over Seoul Olympic Stadium once again for an online concert that attracted ticket holders from 197 countries around the world paying an average of US$45. Final virtual attendance numbers have yet to be released at the time of this writing but there’s no doubt that it’ll be a big figure. Every live online concert that BTS has held over the pandemic has been a smash – and they’ve only become more popular over the last 18 months.
I’ve never been to a BTS show in person but I have virtually attended every one of their online concerts and while, obviously, nothing can compare to actually being there, it’s still an electrifying experience, not only because I’m a fan but also for the production value – they put as much into their concerts when there’s no one in the stadium as they do when every seat is occupied.
So yesterday morning at 5am ET I got my ass out of bed to see how RM, Jin, Suga, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook would deliver this time and it ended up being a two and a half hour show, 24 songs, a full band, a full team of backup dancers, elaborate screens and sets, elaborate choreo and pyro, and of course great live music. Also… looks! My current obsession – Jungkook’s white boots, which you can see about five seconds into the clip below:
DOPE(1) pic.twitter.com/sP64OhdadM— ME (@bebe_sope2) October 24, 2021
My current hair obsession is Jimin. Do you call this a mullet or a shag? I’m going with shag because it reminds me of Winona Ryder’s hairstyle in the Reality Bites era, always and forever one of my all-time favourites.
You know what western mainstream fashion people don’t pay enough attention to? BTS’s accessories. The necklaces and earrings and rings and hats and sunglasses and shoes and belts that BTS and their stylists put together with their looks is so much inspo.
To go back to business though, through it all, at least on my end, for 150 minutes, livestreamed around the world for probably a million or more people, there wasn’t one single technical glitch. I didn’t see a single buffering wheel the entire time. They don’t f-ck around with their tech and like I said, their production value is among the most sophisticated in the world…
And they will soon show this off (again) in Hollywood. BTS is playing four shows at SoFi Stadium in LA at the end of November and early December. Ticketmaster announced that tickets to all four shows were sold out in pre-sale:
Due to overwhelming past purchaser & Verified Fan presale demand for BTS PERMISSION TO DANCE ON STAGE - LA, all shows are sold out & tickets are not available for the public onsale.— Ticketmaster Fan Support (@TMFanSupport) October 9, 2021
This is a venue that holds 70,000 so you can imagine the demand. That said, many fans were livid over how Ticketmaster managed the sales, alleging that third party buyers and scalpers were able to secure tickets in bulk only to turn around and jack up the fees. This has been an ongoing problem – here’s an article at Vice about the issue published just prior to the pandemic. For over a year people weren’t having to deal with online ticket drama since live events weren’t happening. Now that they are again, in certain places, at least from this example, it doesn’t seem like those problems have been addressed.
For the members of BTS’s ARMY who couldn’t get tickets, however, the band announced last week that a viewing area will be set up outside the stadium for fans to watch all four performances via YouTube Theatre. For those who don’t live in LA though and can’t travel there, they just made another announcement yesterday at the conclusion of their online concert: they will globally livestream the final night of their performance.
So now I know what I’m doing on December 2 at 1030pm ET. Ticketing details have yet to be released but I will post them when they’re available because if you’ve not yet had the pleasure of enjoying a BTS live performance, this would be the ideal way to experience it for the first time. You know who’s going to be there in person? A LOT of Hollywood celebrities and industry players, guaranteed. I’ve already decided that I’m gifting this our site manager, Emily. And I think I’m going to nag Sarah about it too. She’s our Deputy Editor now. Isn’t this a professional obligation?!
Yours in gossip,