BTS’s Suga previously said in a video message that in 2023, he wanted to try something he’d never done before. Yesterday may have been the answer to whatever he was referring to…and it was a huge announcement: Suga will be the first member of BTS to go on tour on his own. He’s been laying the track for this for a while.
Suga’s first mixtape Agust 2 was released in 2016 just as BTS’s worldwide popularity was exploding. In 2020, a few months into the pandemic, and after BTS called off their world tour, he released his second mixtape, D-2. Which is when I referred to him as my “bias assassin” – because Suga is pure stealth, low-key in comparison to some of his bandmates but when he decides to strike, he sucks up all the air in the room.
Suga is playing multiple dates in the US and Asia from the end of April through the summer with the North American leg ending with two shows in Oakland. And what’s especially impressive is that on his first tour, he’s playing arenas. These are venues with 18-20 thousand seats, and the way the pre-sales etc have been set up, they’re expecting it to sell out. This is an artist who doesn’t have an official album on the books. Two mixtapes, no album yet…
But that’s the next question – does this mean an album drop is imminent?
Suga’s mixtapes have always been released under his other stage name, Agust D. You will note though that on the posters for the tour, both names are included: Suga/Agust D.
Suga is always Suga when he’s with BTS. He’s only Agust D for the mixtapes. But now some fans believe that this is a sign that the album will indeed be released ahead of the tour kickoff, and that the album, which will be his debut album, will be under Suga, to mark the significance of it… and therefore both names are listed in the tour poster because he’ll be performing tracks from the mixtapes and the new album. Or… not. I mean what a flex it would be if he tours on two mixtapes and saves his album for later. Speaking of later though…
Timing is also a conversation here – Suga turns 30 on March 9. He is the second oldest member of BTS. The oldest member, Jin, turned 30 in December which is also when he began mandatory military service. It’s likely then that Suga will complete his solo projects, perhaps by the end of the summer, and then also enlist. Most people think that the band and their team want to make this military era as short as possible, so that all seven of them can reunite by, optimistically, 2025, or 2026 at the latest. If that is indeed the plan then Suga’s schedule would presumably fit into that strategy.
So now I have to go back to my job, and by job I mean trying to buy concert tickets. This is basically all I’ve been doing the last month: concert tickets! Between Madonna and Beyoncé and now Suga, concert ticket stress is defining my 2023.