I had the pleasure of partaking in a couple of concerts whilst I was on holiday to Seoul this time around- something that I narrowly missed out on by the skin of my teeth the last time I was there. This time I went to two major concerts one after the other (on the same weekend and in the same location, I was lucky!) the first of which was the Bangtan Boys (BTS).
Last time I was in Seoul I had grumped severely as I missed out on seeing BTS by about 12 hours (I had to fly back the same day that their concert was happening) and I had missed out on their comeback for Hormone War as it was the week after. I felt cheated- until when planning my spring trip I found out that BTS Begins was happening at the same time as my trip there. I refused to miss out this time around so I bought my ticket (and lightstick) in preparation.
My previous trip included a visit to M!Countdown and seeing Big Bang and CNBlue perform live at the closing ceremony of the Asian Games in Incheon but I never had the opportunity to go to a concert in Korea before. What I liked was the fact that BigHit are aware of the fact that BTS has a large international following and catered to their Chinese, Japanese and English speaking fans by providing all announcements and signage in different languages which made a nice change. Plus there were an obvious amount of foreign nationals waiting to go in.
After the fiasco that was obtaining an actual ticket for the concert as part of the fanclub, I was demoted to the back of the venue. Luckily it was one that housed about 2,500 people so it wasn’t like I was too far away from the stage (though I could have been closer…) I was sitting next to a lovely girl from Germany so I was able to have someone who I could share my excitement with in English.
The set up was like a school with a Schoolmaster initially on the stage shouting at late students (dancers) coming in and interrupting his speech. After he waddled off we were shown an intro video of the boys going to school themselves before the screen pulled back to them on stage sitting at desks to massive screams from the audience before launching to a very impressive rearrangement of Jump which happened to be one of my favourite songs from the Skool Luv Affair mini album.
The show was very much non stop with the performances on show, from a variety of songs from all their albums (including pre-debut mixtapes and ciphers) to stunning solo dance performances from Jimin and J-Hope which caused a near meltdown of the audience (mainly thanks to one particular move from Park Jimin) to previews of what’s to come on their new album in the form of ‘Fun Boys’ and ‘Converse High’, something of a personal highlight for me in the show that I look forward to hearing in a studio setting.
A poignant moment was at the end where the group performed ‘Born Signer’, probably their most popular song from their original mixtape before their 2 Cool 4 Skool debut release. A simple performance; the setting had them standing in a circle all facing inwards on a revolving stage with videos of pre-debut Bangtan practicing or auditioning in the background. It was a touching moment seeing how far the boys had come since their beginnings especially when the music stopped for the fans to sing the chorus . I will admit, I teared up whilst singing along.
It was a great show, and one that I am very glad that I had the honour of going to during my trip to Seoul. It just makes me more adamant that BTS would be amazing for the UK, particularly for the strong following of R’n’B and Hip Hop that we have here. Only time will tell!
Photos from the Official BTS Facebook page