BTS Sets Their Eyes on Concert Venue Madison Square Garden in New York

Hyo Kyung Kim, May 8, 2016, 12:39 p.m.


Members of the South Korean boy band Bangtan Boys, also commonly known by their abbreviated name BTS, on Saturday pinpointed Madison Square Garden in Manhattan as their dream stage, and crossed their fingers for a grand prize music award at home. At the time of the seven-member act's debut in 2013, their dreams were quite conventional, something that any startup idol band would kill for: a solo concert in the magnificent Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul's Olympic Park, and the No. 1 place on the major music shows of South Korean terrestrial television networks.

"We always talked about our dreams of having a concert in the Gymnastics Arena. Now we are here for that dream, and it means a lot to us," said BTS's Suga, 23, in a press conference that took place in Olympic Gymnastics Arena at 3 p.m., two hours before the concert. However, the boy band members' ambitions have apparently outgrown their original dreams, as they are now gunning for the top award in South Korea's major music awards and a concert in Madison Square Garden, the world's third-busiest concert hall.

"They say one of the biggest concert venues in the U.S. is in Madison Square, big enough to host 70,000 people," said Rap Monster, the leader of BTS. "We've heard that some metal singers held a concert in Madison Square Garden for some 300,000 concert-goers. It will be quite a challenge, but we will do our best so that (our dream) can become a reality," the 21-year-old said.

In the past three years, BTS has built up enough fans to fill up the concert with an ocean of glowing white bulbs, an identification that fans carry to support their darling band. BTS returned to the K-pop scene on Monday with a special album titled "Hwayangyeonhwa Young Forever." The album is an addendum to the two-volume series of Hwayangyeonhwa, after "Hwayangyeonhwa Part 1" and "Hwayangyeonhwa Part 2." The word "Hwayangyeonhwa" means "the most beautiful moments of life."

The special album, with lead track "Fire," enlists different re-arrangements and remasters of BTS's hit songs from the two regular Hwayangyeonhwa albums. After a two-day concert in Olympic Gymnastics Arena on Saturday and Sunday, BTS will concentrate solely on music shows next week. The band is slated to set out for an Asian tour in June.

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