[Writer’s Choice] Kickin’ Off the 2019 World Tour with BTS!
BanSeok Shin, May 6, 2019, 4:40 p.m.
On Saturday, May 4th, 2019, I, as well as tens of thousands of other ARMYs, had the amazing chance to join global phenomenon, BTS, as they kicked off their 2019 ‘Love Yourself: Speak Yourself World Tour’ at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
[Skip to the bottom if you just want to read about my highlights from the concert.]
Before Entering the Rose Bowl:
The lines before the event were crowded early with people lining up to buy BTS merchandise, waiting at the stadium entrances, and trying to get into ‘Fan Fest’. ‘Fan Fest’ started at 1pm, stadium entrance at 5:30pm and the show started at 7:30pm. Got to the Rose Bowl with my little cousin around 2:30pm, but by that time there was a massive, snaking line. We got in line but quickly found out that many of the people in line actually had no idea what they were in line for. Eventually, I found out that the line lead all the way to the ‘Fan Fest’, but unfortunately, we never got to see what was inside as waiting in line took far too long and my cousin and I decided to save our energy for the concert (which was a good choice). Despite the cool weather the sun was beating down on everyone and the lines to the merch and entrances were relatively short. We left for around 40 minutes (close to opening time) and when we got back there were MORE massive lines, this time around the stadium! For those of you who are attending BTS concerts in the future – go very early if you want to experience everything before the concert! Despite having to wait for so long in the heat, it was still kind of fun to wait as some people would play BTS songs on portable speakers and those around would sing along!
You can get a glimpse of the lines in this video:
After Entering the Stadium:
Fortunately, getting in didn’t take long and we got to watch the stadium slowly fill up over the next couple of hours. There were more merch booths inside, banners of all the members hanging around the outside of the stadium, and seats for everyone – even on the floor level. While fans trickled in BTS’ music videos played on the screens on the stage and ARMYs sang along with the songs and screamed whenever they saw their favorite member on screen or during highlight moments (like the kiss scene during ‘Blood, Sweat, & Tears’ – my poor ears).
The advertisement for BTS’ light stick also played letting fans know to purchase it and how to connect it to the show’s effects. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, K-Pop group have light sticks that can be synchronized to the concert’s music – it’s actually really cool to see!
The Concert Begins:
Before the concert actually started the mvs for ‘MIC DROP’, ‘IDOL’, and ‘Fake Love’ were played to hype up the crowd – who naturally sang along loud and proud. Afterwards a couple of wordless intro videos were played, and the concert officially started with a strong performance of ‘Dionysus’ from the group’s newest album. Following the opening song, the boys did a full performance of ‘Not Today’ and then began introducing themselves to an extremely excited audience who seemed to scream and cheer after every sentence.
Honestly, I wish I could tell you every single thing that happened at the concert but there’s simply too much! Each member had a solo performance during the concert, starting with J-Hope’s performing ‘Triva: Just Dance’, Jungkook’s ‘Euphoria’, Jimin’s ‘Serendipity’, RM’s ‘Trivia: Love’, V’s ‘Singularity’, Suga’s ‘Seesaw’, and Jin’s ‘Epiphany’. Both BTS’ vocal and rap lines each got their own performances as well with the rap line spitting straight fire in ‘OUTRO: TEAR’.
The boys also performed ‘Fire’, ‘DOPE’, ‘IDOL’, ‘Boy with Luv’, ‘Fake Love’ with the crowd belatedly singing along with high energy.
At the end of the concert – or what seemed to be the end – the stage lights went off and I think one of the members had mentioned that they had did their last song. None of the normal stadium lights came on however and stage workers could be seen scrambling about in the dark. Just about everyone knew the show wasn’t quite over yet! After a short while another wordless video played and with a cheer of pure glee (mine included) ‘Anpanman’ started playing and the members came back out. Afterwards, BTS sang, perhaps their mostly underrated hype song ‘So What’ which got everyone either jumping or pumping their hands in the air! Finally, after all the hype had died down the members took time to sincerely thank all the ARMYs in attendance for an amazing concert and for supporting them. They ended the concert by devoting the songs ‘Make It Right’ and ‘Mikrokosmos’ to the audience.
This concert was absolutely amazing and unforgettable. Everyone, even the newer fans and those not that familiar with BTS were absolutely caught up in the atmosphere and shocked by the group’s amazing stage presence. I was honestly caught off-guard by how many people were able to sing the Korean lyrics in addition to the English lyrics. The crowd’s great participation in singing and dancing along to songs was so good that I think even BTS got a lot of energy from it despite obviously being exhausted. I was truly a special night, and my only true regret is not memorizing Korean lyrics better.
There was something beautiful about how the audience united with itself and the boys. It seems like everyone was focused on just having fun rather than trying too much to get the attention of the group members. Thank you BTS and ARMYs for such a fantastic experience!
My highlights from the concert:
- J-Hope is the life of the party!
I’m not very familiar with the BTS members, but I was aware that J-Hope is quite energetic, but I just didn’t know how much! I think part of the reason the audience got so involved and had so much fun was due to of that adorable ball of energy! His bright face and antics lit up everyone else’s face, and every time his song parts came up here brought the HYPE. I could even hear the more casual fans and audience members absolutely loving J-Hope!
- Jungkook takes flight!
During Jungkook’s beautiful performance of ‘Euphoria’ he actually flies around the stadium which surprised many fans who shrieked in in gleeful joy.
- The Rap Line Spits FIRE!
RM, J-Hope, and Suga were absolutely amazing during their performance of ‘OUTRO: TEAR’ absolutely owning the stage and displaying the full skills of BTS’ rap line.
- ‘IDOL’ Performance
The crowd was so HYPED during this song. The song began with and extended version ‘OHOH – OH-OHHH’ part which seemingly everyone sang. Even though the boys only danced to the final chorus of the song (they were tired and in the process of doing a bunch of songs) they still sang with a bunch of energy.
- ‘Fake Love’ Performance
Unlike ‘IDOL’ the group actually had a break, so they could have the energy to do the dance for the whole song – which made lovers of Jungkook’s abs very happy. They sang the Extended Version of the song which I heard for the first time the past week.
- 'Boy with Luv'...obviously
- V’s heartthrob solo performance
V’s deep voice during the song ‘Singularity’ gives off that a feeling like warm maple syrup going down your throat. It’s totally satisfying and a pleasure to experience.
- Everyone’s bored….Let’s do the wave!
The fans at the concert were absolutely great. During the intermission between BTS’ fake final song and ‘Anpanman’ the fans were just sitting in the dark with no videos to watch or anything to keep them busy. So, some fans started doing the wave. It went from the lefts side of the stage to the right. After a couple waves we thought it would be over, but it just kept going and going! Eventually, people started turning on their cell phone lights and the stadium was illuminated.
- I was ‘waiting for your Anpanman ~
Seriously, I was waiting for this song most of the concert and I was not disappointed! This song is so fun to sing and somehow BTS managed to make it even more fun! During the performance the stage crew set up an inflatable playground that BTS literally played on during the song!
- The concert is nearing its end…’SO WHAT’?
I mentioned it in the article above, this song is underrated and HYPE. I’m glad they sang this song towards the end because whatever energy people had thought they used up suddenly came back!