“This is all because of you Army. You made this.”
BTS’ grateful words rang true with the audience of more than 50,000 people in Chicago, who know they are more than deserving of it all.
A BTS concert is full of high energy, dazzling stages, alluring visuals, and lots of good vibes – coming both from the vibrant performers and the passionate community know as “Army.”
For my friends and I, attending a concert as a part of that community, the experience was not only memorable, but surreal.
And it left no room to question why these seven individuals have become international sensations.
BTS, a boy band from South Korea, are talented artists who have mastered their craft and continue to strive for better. If their concerts are any indication, though, it’s difficult to imagine how much bigger they can be.
BTS members RM, Jin, Suga, J-hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook are currently traveling the world on their stadium tour, “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself”, bringing unforgettable memories for millions of Army.
They just finished up their tour in the United States, with six shows in three cities. Their next stop after Brazil is England’s famed Wembley Stadium.
BTS attend the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo: Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY)
At a BTS concert, the production of each performance, coupled with beautiful, enigmatic stage designs, add a whole new layer to their music. And while a majority of the show focuses on the group performances, it also highlights their strong individual talent and skill.
Even while performing the same set list for each show, the members keep it fresh with fun quips for the city they’re in, heartfelt speeches, and spontaneous twists to their songs and dances.
Judging from the sold-out shows and high numbers of devoted, supportive fans attending, it is clear BTS have made their mark in the pop culture world, becoming international superstars – a “global supergroup” – and paving the way.
The impact BTS has made globally is significant; they are South Korean, and their songs are primarily sung in their native language.
But for BTS, music transcends language, and nothing shows this more than the sheer diversity of the Army fan base.
The BTS Army come from all corners of the world, from all walks of life, and are people of all ages. And they all come together to sing every song at a concert.
Because before anything else, it’s BTS’ fresh sound, carefully composed music and meaningful song-writing that draws people in, and it is one of the primary reasons why my friends and I were determined to see them live. Their nearly flawless choreography adds another dimension to the whole picture, as they sing and dance simultaneously, almost effortlessly, displaying both raw emotions and professional playfulness.
Musical guest BTS performs on "Saturday Night Live." (Photo: Will Heath, NBC)
In Chicago, on back to back nights, we were mesmerized by their ability to energize a crowd with electrifying performances in frigid temperatures and drizzling rain. It was truly a testament to the dedication and love they have for their fans and their music.
It was also further affirmation that BTS’ popularity cannot be reduced to a “boy band craze.” Fans are enamored by how they light up the room with their life-loving, positive energy. And we adore the group’s strong bond, as well as their individual, charismatic personalities.
But above all, we appreciate the effort and care BTS put into creating and performing music with deep-rooted, healing messages that preach self-expression and self-love, autonomy and breaking of boundaries.
Their advocacy for self-acceptance and speaking for oneself resonated the most with me. BTS call us their “biggest voice,” but they have also given voice to people like me who may not have had the proper avenues to overcome insecurities and embrace who we are.
The boys’ genuine determination to stay grounded while being bombarded with constant fame is also worth admiring.
They always take a moment at the end of each show to address the audience, reflecting on how much they love what they do, and how grateful they are to be able to share it. They are constantly thanking Army, reiterating that they could not have made it so far, as artists and as people, without such unwavering support.
Both BTS and Army motivate each other to be the best versions of themselves, and BTS creates a sense of community between their fans and with the members that make these concerts even more special.
And it is this fan-artist bond, along with BTS’ humble reckoning of every milestone and ability to portray a wholesome human connection through their music, that has them soaring to new heights every day.
Follow Fatima Farha on Twitter @fatimafarha_
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