K-Pop and K-Dramas: Map of The Soul ON:E Concert

The ‘Map of The Soul ON:E’ concert promotional image. (From left) Min Yoongi (Suga), Kim Seokjin (Jin), Kim Namjoon (RM), Jeon Jungkook (Jungkook), Park Jimin (Jimin), Kim Taehyung (V), and Jung Hoseok (J-Hope). All rights go to BTS’ social media and ‘Big Hit Entertainment’.

Hey! Hallie here!

So we’re going to have to take a break from some of our Fall and Halloween posts to talk about BTS for a while. There are a few reasons for that, but the reason for this specific post is the BTS virtual concerts that occurred over the last two days. While I can’t say anything about the first day of the concert, mainly because I wasn’t attending, I have so much to say about the entire concert experience from day two of this amazing concert. And it was amazing. I’m going to go song by song and they performed quite a few of them, so let’s just jump into this.

‘ON’, ‘NO’, and ‘We Are Bulletproof Pt. 2’: The concert started with, unsurprisingly, ‘ON’. This seems to be the focus song of the album. In fact, when the initial planned tour for ‘Map of The Soul’ was cancelled, every member of BTS was very publicly disappointed that the fans couldn’t see their performance of this song. Seeing this performed makes it incredibly easy to see why. Firstly, the set is large. They started out the song standing on an actual replica of the cliffside from the ‘ON’ music video. They also were wearing robes reminiscent of the ones they are seen wearing in the music video, which allowed for a very epic face reveal for all of them. Which leads to yet another thing I want to gush about. THE HAIR. All of the boys are currently rocking natural hair colors, and about half of them have very clean and flattering undercuts. Jimin has a full on side shave which left me breathless for a moment. There was also a large amount of dancers for the boys to make their way through as they sung. One thing I very much respected about this entire concert was that all of the dancers were wearing masks. Regardless of which costumes they were wearing, some sort of mask was incorporated into each outfit. ‘ON’ featured it’s own small dance breaks that highlighted each members skills. The night I attended Yoongi later apologized for not dancing well because of his shoulder. Honestly, he did so well I didn’t notice. After ‘ON’ was over they moved to an emptier section of the stage to transition directly into ‘NO’. For this song the dancers left the boys alone to absolutely own the choreography. Then they transitioned into ‘We Are Bulletproof Pt.2’, which I was pleasantly surprised by. For this the marching band that opened the show was back with the dancers, and DAMN the dance break into this was good. It’s one of their older songs, but they, of course, killed this one too. After that we had a few interval videos so we could stare at how epic every single member of BTS looks before we went into the next group of songs.

‘Intro: Persona’, ‘Boy in Luv’, and ‘Dionysus’: When we came back to the stage we were greeted with President Namjoon rising out of the floor on a podium to murder us all with ‘Intro: Persona’. He literally lit his microphone on fire. Needless to say, it was incredible. All of the members joined Namjoon for ‘Boy in Luv’ in their new outfits for this particular set of songs. After that song finished, all of the boys took a moment to give opening statements. Everyone was quick to tell ARMY that they were happy to see those on camera and missed us all very much. Jimin assured everyone he was much happier than he was during the first concert. During the first concert Jimin was very emotional, mostly out of frustration for not being able to see ARMY in person. He was, as he said, a bit more chipper, though he was slightly embarrassed from being made fun of for his tears the previous night. One of the best moments was Jin’s attempt to blow a kiss at the audience being thwarted by a slap from Jungkook. After the introductions they moved on to a ‘Dionysus’ remix. ‘Dionysus’ is my favorite BTS song and the remix was amazing. The remix didn’t change much of the song, but it gave it an edge I appreciated. I always enjoy the choreography for ‘Dionysus’ and the boys didn’t disappoint, as usual. After that we had another costume change!

‘Interlude: Shadow’ and ‘Black Swan’: This was a smaller group of songs that opened with Yoongi walking through a very creepy hallway as he performed ‘Interlude: Shadow’. This performance was powerful. He hit every word so perfectly it was impossible not to feel the emotion. I was so enamored I hardly noticed the baggy clothing he was wearing until the dancers covered him and he revealed the black costume underneath. Cue the seamless transition into ‘Black Swan’. This song is yet another of my favorites when it comes to choreography. It’s less fast paced and more flowing, which was, of course, perfectly delivered. Afterwards the boys left Jimin behind for a lyrical dance piece. Jimin specializes in lyrical dance and I always love watching him perform. The music was heartbreakingly gorgeous and his floor work was equally beautiful. After that we were on to the next section!

‘UGH’ and ‘Zero O’Clock’: This time we got two songs that separated the rap line from the vocal line. We started with ‘UGH’ which was one of my favorite songs of the night. The stage was made up to be a boxing ring. Yoongi entered the ring first via elevator, wearing an accommodating robe and looking awesome. Namjoon and J-Hope entered one by one once their pieces of the song began, both looking similarly intimidating. They rapped at each other rather than with each other, even taking opportunities to physically push each other around. At moments they came together, and each time it was so seamless you couldn’t help but admire how in synch they are with each other. Afterwards the camera panned to a different part of the stage where all members of the vocal line were lined up in white suits for ‘Zero O’Clock’. The angelic harmonization these four can accomplish is unbelievable. And, as always, their individual voices were easy to appreciate as well. Onto the next part!

‘My Time’, Filter’, ‘Moon’, and ‘Inner Child’: The interval videos that led up to this group were all of the vocal line, so it wasn’t surprising that this group of songs was each of the vocal line members individual songs. Jungkook opened it with a stunning performance of ‘My Time’. He looked impossibly relaxed while both singing and dancing perfectly. That, plus his gorgeous red suit, made the entire performance difficult to look away from. After that Jimin took over for ‘Filter’. This was another of my favorite performances of the night. Part of the choreography involved Jimin trying on various pieces of clothing and I would just like to say, Jimin needs to dance with a hat over his eyes for more songs. There was also an entire costume change that happened within a second during the song that left my jaw on the floor. Partly because of how fast it was and partly because of how good the purple suit looked on Jimin. Then we got Jin singing ‘Moon’. The pink suit Jin wore was absolutely stunning, which was good because the fox masks the dancers were wearing were kind of frightening me. Still, there isn’t much that can completely distract me from Jin’s gorgeous voice. After the song was over, a small globe came down towards Jin, which he promptly hugged with the most adorable smile I have seen in my life. ‘Inner Child’ was last. This one got me emotional. For one, the giant carousel Tae and a very adorable small boy were riding, was stunning. Tae’s voice is always calming to me, which somehow made me emotional while I was hearing it. Plus, the small face scrunch he gave the little boy was too cute for me to handle. Then we moved on.

‘Outro: Ego’ and The Rest: ‘Outro: Ego’ was the last of the larger staged songs. J-Hope is always an energetic guy and a REALLY good performer. I had heard that he was born to be on stage from fans who had attended in person concerts before the pandemic, but this song convinced me of it. From the red car he entered in to the hardcore choreography he did in between each verse, J-Hope proved himself the perfect showman. The rest of the boys joined him to just dance around and have a good time as his song finished. Then they moved on to some of their bigger songs. ‘Boy With Luv’ was first, which involved some adorable umbrellas. Afterwards was ‘DNA’, and here we got to more of the songs where the boys started to let loose. There was choreography and plenty of background effects that were visually appealing, but it was fun to just watch the boys sing and enjoy themselves. ‘Dope’ was next, which involved a cool elevator background. All the boys responded to the movements of the elevator in their own goofy ways. Then we had ‘No More Dream’ to honor the first release of BTS. It was a remixed version where the background sounded like a score from an action movie. So yeah, it was badass.

Encore: And we finally came to the end. Some of these songs were different from the first concert. The boys performed ‘Spring Day’, IDOL’, and ‘Dynamite’. There was significantly less choreography for these and no more background effects. These songs were purely for interacting with the fans that were on screen and the cameras. There was plenty of chaos. Namjoon wore some awesome sunglasses and Yoongi tried his best to make ARMY dizzy by messing with the camera. Then we had closing statements. Hobi reassured us there was more content coming. Several of the boys expressed how happy they were to perform on a stage again. Jin expressed intense frustration that ARMY couldn’t be there in person. Tae nearly cried with how much he missed ARMY. And Namjoon, ever the president, reassured everyone that circumstances were no one’s fault. He thanked God, despite not having a religion, that all of this was happening during 2020 where the technology was available to allow them to do a concert at all. They walked out singing ‘We are Bulletproof: the Eternal’, a song written for ARMY. I missed them as soon as they were gone, but I’m forever grateful for the work they put into the concert despite their frustrations. ARMY won’t forget that night. Neither will I.

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

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