Hey! Hallie here!
There’s so much to talk about today. For one, it’s Jin’s birthday! Happy birthday WWH! There’s also ATEEZ’s new MV and the news that BTS is performing in Seoul in 2022. But I attended the last day of the Permission to Dance LA concert and my brain has been completely stuck on that ever since I left SoFi Stadium. This concert was incredible. I had imagined on multiple occasions what it would be like to be part of the Purple Ocean, but nothing I’ve ever imagined could have lived up to how amazing the experience really was. I have so much to talk about and get emotional over, so let’s get into this!
Before I start with the first song, I do want to mention how great the MVs were before the concert. BTS usually plays all of their music videos up to their most recent one leading up to the start of the concert. It was so fun to sing along and scream along with the rest of ARMY before the concert even started. And the excitement that built from just the ARMY Bombs turning on for the “Permission to Dance” music video was incredible. After that we got our opening VCR, which was essentially the prison concept we saw in the “Butter” music video. That led us into the members’ entry to the stage. Starting out the concert behind prison bars was such a power move. They immediately started performing “On”, one of the most perfect opening songs of all time. It was at this point it finally hit me that I was in the same room as BTS and I lost my mind a little bit. From what I did register though, those white outfits were incredible and the glasses on J-Hope took his outfit to an entirely different level. As usual, the choreography was also on point and looked even better with the amount of backup dancers they had with them. From there they transitioned into “Fire”. It was pretty cold the night of the concert so we all felt that song was particularly important for the night, particularly because the stage was literally on fire. It also struck me during this song that Yoongi goes incredibly hard on all of his verses in concert. To end this huge opening piece we got our first major audience interaction song, “Dope”. Hoseok and Namjoon in particular spent a lot of time on the side of the stage facing me and I adored every second. Once “Dope” ended opening remarks were made. Jimin and Namjoon started out the night with hilarity when Namjoon yelled at Jimin to grow up and find his heart on his own while he rifled through his clothes looking for it. Meanwhile, I was still shell-shocked that I got to join Hobi’s trademark call and response. Jin also got to see the birthday signs some ARMY handed out for the concert! Afterwards the boys riled up the audience with a performance of “DNA” (Jimin’s finger heart mid-song was adorable) before leaving us to the next VCR.
I won’t spend a ton of time on these VCR’s because there wasn’t much of a story. There was a lot of the members jumping around and partying, and some fun strange moments in the middle like a momentary secret agent plot and a creepy man scolding the boys for being too loud (Based on the crowd response I was very much not alone in being unsettled), but no major story. I did appreciate the time to catch my breath, though. “Blue and Grey” exceeded my expectations. The members faced away from the audience, which is unusual for a show, but they faced mirrors where pre-recorded versions of them looked back with such slight differences, you couldn’t decide if they were reflections or not. That was, until the members turned around to walk out to the audience at the end of the song with their reflections staring after them. Meanwhile, the ARMY Bombs turned off for the song, leading ARMYs to turn on their phone flashlights. The members appreciated it very much, so I thank whichever ARMY started that on day 3 of the concert. “Black Swan” was one of my favorite songs of the night. The opening of the song is incredible. Backup dancers formed a swarm in the middle of the stage to hide all of the members while each came up individually, taking their place in the center. The backup dancers did an incredible job configuring themselves into wings, and the flapping and unfurling effects blew me away. I especially appreciated how seamless the transition between each member was. And, as usual, the choreography with just the seven of them left me speechless. Here the members did an audience check in and cooled off a little bit before jumping right into “Blood Sweat and Tears”. They didn’t do much of this song, but I love this song so much and really appreciated seeing it live. “Fake Love” was where most of the emphasis was put, and for good reason. The fan chant was never louder than it was during this song. You’ve also probably seen this going around already, but Jungkook’s button had trouble holding itself together during “Fake Love”. Many ARMYs are very thankful for this button.
Third and Fourth Set:
Next we had my favorite on-stage set pieces. The members came out on a giant bed to sing “Life Goes On”. I really enjoyed the on-screen effects during this song as well. As the song continued, the screen filled up with pictures taken in real time. The members prepared for this with mostly adorable or funny poses, making the whole thing very wholesome. For the next song, “Boy With Luv”, the members had already transitioned over to the giant couch set piece. They used this song for more really fun audience interaction. Yoongi also had trouble sitting on this couch which, sorry Yoongi, was hilarious. From there Jin played the hype man and used his power of being unfairly cute to prepare ARMYs for “Dynamite”. As this concert was in LA, the audience was probably loudest singing along to both “Dynamite and “Butter”, which were performed together. Taehyung stood out during “Dynamite” simply for his sunglasses, meanwhile Hoseok floored me during “Butter” when the camera focused on him during the dance break into the song. The crowd went wild at his smirk, and I was definitely with them. After a break they came back with a mash up of “Airplane pt 2” and “Baepsae”, both of which I adored, before giving it over to Hobi to start “Disease”. I love that “Disease” has been a staple of the last few concerts because it does an incredible job of showing off the talents of all of the members. During “Telepathy” the members separated onto vehicles to move around the venue. I was on the first floor stadium seating, so I was right at eye level with them as they went around and I just about died. This was also the first time I could fully see all of the boys’ facial features and yes, they are all gorgeous in person. (Also, Jungkook caught a flower in midair. How?)
They came back to the stage to sing “Stay”, which got the audience excited enough to go right into “So What”. “So What” is fun at every single concert, and the smoke machine guns the members got to play with ensured that. Although, Namjoon decided to stick with soaking the audience with his water bottle instead. Meanwhile, Jin was an absolute menace. He blasted Taehyung right in the face at one point, and at yet another portion of the song he and Jungkook cornered Jimin on the floor. Everyone was laughing for most of the song. Another check in lead into “I NEED U”, which received some of the loudest screams of the night. “I NEED U” is such a good song with amazing choreography, and the fact that it’s one of their older songs makes it exciting to hear it after so many years. “Save ME” came next. Jungkook’s voice always floors me during “Save ME”. Half of the members spent this song making fun of Jimin as well. It happens every time and it’s always hilarious. This set ended with “IDOL”. I never felt more powerful than I did singing along with “IDOL”. Hearing so many ARMYs sing “You can’t stop me loving myself” around the entire arena reminded me exactly how powerful BTS’s message is. The experience of joining in during this song made me so appreciative of BTS.
These songs were all different for day 4 of the concert. The encore started with “HOME”. I never expected to hear “HOME” live, so hearing “HOME” alone was enough to start getting me emotional. But then BTS had to pull out “Mikrokosmos”. “Mikrokosmos” makes me very emotional every time I listen to it. It’s been so inspirational to me and I always pictured that song in particular whenever I thought of joining the Purple Ocean. I didn’t expect it to be part of this concert at all, which is probably why I started crying the moment it started. I wasn’t the only one either. Plenty of the ARMYs beside me were crying too, and Taehyung was visibly emotional during the song. However, ARMYs were quick to cheer up in anticipation of what came next. The members requested a wave, which we delivered on though we had a bit of trouble matching the wave between levels of the arena. And then we all sang “Happy Birthday” to Jin! At this point all of the ARMYs who knew about the Jin project put their moon boxes over their ARMY Bombs in honor of his song “Moon”. The effect didn’t translate as well as I might have liked, but the ARMYs who were participating close to the stage made it so that he was able to fully appreciate the effect. He confessed to tearing up at the gift, though he also jokingly confessed to expecting something grand from ARMY. His cheeriness made me feel slightly less sad to be going into closing statements.
Most of the members were crying. Hoseok managed to keep himself together during his heartfelt thank you’s, though he had to pause in the middle and had to take a minute to himself afterwards. Jimin talked at length about his hopes and fears for the future, which I think many ARMYs share. He was very grateful though, and he managed to keep himself together. Namjoon ensured there wasn’t a dry eye in the arena. He talked about his struggles with depression over quarantine, something many of us can relate to, and how healing it was to return to performing. When he began to cry, ARMYs did as well. Jungkook showed off his amazing progress in English while expressing his desire to meet again soon. Jin cheered all of us up slightly by frequently referring to the RJ precariously positioned on his head. Yoongi then took over to tell the future, claiming that BTS would have more live performances and hopefully a world tour soon, only to have the Seoul concert announced a few hours later. Lastly, Taehyung ended it crying, unable to use the English phrases he had prepared but still hopeful that they’d be able to see ARMY again very soon. It was all so emotional that going into “Permission to Dance” was almost jarring. But I’m so grateful that the members are so open with ARMY and so clearly love us just as much as we love them. Just as they expressed their thanks for the night, I really can’t thank them enough for the night they gave all the ARMYs watching. “Permission to Dance” was a nice way to end the concert. It’s light and so fun to dance along to that you almost forget the concert’s coming to a close. But the concert didn’t come to a close. Because then Chris Martin from Coldplay ran out on stage and “My Universe” started. The scream I let out was a bit undignified, but I really didn’t feel alone in that regard. Seeing the eight of them perform together was so heartwarming. Chris Martin and Jin in particular spent a lot of time holding hands and dancing together. It was such a beautiful way to surprise ARMY and leave us all happy for their final exit from the stage.
Now that I’ve been to a BTS concert I can wholeheartedly confirm what Yoongi says. Once you go to a BTS concert, no other concert compares. Between the effects, the dancing, the singing, the rapping, and the audience interaction, I can’t believe how perfectly epic this concert was. I’ve honestly been a bit sad ever sense I left the stadium. Also, to those who were blaming baby ARMYs for not screaming or chanting loud enough, my experience with all ARMYs at the venue, baby or not, was loud support and a very clear love for BTS. Every type of ARMY at the concert deserved to be there and we all enjoyed our time at the concert. BTS concerts have become a place of love and acceptance. Sometimes I feel ARMYs need a reminder of that. But, either way, I loved my time at the concert and I can’t wait to tune into the replay on Saturday to see everything I missed! Thank you BTS!
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!