BTS review – charisma and confidence from the world’s biggest pop group

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“We can’t spot you, but we’re truthful gladsome you tin spot us,” beams Jungkook, breathing heavily. BTS – the world’s biggest popular radical – person conscionable opened their show astatine Seoul’s Olympic stadium successful typically flat-out fashion. After flying done the elaborate choreography and ferocious passionateness of tracks On, Burning Up (Fire) and Dope – songs from 3 precise antithetic stages of the South Korean group’s eight-year career, the 7 members are taking a infinitesimal to talk frankly. Although their stadium amusement has flames, fireworks, dozens of balletic dancers dressed similar swans and a unrecorded set implicit with a choreographed brass section, RM, Jin, Suga, j-hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook are missing conscionable 1 thing: the band’s beloved fanbase, known arsenic Army.

Tonight’s live-stream assemblage could person sold retired the Olympic stadium 10 times over. Instead of dealing with pre-sales, touts and costly hotels, fans tin ticker the show from six perfectly framed camera angles, bask unrecorded translation, and congregate connected societal media: erstwhile BTS execute conscionable a snippet of a beloved older song, Blood Sweat & Tears, immoderate 50,000 ecstatic tweets are fired disconnected immediately.

Still, j-hope gestures astatine the stadium’s 69,000 bare seats. “It makes maine lonely,” helium admits. It’s nary tiny task to execute a stadium-sized show, fto unsocial without the vigor and encouragement radiating from a oversea of euphoric fans. Harder inactive erstwhile you person a set subordinate retired of action: aft a tiny rehearsal injury, V sings with regal acceptance from an armchair, missing retired connected overmuch of the group’s high-powered delivery.

Flames and fireworks … BTS.
Flames and fireworks … BTS. Photograph: BigHit Music

Named Permission to Dance (On Stage) aft the uplifting summertime azygous of the aforesaid name, the performance spans their discography with unusually wide strokes. While BTS’ epic medium Map of the Soul: 7 would person underpinned past year’s cancelled satellite tour, contiguous feels person to a top hits. They usage creation breaks to segue betwixt remixes of milestone singles, and successful doing truthful uncover unexpected thematic links: Blue & Grey, a soft, devastating ballad created during the pandemic, bleeds beautifully into Black Swan, a darkly theatrical opus astir the fearfulness of falling retired of emotion with music.

BTS person experimented with genre since their 2013 debut, but the mode they usage each member’s strengths – RM’s chill authority, Jin’s silvery vibrato, Suga’s fierce intensity, j-hope’s colourful expressionism, Jimin’s tender strength, V’s dusky baritone and Jungkook’s diversion adlibs – confirms their charisma and assurance arsenic a group. It tethers them unneurotic done the old-school hip-hop inflections of tracks similar Dis-ease and Baepsae, the EDM detonation of So What and heartbreaking person Spring Day, a opus fans notation to arsenic the “queen” for its quality and grace.

This radical is truthful often described arsenic a phenomenon: they’ve breached long-held euphony manufacture records and smashed the presumption that popular should beryllium successful English for it to find planetary success. But to telephone them a improvement besides implies that their prima powerfulness is thing of a enigma – and that is not true. To ticker BTS execute – online, oregon offline – is to recognize the tenacity, endowment and passionateness that has fuelled them to these heights.