Keeping the ‘Fire Alive’ at BTS’s First Concert in Two Years

Wildcat staff writer Vanessa Jo reviews BTS’s Dec. 1 concert at Sofi Stadium. The show was the first live performance in two years for the band.

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BTS projected on a giant screen at their Dec. 1 concert at Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles. BTS set the stage ablaze with a powerful and energetic performance, delighting their “Army.”

BTS’s Permission to Dance On Stage concert at Sofi Stadium on Dec. 1 was definitely “lit up like Dynamite.” Throughout the night, roaring BTS fans — or Armys, as BTS’s legion of fans are called — filled the stadium with cheers. 

South Korean band BTS returned to holding in-person concerts for the first time in over two years following their latest comeback song, “Permission to Dance.” The concert took place at Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles over the course of four days — Nov. 27 and 28 and Dec. 1 and 2. 

Over the four days, BTS held both On Stage and Live Play concerts: On Stage at the Sofi Stadium and the Live Play, streaming their performance on a live screen at the YouTube Theater in a closed auditorium. 

Prior to the concert, as fans were filing into the stadium, videos of their music and their show, Run BTS, were played to keep their fans entertained. Right before the show, fans were able to connect their official lightsticks, called “Army Bombs,” so that the lights could change colors synchronously to the songs performed.  

BTS opened the concert with a powerful performance to the hit song “On.” The stage was filled with backup dancers as well as props, including metal bars, that opened in the beginning of the song to introduce the band members V, Jungkook, Park Ji-min, Jin, Suga, and RM. They performed popular songs such as “DNA,” “IDOL,” “Fire,” and “Dope.” To match the exhilarating atmosphere, the vibrant red, blue, orange, and yellow colors of Army Bombs filled the stadium. Fan chants roared from all ends of the arena as the band played our favorite tunes.

While they performed many of their title tracks, the group did not miss out on including their well-known B-sides, including “Blue & Grey,” “Stay,” “Airplane Pt. 2,” “So What,” and “Dis-ease.” And being in America, the group deliberately played all of their hit English tracks like “Dynamite,” “Butter,” and “Permission to Dance.”

Aside from the outstanding performances, each iconic boy band member’s costumes were eye-catching. When they approached the stage for the first time, they were dressed in white street-style outfits, a total power move as the costumes allowed the band’s famously sharp choreography to stand out. 

The ambiance of the white outfits quickly took a turn once darker and more impactful songs like “Black Swan” and “Fake Love” were introduced. Instead of their clean-cut white stage outfits, BTS quick-changed into black blazers with chains and dark feathers. The black costumes exuded a darker aura, making them look even more attractive and bold. 

The vibe of the concert turned nostalgic and lighthearted when BTS performed some of their older songs, so naturally, their third costume change consisted of more colorful and pastel-like attire. 

Finally, each member wore their “Permission to Dance” concert t-shirts for the last few songs before parting from their fans. 

Their live performances and costume changes were not the only source of entertainment for the fans that night. To keep the wild vibe alive, BTS prepared teasers and VCR’s — short videos played in concerts — to play in between songs and costume changes. Outstanding visual and stage effects kept the energy and excitement high for the Army. Sparks, balloons, smoke cannons, and bright white and orange confetti flittered downwards from the ceiling and from the stage during the performance.   

Of course, it wouldn’t be a BTS concert without their traditional “Army wave.” Toward the end of their show, the lightsticks turned purple to prepare for the wave (similar to the wave at a baseball game). On the band member’s cue, the entire stadium lit up with purple lights filling the entire arena. 

To make an epic reunion between BTS and the Army, the concert was full of phenomenal events, surprises, and even collaborations with some of America’s top artists. The first surprise guest was Megan Thee Stallion on day two. Together, they performed “Butter,” featuring a verse from Megan Thee Stallion. 

On the third concert date, BTS performed “Boy With Luv,” a collaboration with Halsey. Although Halsey did not get to perform along with them on stage, she was shown on the live screen enjoying their performance of the song. 

Finally, following their most recent collaboration, Chris Martin, from the band Coldplay closed out the concert with Coldplay’s “My Universe,” along with BTS on the last day of the concert. 

After four days of performing live, BTS has returned back to their homeland to take an extended break. However, it seems their return will be coming sooner than expected, after teasing fans with“See you in Seoul, March 2022” on a screen at the end of the concert.

After two long years, BTS fans were ecstatic to see their favorite band perform live once more. Although it felt as if the Army was waiting endlessly, this concert was phenomenal and was beyond many fans’ greatest expectations. And with another date to look forward to, Army can’t wait to see what else is hiding up the band’s stylish sleeves.