Geum Yi

BTS’ first online concert in a year delivers message of hope amid pandemic

October 25, 2021

K-pop supergroup BTS delivered a message of hope to its global fans Sunday during an online concert livestreamed from an empty stadium in Seoul to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“BTS Permission To Dance On Stage” was the group’s first global online concert in about a year since the “BTS MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E” in October last year.

The septet opened the show with “On,” the title track of its fourth full-length album, “Map of the Soul: 7,” presenting powerful group dance moves.

The song’s lyrics that go, “The power of the things that make me, ‘me’ / Even if I fall, I come right up, scream,” sounded like words of comfort for those who have suffered from the pandemic.

This image provided by Big Hit Music shows K-pop group BTS during an online concert livestreamed from a Seoul stadium on Oct. 24, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This promotional image provided by Big Hit Music shows BTS' upcoming online concert "Permission To Dance On Stage." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This image provided by Big Hit Music shows K-pop group BTS during an online concert livestreamed from a Seoul stadium on Oct. 24, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The group then heated up the atmosphere by performing their hit numbers, such as “Fire,” “Dope,” “DNA,” “Blood, Sweat and Tears” and “Fake Love.”

After the opening stage, Jimin said, “We’ve been looking forward to today a lot, and we’re grateful and honored to be able to prepare (this concert) and meet you like this again. I will perform harder for you who are not here today.”

Jungkook said, “Although we cannot see you today, it’s an honor that we can show us to you. We’ll do our best in today’s concert.”

RM said, “I think we are the most like ourselves when we sing and dance on stage. It feels hard, because it’s been a while.”

The group did not miss its global hit songs, like “Dynamite,” which earned it the first No. 1 on the Billboard main singles chart for a K-pop act, and its other Hot 100 chart toppers, including “Life Goes On” and “Butter.”

There was no individual performance from the beginning through the end, with the group singing and dancing all together.

V, who experienced pain in his calf muscles during a rehearsal the previous day, however, took part in the show while seated on a chair and without choreography.

“There was a mistake while practicing and rehearsing for the concert,” he said. “I’m really okay, so you don’t have to worry so much… If I can, I want to run to the stage.”

Drawing attention was the show’s powerful visual effects that helped the audience enjoy computer-generated visual effects and images shown on large LED screens at the stadium through their devices at home simultaneously.

A multi-view live streaming service was also available for them to select and enjoy various scenes taken from six different angles on a real-time basis.

As the performance came close to the finale, “Spring Day,” which has an impressive refrain that goes “I miss you,” resonated across the stadium.

This desperate message to its dedicated fan base, ARMY, whom the group could not meet due to the pandemic, however, turned into a message of hope when it performed “Permission to Dance.”

With this 24th and final song, BTS finished the concert, which lasted about two and a half hours.

The online concert took place after the band scrapped its planned world tour, “BTS Map of the Soul Tour,” due to the pandemic.

Following the online event, BTS will have its first in-person concerts in Los Angeles in two years next month.

“BTS Permission To Dance On Stage – LA” will be held at SoFi Stadium on Nov. 27 and 28, and Dec. 1 and 2, with all tickets already sold out.