Pahul Nanra, New Delhi
Every single ARMY has a dream to attend BTS’s concert once in a lifetime. The vigorous energy of the crowd, the presence of the ARMY bombs (official light stick of BTS) that creates a magical scenario, smoothly waving and glittering throughout the venue in an animated manner, the perfectly synchronized performance of the boys as they pour all their energy and passion to give the best experience to their fans. The vibrating acoustics fill your whole body leaving you in a different daze and swaying carefree to the music, and not to forget the melodious vocals of all the members that gently touch every ARMY’s soul.
What is seen on the screen or through online concerts cannot even get close to how great the live experience is. Fortunately, I have had the luxury to attend one of BTS’s concerts, specifically BTS Love Yourself World Tour-Bangkok D2. The band had already covered the US, the UK and many Asian places leaving Bangkok as its last destination. I’m sure all of us have penned down the BTS concert on the top of our bucket list and wished a thousand times for it to happen but when a possibility comes near, many things can rise as hurdles. The biggest one was definitely getting tickets, we had aimed for the ground section near the main stage but ended up getting near the centre stage, these were the red zone tickets nearest to both the stages hence the most expensive ones and were priced at 6,420 baht each and with taxes and everything it came approx. 13,300 Indian Rupee. The rest was just our flight, hotel booking and itinerary planning. Now I won’t make you listen to my whole preparation journey so let’s teleport to everyone’s happy place, the concert.
Bangkok had got two dates, 6th and 7th April 2019 and my friends and I had tickets for the latter one so our decision was to keep the 6th for purchasing the army bombs and official merchandise, check out the venue and do some unofficial merch shopping as well. The concert was held at Rajamangala National Stadium which has a capacity of approx. 50k people so keeping in mind there was a concert on the 6th as well, we needed to get up real early to get in line for merch and army bomb. We reached the stadium grounds around 4:45 am and not to our surprise a big line had already been formed till the gates, we were a total of four persons including me so our plan was to divide into two groups and sit in each line.
Everyone was low on energy early morning but soon the ambience became lively, loud fan chants were heard, and laughter and chit-chats in every corner. Despite the sun throwing blazing rays at us in peak afternoon, many people experiencing heat strokes from standing in the heat for hours and overall fatigue that had now taken over us, every single person there was bearing all this for the same reason; our adoration and dedication as Armys for BTS so despite the cons the pros weighed way more. My friends and I also met with many other foreign Armys while waiting in the army bomb line, as if we all had been friends for ages. We ate together, took care of each other and also stood in each other’s places when needed.
As hours passed, the day became more exciting, everyone was energized. There were many freebies (free merchandise curated by fans) lines as well and by the end of the day we had collected many adorable freebies; fan art, posters, batches and lots more. We enjoyed a performance and dance cover by a bunch of Thai Armys, the rehearsal of the boys could also be heard from the stadium. Our first day was spent well and it was now time for the concert to start for Day 1 so we left the venue around 6 pm after doing some unofficial merch shopping from just outside the stadium gates, which was extended till the nearest metro and trust me you are bound to go crazy after seeing rows and rows of merch.
It was finally D-day, the day we had all been waiting for since we first became part of this fandom, and BTS became a meaningful part of our lives, the day we get to regard them and listen to their melodious and healing voices was finally here. So our concert was supposed to start around 5:30 pm and we had already reached the stadium at 1, having a lot of time on our hands since we already bought merch and army bombs. Now only the collection of tickets was left, we spent the rest of our time in the arena where many food and beverage stalls were put up along with other stalls as well and entered the stadium grounds at 5.
The seats were swiftly filled with Armys from all around the world, and the calm atmosphere from before now changed into a sprightly one. The opening started with the song Idol and pyrotechnics (stage fireworks) looked magnificent and acted as an accessory to the boy’s performance. Non-stop screaming and cheering could be heard, as well as singing our hearts out while fans chanted as the boys performed one song after another. The temperature was quite hot and humid, and as if adding relief to it, the rain started pouring mid-way concert, specifically during RM’s Solo- Trivia Love and Jimin’s Solo- Serendipity and perfectly matched the mood and aesthetics of the songs.
The concert ended splendidly with confetti covering the sky above us in a beautiful manner and BTS’s sweet message as a fan project to us. After three hours of being overwhelmed, excited, giddy, jumping like crazy and having an absolutely surreal feeling, the concert was the greatest experience of my life and I am glad I chose it as my very first concert. The overall experience of both days was delightful.
The last thing I would want to share and something that I can say with complete conviction is that BTS are without a doubt one of the top performers in the industry, they present themselves in an articulate manner with perfectly synchronized choreography, mellifluous vocals and stage presence, they know exactly what their audience wants and put in all the efforts to make sure their fans get one of the most lasting and indelible experiences.
Not even once I felt a dull moment in the concert, and even during ARMY time, just before the encore when we had a few minutes break and the army bombs stopped working, everyone turned on their phone flashlights and the whole arena became lit again. BTS and Army definitely share an unseen connection, it could be felt during the concert how they gain immense energy from one another and I am extremely grateful to have been a part of this beautiful ocean.
Let us know in the comments if any of you have been to a K-pop concert or a BTS concert before! What were your experiences? How many others will be planning for one soon?