How the "MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E" Concert Made BTS and ARMYs Stronger Together

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Does anyone miss going to concerts? Let alone a BTS concert? While going to concerts in-person right now are slim chances to none, BTS recently performed a two-day live virtual concert this past weekend - ARMYs are probably still trying to process everything that happened, especially after their second day of preforming!

Promotions & ARMY:

BTS announced their second virtual concert, Map of the Soul ON:E, back in August and used new software systems to hold a live stream concert. Not only did the live streaming site have the count of viewers with an ARMY BOMB icon, (which was in the hundreds of millions), but they also had a comment section to the side of the screen that the live stream was playing through. Imagine seeing how much love for the members, from all over the world, was all on one screen! While the two-day events were sold separately, along with the exhibition tickets, BTS is definitely worth spending money on when it comes to their performances, merchandise, and services! Let's also give a shoutout to BIG HIT's IP team for creating TinyTan and using the characters for this concerts promotions!

Did I also mention that the BIG HIT staff conducted a friendly competition for a special prize? Which ended up being seeing ARMYs on a virtual screen with ARMYs from all over the world! It was awesome to see BTS not know that they would be able to see ARMYs on a big board, and they were touched every moment performing in front of them. It was definitely an emotional feeling as an ARMY on screen or an ARMY just watching the live stream. While ARMYs were not at the concert in-person, the ARMY BOMBS and virtual screens of fans made up for some of the loss that BTS has been feeling; Since they heard about the cancellation of their world stadium tour and off-line concert, which would have let BTS perform in front of ARMYs at low capacity in the dome, where they performed.

BTS’ Setlist & Performances:

BTS performed two nights in a row and performed similar setlists for both nights. Most of the concert focused on tracks from their Map of the Soul album series. From “Black Swan” to “ON” and unit lines to solo performances, BTS has shown their maturity through their VCR’s and energy on stage. In terms of choreographies, we had very upbeat moves from songs like “OUTRO: EGO” and “Moon”. We had choreographies that had a hot and attractive appeal from songs like “Filter” and “My Time”. Then we had choreographies that were handled through simple gestures from songs like “Intro: Persona”, “Interlude: Shadow”, and “Inner Child”. But can we also, please talk about the group performances on the second night? Who else believed that BTS had that 2013 debut look of fire in their eyes?! And I mean, “UGH!” - I will just leave it there, as that will speak for itself. Or how about the “We are Bulletproof Part 2” dance break?! What are some of your favorite moments?

ARMYs also got a taste of nostalgia with performances of their old tracks! From “No More Dream” to “DOPE”, “N.O” to “Butterfly”, “RUN” to “DNA”, and many others, BTS also paid tribute to their beginnings and all-time hits that brought them to the international level. They also performed their record-breaking hits such as, “IDOL”, “Boy with Luv”, and their latest Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping single “Dynamite”. Both setlists have all bop songs - that is because all of BTS’ songs are bops...

Night 1 vs. Night 2:

On the first night of Map of the Soul ON:E concert, BTS in their opening ment expressed how much they were surprised and happy to see ARMY on virtual screens - let alone how many people they actually were able to get on the screens. BTS performed older and new tracks that ARMYs would appreciate. V’s performance of “Inner Child” had a child actor playing the kid version of himself, Jungkook and Jimin were showing their maturity through dance, J-Hope and Jin were having fun and making silly gestures through their performances, and SUGA and RM were rapping and spitting facts, as always.

But something was off - the energy that was radiating off the stage did not seem like 100% Bangtan. It was later said by the BTS members in their closing ment that some members, such as J-Hope and Jin, were not 100% happy due to realizing how much more they miss seeing ARMYs in-person for concerts, than seeing them on tiny virtual screens; However, they still appreciate seeing ARMYs of course! Jimin also mentioned through an emotional speech to ARMYs that he asks himself why he has to go through this (the pandemic and not being able to perform live concerts in-person because he lives and breathes for that) and how apologetic he was to not be able to perform to his standards because of a lack of concentration during their encore performances. But SUGA, RM, and V gave uplifting and true facts on how ARMY and BTS are stronger together.

On the second night of the concert, BTS’ aura and energy was strong, aggressive, and very 2013 debut-like. From their first performance of “ON” to their last song, “We are Bulletproof: The Eternal”, the energy was more positive, like moonlight shining in the dark, snow turning into a spring day, and it was most importantly, 100% Bangtan-like. BTS performed a similar setlist, but added “No More Dream”, “Spring Day”, and “IDOL” to their playlist. The members changed their outfits for some performances, BTS was rocking their own concert merchandise, and the members teased J-Hope towards the end of his song by dancing to his choreography in tiny. Again, can we please talk about “UGH!” on the second night?! Or talk about Jungkook’s camera work during “IDOL” with SUGA and RM?

Anyways, BTS members opening and closing ments were similar to the night before, but J-Hope mentioned, as he was trying to fix his adorable bangs, how he genuinely was happier with the second night because he saw the members smiling, while performing. Jimin mentioned how the members teased him for crying the night before, but mentioned how having internal talks with the team made him feel better. RM mentioned how talking to Bang PD-nim and the staff supporting them was a way for them to get through their negative feelings of not being able to see ARMYs live. V unintentionally mentioned how much he would do a concert in Busan by walking from Seoul to Busan...which is a couple hundred miles. Jin mentioned how he is still frustrated with not seeing ARMYs in-person, but after talking with the members about those feelings, made him realize that the feelings they will have when they meet ARMYs live again, it will be twice and triple the happiness. SUGA and Jungkook mentioned how they understand the circumstances of needing to wear masks and to stay safe by socially distancing and handling this pandemic correctly; They also mentioned that they miss ARMY and that the day will come when ARMYs and BTS will be together again.

BTS x ARMY = Stronger Together:

I think it is fair to say that the Map of the Soul ON:E virtual concerts was an emotional high and emotional low. I think both BTS and ARMYs realized and appreciated how much more in-person concerts really create a utopia for all of us. Knowing we all cannot have that right now is the emotional low. But there are more highs in our future together as one. Through this pandemic and uncertain times, RM reminds us how important it is to be grateful for the technology that we have to stay connected like how we are. Thanks to BIGHIT and Weverse, we can communicate with the members. Thanks to software systems and virtual screens existence, we get the chance to watch BTS' concert virtually and the members could see ARMYs virtually, as well. Thanks to BIGHIT and the staff for making everything happen in terms of the concert! And to Bangtan, for doing an AMAZING job as always!

From RM and his most knowledgable and heartfelt speeches, the words of BTS and ARMYs being stronger together is something that we all will never forget.

Did you watch the concert? Are you ready for their upcoming “BE” self-produced album? Stay tuned for more BTS articles and follow their social media accounts, V-Live account, and connect with the members and ARMYs through the Weverse app.

Written by Jenna Tokioka

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