We bleed purple through and through!
My first memory of BTS is watching them in my cramped room with my high school friends right after our quarterly exams. I remember it vividly: me at fifteen years old, hooking my laptop to my TV so my friends and I could watch the music video to No More Dream. At the time, cute boys with abs of steel were enough to get me hooked. But the longer I spent time getting to know Jin, RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, the more I fell. Hard.
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Many factors could contribute to it. It’s the relief and comfort they bring whenever I watch their reality shows and behind-the-scenes clips. It’s the fire in their eyes when they unrelentingly chase their dreams. But the strongest of all were their lyrics that inspired me, telling me that “…If you seem like you’re going to crash, step harder, kid!” So I’m not surprised that in the bleakness of quarantine, others found the same comfort I did in BTS years ago.
But one of the saddest realities for ARMYs: having to skip the chance to see BTS live this year. Thankfully, though, the boys have been a lot more creative and inventive in following the hole left by the pandemic. They held online concerts such as Bang Bang Con The Live and Map of The Soul ON:E, peppering guest performances in different TV and award shows in between. The most unique outcome out of all of this? The all-day marathon that is Bang Bang Con.
This originally started in April 2020, where their recorded concerts were streamed over the course of two days. Now, Bang Bang Con 21 returns with a setlist of BTS concerts that ARMYs want to watch, either all over again or for the first time ever. This year’s lineup featured shows you can only watch through previous DVD box set releases. Full disclosure, their prices for older merchandise have increased due to their rarity, DVD sets included. So when you’re presented with a free concert viewing for the whole day, would you skip this opportunity?
— BTS_official (@bts_bighit) April 11, 2021
Well, 2.7 million viewers around the world did not. With Bang Bang Con 2021, BTS was able to make up for tour dates cancelled. They bridged the gap, reminding everyone that there are still safe ways to have fun and bond over their music. Here, we listed the best moments we lived and re-lived with Bang Bang Con 2021.
The Return of Baby-Faced Bangtan
Yes, you read that one right. Bang Bang Con 2021 kick started with their earlier concert BTS Live Trilogy Ep 1. BTS Begins. Here, new and old stans got to see them fresh, wide-eyed and hopeful. Watching the concert felt like unearthing a time capsule, especially when RM referred to himself as “Rap Monster” followed by unforgettable performances of classic songs such as Like, We Are Bulletproof Pt. 2 and the tear-jerking Born Singer. The seven boys in BTS Begins may look completely different to the ones we saw shining bright in Dynamite. But it’s the fire in their eyes never stopped burning.
Getting Dimple, Pied Piper and Ddaeng Back-To-Back
— BTS_official (@bts_bighit) July 8, 2019
The next show in the lineup was their fan club event held in Busan called BTS 5th Muster [Magic Shop]. Here, they performed tracks from their then-latest album trilogy Love Yourself with an added dash of surprise stages. One of these was the back-to-back set of Dimple, Pied Piper and Ddaeng.
Coupling these three songs and coordinated all-black outfits, this stage gave the audience whiplash. First they crooned about stunning dimples that should be illegal with Dimple before serenading ARMYs with the sensual sound and song of Pied Piper. Completing the set was when the seven of them transitioned to Ddaeng, a song originally performed only by their rappers: RM, J-Hope and Suga. This is definitely a rarity, one worth rewatching over and over and over again.
The Chaos of BTS and Their Bouncy Castle-Slash-Slide
For as long as I could remember, BTS’ main branding was that they were Boyz With Fun. While their chaotic energy mellowed out as they grew older, this septet will never pass off the opportunity to let ARMYs see their shenanigans onstage. Hence, their bouncy castle-slash-slide set for the latter part of their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself Tour stops. Take a peek into what kind of chaos ensues when Anpanman comes on, whether during Love Yourself: Speak Yourself in Sao Paulo or in New York.
Bang Bang Con 2021 was definitely a day to remember. In the meantime, we’ll be putting their songs on loop as we wait for them to drop their new single, hopefully this May 21.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver