On November 27, 2021 I attended the best concert I’ve ever been to… “Permission to Dance on Stage” by the world renown group, BTS. Look I know that is such a bold statement but if you know me you know that I love music and going to concerts to see various artists of different genres perform. I have seen artists like Drake, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy, One Republic, and so many more live but like I said, this was the best concert I’ve ever been to. Especially with the upcoming release of “Proof” by BTS, I think it’s only right to write this post and tell you exactly why I feel this way below. Before you continue to read, give a follow on social media (Tiktok, Instagram, and Facebook) especially if you’re BTS Army or curious as there are several BTS related content already there! For a brief recap see the video below!
Prior to getting into the details about the concert I think it’s important to talk about who are BTS and why I am a fan of them. BTS is a K-pop (Korean Pop) group from South Korea formed back in 2010 with Big Hit Entertainment. The name BTS apparently comes from the Korean phrase “Bangtan Sonyeondan” which translates to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”. Clearly they made the right decision with sticking with just BTS, but this is also why you may have heard them being referred to as Bangtan Boys. Since their initial debut in 2013 they have become a global phenomenon breaking records (including 25 Guinness World Records), winning and being nominated for numerous awards, as well as being global ambassadors for various brands eg. Samsung and Hyundai.
Regardless, the reason why I am a fan of them is because of what they do beyond the music and achievements. If you look into the lyrics and meanings behind BTS’ music you will see a constant underlying tone of positive messages from self-love to hard work to rising above the haters and so much more. Their music and the way they carry themselves has touched the lives of so many as I came across different people who mentioned how BTS saved them at one of their lowest moments plus the philanthropic work they do inspires their fans to do the same (BTS Army).
I started listening to them back when they performed for the first time on US TV for the American Music Awards with “DNA” back in 2017 but I’ll admit I only paid attention to them and became a true BTS Army after my sister started to listen to them and talk about how much they helped her. But that’s the beautiful thing, BTS fans come in all ages, shapes, and backgrounds. I’ve seen grandparents at 80 years of age to children as young as a 5, and of course people in between from all over the world in LA. One moment that made me smile was when my sister and I were walking in the hotel we were staying at in LA, a mom approached us since she noticed the BTS sweatshirt and asked if we were going to the concert. When we said yes, her daughter (very young) got so excited because we were BTS fans and said “Oh My God, they are army”. It was definitely one of the cutest things I’ve seen and it just shows how awesome it is to see how one group can have a big positive impact.
However, this global impact did not occur overnight. There were a lot of of hardships BTS had to face to get to this point. What made this LA concert special was because 7 years prior BTS made their first trip to the states as part of a TV series called “American Hustle Life” where they had to gain American insight while working odd jobs to help put on a show in LA. You can check out this video I did that briefly recaps this here but what was awesome is that 7 years later when they returned to LA they made history as the earned $33.3 million with the 4 nights of shows they performed at the So-Fi Stadium (highest ticket sales So-Fi received among any concert ever).
Venue & Activations
The concert took place in Inglewood, California at the So-Fi Stadium. If this name sounds familiar, that’s because that is the stadium that hosted the Super Bowl in 2022 & where the LA Chargers currently play. And yes, this pic above, I took on my iPhone it is so much more beautiful in person! It’s also important to note that the LA concert was the guinea pig of the Permission to Dance (PTD) concert series and due to the success explains why PTD in Seoul and Las Vegas had more options. You can check out this video for a walk around the outside venue and see below for images of the different activations. Nonetheless, it was cool to see it because it was a unique way for BTS brand partnerships to set up fun activations for their fans to enjoy.
I believe this was supposed to be a cool augmented reality set up with Samsung but when we were there it wasn’t working properly. Also, you may see that there are some people taking pics inside this holographic shell thing which was cool but unfortunately my picture didn’t turn out great.
We couldn’t check out much of the outside activations when we arrived in LA because it was near the end of the day plus some of the booths were not set up yet. We couldn’t do it on the day of our concert either because we spent the entire day in line (will go into detail in the next section) so we got to do it the following day. There were some cool options for freebies from different brands. My favourite was probably SangSang who were giving out TinyTAN (BTS animated characters) masks and bandages. I believe there was a photo opportunity for Laneige but not entirely sure, but they did give quite a few things as well. Samsung had their own booth as well where you had two options for freebies so I went with this collapsable water bottle since it was cool. Last but not least, McDonalds were also there with two different set ups. One area they had an area where they were giving free hashbrowns and coffee while the other area they had a nice photo booth station to take pics with cardboard cut outs of the members as seen below.
As stated above, we spent pretty much the whole day in the merch line up (approximately 7 hours) and the video shows a good idea of how many people were in that line that felt like it was never going to end. I did think it was worth it because there were a lot of good options but ready below for more details.
As you can tell when watching the video there was such a long wait. Frankly, I don’t regret it because we were able to get some cool items including the BTS lightstick/ARMY bomb. Below is an image of the items that was available at PTD LA which included specific PTD merch, Vintage Retro, and Map of the Soul! Unfortunately, some sizes and items did sell out by the time we got the chance to purchase. My main comment/recommendation is that they should really get more inclusive sizes not just in terms of male army fans but anyone because I’ve noticed, especially for the “retro” gear the sizes were fairly small. Also, pictured above is some of the items I wore for PTD on Stage Seoul live viewing (the BTS butter socks are from weaverse the other BTS items were from PTD LA). I also got the bandana which you will see later on!
Before I talk about the concert itself, it is important to address the ticket situation. They did release a pre-sale link to fans (and prices were fair) via email but unfortunately it was hard to obtain to site crashes and worst of all, scalpers. That’s why when looking at tickets we saw people selling tickets for a ludicrous amount of money. However, we checked everyday and we saw these seats in section 235 only $100 above (i think) the retail value and since this was the best price we ever saw we jumped on it and started to plan the trip! Therefore, to BTS Army, don’t give up and consistently monitor and check!
I can’t stress this enough, a BTS concert is an experience like no other. It was amazing from start to finish, and sure we were waiting outside for a bit, it was worth it. Because while I was sitting in my seat and they played their music videos I have to admit I was getting a bit teary because I was taking in I was able to see this group that makes such a positive impact on the lives of many, really changing them for the better… it felt like I was seeing a once in a generation talent and felt so lucky to be able to see them.
If you’ve never seen them live what I would tell you to expect is ARMY (BTS fans) of all ages and backgrounds fill up the seats, wearing or having some cool BTS apparel or accessories. In terms of the production, there was a lot of different lights, pyrotechnics, confetti, and so much more theatrical elements. In between the songs as the guys get ready with different outfits and stage direction there are some movie-like clips that play. It was also cool to see during the middle of their set they went on this scaffolding machine thing to get closer to the fans! Nevertheless, it’s easier to watch what I am talking about rather than reading it so see below! Keep in mind we were in section 235 so it definitely look much better in person than it does on video!
All in all, this was the best concert I have ever been to and I highly recommend anyone who has the chance to go to a BTS concert at least once! I really hope to see them in Toronto and see how it will be there but overall this was the highlight of my LA trip and I absolutely loved interacting with the different BTS Armies there. Therefore, if by chance you come across this post please let me know and reach out because I would love to connect with fellow BTS armies on social. I also would really appreciate your support by giving a follow on Instagram, Facebook, & TikTok as I will definitely be posting more BTS content in the future!