National Stadium

Last Saturday

South Korean boyband BTS – arguably the biggest boyband in the world at the moment – can do little wrong by their league of ardent fans right now. But Saturday’s 2 1/2-hour concert – their second in Singapore – was without a doubt a blockbuster one for even novice K-pop concertgoers.

No matter what one might think of BTS or their music, between the backbreaking dance moves, heart-pumping tracks and an audience that engulfed the stadium with screams and chants, the band showed why it is chalking up billions of dollars for the South Korean economy.

Bubbles, confetti, synchronised lighting, a water canon spray and the generous use of pyrotechnics accented a beautifully designed stage, which extended throughout all three segments of the mosh pit.

The third stage, which was fairly close to the seated audience, was connected to the main stages by a small moving platform, taking the band members closer to those seated further behind.

The show opened with Idol (2018) to hype up the crowd and the concert also boasted favourites such as Save Me (2016), I Need U (2015) and DNA (2017).

The vocal performances had room for improvement. They faltered on some high notes and their vocals belied exhaustion or felt strained at times.

Their rapping, however, remained strong throughout, particularly on Tear (2018), which Suga, RM and J-Hope performed together. It was stylistically a standout, with hard-hitting raps and darkly emotional lyrics.

Another highlight of the night was Singularity, performed by V.

His husky voice was perfect for the slow, languid song. He recreated the choreography from the music video – where he slips one arm into the sleeve of a suit jacket hung on a rack and mimics a two-person dance with the other arm.

BTS – short for Bangtan Sonyeondan, or Bulletproof Boy Scouts – knew exactly what to do to hype fans up.

Jimin casually belted out a verse of his latest release during the talking segment at the end of the concert to deafening cheers from fans.

During performances, the group threw water onto fans, delighting them, and struck funny poses at official cameras, which were then projected onto a big screen.

Light sticks purchased by the audience pulsated and changed colours according to the beat. And towards the end of the gig, the lightsticks spelt “Singapore” across a section of the audience.

Off-the-cuff moments – such as Jimin jumping up with a sheepish smile after taking a fall during DNA (2017); Jungkook giving his microphone to fans to sing along during Magic Shop (2018); and Jin and V dancing up a storm during So What (2018) – gave fans more reason to scream.

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