It had always been my dream to go to a BTS concert. When I became an ARMY, Red Bullet Tour was ending and BTS was on their way out of the states. The timing haunted me. I vowed the next time BTS was in the US–no matter how far I had to go–I would go.
So when the next BTS concert tour was announced, I was ecstatic. I told my best friend we were going and we set aside the whole weekend for the event. The ticket buying process was the most stressful thing I’ve ever done and I’m grateful that my mind has blurred the whole experience to save me from PTSD.
But on to the concert. We had planned to meet up with some friends from Peach (an app primarily used by Kpop fans) and we had settled on 7 AM as our wake up time.
So at promptly 7 AM, my alarm went off and I immediately saw a bunch of texts from the friends we were meeting with.
we’re already in line
it’s cold out, when you get here we’re gonna get blankets
the line is getting really long lol
I was trying so hard not to panic. She had started sending the texts at 5 AM so we were way behind. I hurried my friend out the door and we raced the mile walk to the venue. The line was already wrapped around the Prudential Center but our friends were fairly close to the doors. They were super understanding about us being late and welcomed us to the huddle circle they had create to brace against the cold.
As soon as we sat, a few girls went to get blankets and we spent the morning bonding, snuggling with people we’d met only hours before and learning more about each other than we would’ve under any other circumstances.
Eventually, noon came and we got our bracelets for the pit (we all had standing section tickets) and some girls drifted to the line for soundcheck while my best friend and I went to buy food. I regained the feeling back in my toes and checked out the merch–but didn’t end up getting the hat that I’d saved up for.
In the late afternoon, we had to get back in line for the actual concert and this was where the magic started happening for me.
I sat beside an ARMY who immediately introduced herself. We talked, bonded over the fact that we were both J-Hope biased, and quietly settled into a comfortable companionship as we waited for our friends. Then the fan artists showed up.
The fan artists brought a bunch of different homemade merch–zines, headbands, photocards, stickers, anything you could think of. When I saw a girl carting a handful of J-Hope stickers and BTS concert memorabilia, I had to find out where I could get some. I asked the ARMY beside me if she could watch my things and she immediately agreed, handed me a twenty to get her some merch, and waved me off.
Think about that. Let it marinate. A complete stranger trusted me with her money. I trusted her with my stuff (my ARMY bomb no less).
The fan artist didn’t have the merch my new ARMY bud wanted so I returned her twenty and found my things exactly as I’d left them.
But that’s the thing, even though I’d come to see BTS and experience my first BTS concert, the community that we created as ARMYs was such a wonderful surprise. We were kind, we were respectful, we were united. Sure, there were people who weren’t invested in being a good person, but most of us were and that was pretty magical.
Finally, the sun began to set and they started letting us in the venue. It was an all out sprint to the pit but once we were there people were pretty much just milling about, watching the MVs they played on the screen.
Then the concert started. The boys came out looking more beautiful than I could’ve ever expected. One of my friends described it as if you were seeing them in 1080p but in real life and, as crazy as it sounds, she was right. They were hyper-real. Their skin was flawless, their smiles were heart-stopping, their dance moves were impeccable.
I wish I could tell you I remember the exact order of the songs and every millisecond that any of the boys came near my side of the stage, but honestly I had too much energy in my body. It was like floating. I only remember three moments distinctly.
Moment 1: Namjoon came over to our side of the stage and knelt down. He smiled, flashed his deep-as-the-ocean dimples, and walked off. By the time I had my phone up and ready to shoot, he was gone. But it was amazing.
Moment 2: The exact moment when Hob came out for Mama. I mean, the whole performance was incredible but that moment when he first looked up and smiled literally stopped my breathing.
Moment 3: During their little medley toward the end, Hob came over to the space directly in front of where I was standing and did his turn for the “lalalalala” during No More Dream and my mouth popped open. I stared in awe until he walked off.
By the time the concert had ended and they played the behind-the-scenes video to the tune of You Never Walk Alone, I was in tears. Fully sobbing. My best friend and I walked out of that venue completely unstable and still weeping. We found our friends, who we’d gotten separated from in the pit, and met up to go to their hotel.
At the hotel we decompressed, talked about the pictures and videos we’d gotten and spent a couple of minutes in total disbelief that it really happened. We had really seen them. With our own eyes.
Then my friend and I walked back to the place we were staying at. We were at an intersection near the venue. The light was green. A van pulled up and turned right and that moment I saw them.
It was just the shadowy outlines of their faces through the tinted windows of their van but it was them. I told my friend who–bless her beautiful heart–said “Do you want to chase after them?”
Because I’m not a stalker, I said no and we walked back to the house giggly and unable to stop smiling.
It was the most amazing day of my life and the day after was just as incredible. My new friends and I headed into the city to walk around together and mope about how much we already missed BTS.
Honestly, no matter how well I describe it that day is still beyond words. Seeing BTS in person was an experience I can’t quite recreate and I’m thankful to BTS for not only giving me the most unbelievable concert experience I’ve ever had, but for giving me whole crew of new friends who I love.