BTS kicked off its four-night takeover of Los Ang’s SoFi Stadium on Saturday night with a much-anticipated sold-out show that thrilled tens of thousands of proud Army who packed into the venue. The two-hour set, for the boy band’s Permission to Dance On Stage tour, was rife with confetti, smoke, pyrotechnics and — of course — the smoothest of dance moves. But it was the superstar power of BTS’ seven members — RM, Jin, V, J-Hope, Suga, Jimin and Jungkook — that ruled the night.
Among the highlights from the show:
Not one person should be surprised to learn that BTS certainly knows how to put on a dazzling performance. From the front row all the way up to seats in the upper levels, everyone in attendance gets an up-close and personal view of their favorite k-pop supergroup thanks to a massive video screen viewable from anywhere in the 70,000-capacity stadium.
Variety viewed the concert from the field level at Bootsy Bellows at SoFi Stadium, run by VIP Event Relations (VIPER), and from where we were standing, you could literally feel the heat from the pyrotechnics (which included flames on “Burning Up” and fireworks on “Dynamite”).
The stage itself was built like a T so that the band could run out into the center of the arena and give fans a 360 degree view of the action during bangers like “Boy With Luv” and “Butter.”
As much as possible, BTS aimed to keep fans fully engaged in the live show by bringing so much energy via their slick choreography (and even slicker cinematography) that it was impossible to figure out where to look.
BTS is known for their cutting edge style and the septet certainly didn’t disappoint for their LA appearance. They kicked off the night in all-white and silver ensembles, starting the show with “On,” before switching to a more black-tie (and effortlessly sexy) vibe as they reached “Black Swan” later in the set.
Other outfit changes included a funky ’70s style with some light pastels before fast-forwarding a couple decades into some ’90s-inspired looks with denim, backwards caps and neon and multicolored jackets.
The group found a safe way to interact with as many fans as possible, moving beyond their stage (which extended midway through the floor section) and onto mobile platforms to “surf” through the crowd into the far end of the arena. During their performance of “Telapathy” BTS split onto two separate pods that were pushed around the outer rim of the floor seats in order to give the second level of Army a better view of their performance before meeting again on the other side.
The fandom showed their allegiance to the seven-member K-pop group at every turn. The line-up for the opening night show started on Friday morning for a 7 p.m. Saturday showtime — yes, that means some fans were at the Inglewood arena for more than 36 hours before the show began, as they waited to snag merchandise at the boy band’s official booth.
One of the premier merch items was the BTS light stick, which was specially programmed to light up along with the show. During the performance, the tens of thousands of bulbs flicked and flickered along to BTS’ tunes, sparkling across SoFi Stadium and spelling out BTS Army in the crowd.
BTS’ tour continues in Los Angeles on Nov. 28, Dec. 1 and 2.
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