BTS Super Fan Antonette Penalba shares her four-concert experience with global supergroup BTS
The global Korean pop legends BTS—RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook—concluded their four-part concert series “BTS Permission to Dance On Stage-LA.”
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I had the privilege of attending all four concerts, each holding its unique grandeur. Every show was a stand-alone performance that exceeded everyone’s expectations. Needless to say, the entire world was in for the performance of a lifetime.
The concert experience started hours before the show as fans congregated outside SoFi Stadium, in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, to visit vendors, exchange gifts, and meet fellow Army. Fans were ready to have fun conversations about biases, music, and fashion.
From the scenic lake, different photo booths, and the “Permission to Dance” sign, every angle outside the venue was a picture-perfect moment ready to be captured.
Alongside the majority of the concertgoers, I was not able to snag a soundcheck pass. However, to our surprise, we were able to experience a sliver of soundcheck while waiting in line. The SoFi Stadium’s translucent roof and partly-outdoor design allow for sound to travel outside the venue.
So no, we didn’t score Soundcheck passes, but singing and dancing in line together fostered the perfect mood for what awaited us beyond the entry gates.
As thousands of fans trickled into their seats, the energy in the stadium gained more traction with bright synchronized light sticks, posters, and fan chants. After years of waiting, the “purple ocean” eagerly counted down the minutes until the group’s arrival.
The T-shaped stage was backed with a screen that televised the entire show, creating the perfect view for each seat in the sold-out stadium. Every night I sat somewhere new, varying from the furthest section to a suite experience! No matter where I sat, I was immersed in BTS’s captivating stage presence and the energy surging through the crowd.
The setlist consisted of never before seen performances, old favorites, and of course their record-smashing tracks “Dynamite,” “Butter,” and “Permission to Dance.” Fans of all backgrounds singing in Korean was an awe-inspiring spectacle. Along with additional guest appearances from Megan Thee Stallion and Chris Martin from Coldplay, the vibe of the concerts were completely unmatched from any other before it.
Although each performance is calculated and executed to perfection, the most spectacular part of each concert was BTS’s ability to connect with their audience. The members do a phenomenal job of engaging with their fans, such as orchestrating a light stick wave, interacting with fans on a moving cart, and sharing heartfelt messages in between performances.
As I listened to each member express their sentiments, there is no denying BTS unconditionally loves their fans. Army mutually expresses their love for the group via social media and in person, such as surprising Jin with fan-made birthday projects.
I had the absolute time of my life at the “BTS Permission to Dance On Stage-LA.” Sharing this moment with thousands of fans is an experience I will never forget and hope to have again. From creating new friendships and reuniting with old friends, my heart feels fulfilled.
I am excited for the long-time Army to be reunited with BTS again, and to welcome new fans to this wonderful universe.