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BTS may have mustered up one of their largest audiences yet for a two-day virtual concert that drove home their message that “Life Goes On.”
On June 13 and 14, the band brought together the band’s seven members — RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook — for their highly anticipated, two-day livestreaming event, BTS 2021 Muster Sowoozoo.
The event heralded the end of BTS’ eighth-anniversary celebrations, the BTS Festa, which marked their June 12, 2013, debut. BTS has previously hosted five of these “Musters,” an assembly of the BTS ARMY — who call the bandmates OT7, or One True 7 — and this year’s festival was named after the Korean title of their song “Mikrokosmos.”
While the 2021 Muster was completely virtual, that didn’t stop BTS from taking over the internet with their music.
BTS’ setlist on day one showcased some of their biggest hits, “Life Goes On,” “Butter,” “Dynamite,” “Moving On,” “Stay,” “Fly to My Room,” “Daechwita,” “IDOL,” “Dis-ease,” “Fire,” “So What,” “Not Today,” “Wishing on a Star,” “A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone” and “Mikrokosmos.”
Accompanying their performances were space-themed intermission videos, all of which were set outdoors. The performance began with BTS members in an RV driving on the surface of another planet, then taking their space vehicle from the screen to the massive infinity symbol-shaped stage.
To incorporate fans into the livestream, some members of the ARMY were shown on small screens with glowing ARMY bombs. BTS members greeted the faces of their fans on these screens and even broadcast voice recordings of ARMY members singing along to their hits.
The ARMY was particularly drawn to the group’s performance of “Daechwita,” a song typically performed solo by Suga. But for this take, Suga — who goes by the rap name Agust D — brought in the other six members for a performance that was made even more surprising by the OT7’s fake beards and traditional costumes, as well as a sword wielded by Suga, evoking the music video.
Fans also couldn’t get enough of Jungkook’s arm tattoos. The group’s youngest member, at 23, wore a short-sleeved shirt on a few tracks and changed into a number of different outfits throughout the livestream. Jimin and Jungkook also stepped on stage with looks inspired by their lip- and eyebrow-piercings. RM perhaps caused the most screaming from fans by flaunting a sleeveless T-shirt for one of the performances.
Fans were also brought back to BTS’ water fights at pre-pandemic concerts. V was seen splashing Jungkook with water during their performance of “So What,” prompting Jungkook to chase him and splash him with water.
The livestream’s second day, titled the “World Tour Version,” featured some of the foreign-language songs by the band, which has released two English songs and some Japanese albums. The water fights continued on day two, which included rainbow fireworks that shot up from the stage.
The second-day setlist included “Life Goes On,” “Butter,” “Dynamite (Tropical Remix),” “Film Out,” “Stay,” “Fly To My Room,” “Chicken Noodle Soup (OT7),” “Telepathy,” “Dis-ease,” “Fire,” “So What,” “Not Today (Remix),” “Wishing on a Star (Japanese version),” “A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone” and “Mikrokosmos.”
Highlights from day two included their performance of J-Hope’s record-breaking track “Chicken Noodle Soup,” with Jimin and RM rapping Becky G’s verses. Fans obsessed over “Vmin,” or the friendship and harmonization between V and Jimin.
For their track “Fire,” BTS delivered another fiery stage with an inadvertent aspect: A part of the equipment actually caught fire unexpectedly but was immediately extinguished. The fire was accompanied by rainbow-hued fireworks nodding to gay pride month in June.
Fans also reacted emotionally to a heartfelt speech by Namjoon and Jungkook, who thanked fans for being so supportive and helping to set up the livestream.
“A miracle isn’t huge — it’s just this. It’s this, this right time, this communion we feel. Even though you’re not here, I can feel you 100%, for sure. For real,” Namjoon said.
Day two ended with a “breaking news” segment in which BTS played the role of anchors giving a weather report. Fans also could not stop looking at Jimin’s exposed forehead, hailing “forehead supremacy” after Jimin swapped his bangs for a slick hairdo.
Muster Sowoozoo comes amid speculation BTS could be dropping a new album as early as July 9. The event also came just three weeks after the release of their second English track, “Butter,” which amassed over 350 million views in just three weeks.
Tickets to the festival were also not cheap — a two-day pass cost $83.70, while a one-day pass would rack up $46.10. However, thousands joined in on VenewLive and took to social media to rave about the Grammy Award-winning group.
“BTS constantly pushes the envelope when it comes to delivering engaging and innovative shows and the virtual stage has given them a new platform to showcase their talents,” VenewLive CEO John Lee told PAPER.
Fans also had a little more incentive to support BTS than normal. Last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un imposed harsher penalties on citizens caught listening to “perverse” K-pop music, drawing harsh criticism from stans outside the country. The ARMY also struck again in Indonesia when an influx of orders for the BTS McDonald’s meal shut down multiple locations in Semarang.
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