No one does it like BTS when it comes to taking care of their fans (known as ARMY). The septet’s Seoul concerts this month, which would’ve kicked off their worldwide stadium tour to promote “Map of the Soul: 7,” were canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic. But the Korean group has put together a unique and free event as a gift for their fans. The virtual online BANG BANG CON will showcase BTS’ concerts and fan meets (musters) from 2014 — a year after their debut — through 2019.
The two-day extravaganza kicks off in the U.S. at 11 p.m. EDT tonight (April 17) and Saturday (April 18) on the group’s official YouTube channel, BANGTANTV, for a total of 24 hours of BTS content.
Fans who want to get a more “live” concert-like experience may link their ARMY Bombs (lightsticks) to the Weverse app. By utilizing the Bluetooth function, the lightsticks will automatically change color to the specific songs, just as they would during a live BTS concert.
The ARMY has been so hyped up about BANG BANG CON that other non-related organizations took notice. A New York tech conference with the Twitter handle @bangbangcon received so much attention from ARMY that they cheekily amended their profile to include the disclaimer, “Not affiliated with BTS,” in both English and Korean.
The members of BTS — RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook — have expressed how disappointed they are that they can’t perform live for their fans. The youngest member, Jungkook, took to social media to say that he missed the ARMY as much as they miss him.
Five things you won’t want to miss during BANG BANG CON:
1. BTS’ musters (fan meetings) are a combination of live performances and skits. The term fits in well with the fandom’s name since muster refers to a formal gathering of troops. BTS 3RD Muster was held in Seoul on November 12 and 13, 2016. Their setlist includes “Dope,” “Fire” and “Boy In Luv” (not to be confused with 2019’s “Boy With Luv”). But a not-to-be-missed highlight is the group skit, “House of ARMY,” where RM and J-Hope play a teenage daughter and her mother, respectively, who both love BTS.
2. Though it’s their music they’re famous for, BTS’ ments – or statements/comments to their fans — are a mixture of playful teasing and profound gratitude. The ments at their South Korean concerts are especially personal because the audience includes their parents. The group has broken down in tears as they spoke of the hardships they went through and how their families supported them.
3. BTS 4TH Muster [Happy Ever After] was held in Seoul on January 13 and 14, 2018. The performances include “DNA,” “Pied Piper” and “Best of Me.” But watch for the dance breaks in “No More Dream” and “MIC Drop.” The skits are always fun for both the group and the fans. The cutest one started with Jin laying on the floor, unresponsive. Jimin plays his part as a concerned bandmate, but can’t resist saying, “I’m such a bad actor.” Because they’re all laughing at their acting skills, J-Hope says to V, “Show us Han-Sung!” It’s a nod to the character V played in the 2016 Korean series, “Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth.” Revived by all the attention, Jin says he can be healed if the group blows a collective kiss to ARMY.
4. BTS 2014 Live Trilogy: Episode II The Red Bullet (2014 Memories) was years before BTS hit worldwide superstar status. Just a year past their 2013 debut, BTS’ rap line shows off their range as songwriters with biting songs like “Cypher Pt. 3: Killer,” “We Are Bulletproof Pt.2” and “N.O.”
5. The year 2017 was monumental for BTS. It was when they began their ascent into the international stratosphere of pop superstars. The Wings Tour showcased the individuality of each member with memorable solos — “Reflection” (RM), “Awake” (Jin), “First Love” (Suga), “MAMA” (J-Hope), “Lie” (Jimin), “Stigma” (V), “Begin” (Jungkook). Another highlight is “Spring Day.” The rap-filled ballad touches on what it means to long for someone who is no longer here, but also reminds listeners that no darkness lasts forever. It’s an uplifting message for everyone who is feeling lonely and isolated during these uncertain times.
The full lineup for BANG BANG CON follows:
Friday, April 17:
2015 BTS Live
2016 BTS Live º BTS 2014 Live Trilogy: Episode II The Red Bullet (2014 Memories)
BTS 3RD Muster [ARMY.ZIP+].
Saturday, April 18:
2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III The Wings Tour in Seoul
2017 BTS Live Trilogy EPISODE III The Wings Tour The Final (2017 Memories)
BTS 4TH Muster [Happy Ever After]
BTS World Tour ‘Love Yourself’ Seoul