How has everyone been? I missed being on here! Hope your summer has been fun and exciting and all things good. Mine has been crazy-busy, with some amazing moments thrown in.
By far, one of the most amazing moments of my summer, if not my life, was The Red Bullet in Los Angeles.
Miraculously, BTS, my ultimate bias group, came to my city again. And I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to the sold-out show! Somehow I survived to tell about it, so now I will!
Let me just start by saying:
AAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!!!!!! I SAW MY BOYS!!!! I SAW MY BOYS IN PERSON!!!!!! WHAT EVEN IS LIFE?!!!!!!
Okay. I guess I’m still not over seeing them. I promise the rest of this recap will be light on the fangirling…
and I can’t even finish writing that sentence with a straight face.
Anyway, Sunday, July 26, 2015 will be a day I will never forget. That was the day my favorite group in the whole entire universe came to bless Los Angeles for their fourth and final stop on the U.S. leg of their tour. And I still can’t believe I was there to witness it!
I thought about lining up early to get a good spot on the general admission, standing-room-only floor of the VIP section at Club Nokia, but my “lining up early” meant 10AM the day of the concert. Other brave ARMYs’ idea of lining up early meant 10PM the night before. Yeah, I was not gonna do that.
So instead, I slept in, got dressed and then set out for the 50 mile trek to Los Angeles–the home of Club Nokia.
Halfway into my drive, I realized that I am a complete idiot, because I forgot one very important item:
Did you find it? Yeah, that pretty box in the middle that reads “Official Light Stick,” surrounded by some of my BTS collection. That’s exactly where my ARMY Bomb stayed–all tucked in and cozy. Ugh.
Well, forgetting my ARMY Bomb did not prevent me from having a great time waiting in line in the hot sun for hours on end. Why? Because I met so many amazing people while I waited! That’s almost as much fun as attending the actual concert!
The excitement rose as we all finally started to file into the club. After going through security and all that that entails, I walked into Club Nokia and immediately saw the spot I wanted.
It was the raised area, third-tier, closest to the bar, with a clear view of most of the stage and no heads blocking. A lucky bonus was finding that this third-tier allowed me to lean against a short, 4-foot-tall wall in front of me, which I knew I would need because of all the near-fainting and wobbly legs sure to come.
And then we waited. The nervous energy was thick on that floor. People spoke, sang, squealed, and screamed while waiting. I would have been in the latter category if not for the calming effect of my friend, Jennifer, who is just about the coolest fangirl you could ever meet.
Jennifer kept my nerves from spilling over into feverish fangirl panic as I waited for my precious boys to hit that stage. But her own calmness didn’t last long. The minute the lights dimmed, we lost it. Well, I lost it first, and then Jennifer followed.
Seeing my seven favorite boys standing there in their navy blue, military-inspired jackets, looking all regal and majestic under the lights, overwhelmed me. Tears welled up. I could not believe they were in front of me.
Then “N.O” started and let’s just say only dogs could hear my high-pitched wails. When Jungkook started his rap, I died! Absolutely and completely. His honey-caramel colored hair looked so beautiful in those lights. I may have stopped breathing at one point.
The first four songs went by in a flash–“N.O,” “We Are Bulletproof, pt. 2,” “We On,” and “Hip Hop Lover.” “We Are Bulletproof, pt. 2” is always so amazing to see, because the boys still have boundless energy when they perform it, even two years after they first debuted it. And oh my gawd! I never get tired of the dancer line’s solos.
I wish I could have recorded every nuance, every moment of their stage, but we weren’t allowed to record or take pictures, so my phone went untouched in my bag. The security was ridiculously strict about it too. All the applause to the people who managed to get some kind of fancams. Since I got NOTHING of my own, I have to rely on others’ fancams (not all from LA) to spruce up this post. Please see the credits at the end of this post.
In between the first four songs, the boys spoke a bit, saying their hellos and giving Los Angeles a nice, affectionate greeting. I was a puddle of fangirl emotions as I watched them on stage, a mere 50 feet or so away from me.
The second set of songs included a few of my favorites. Hearing “Let Me Know” live is a religious experience. Between V’s beautiful low tones and Jimin’s ridiculous high note, I was all outstretched arms and closed eyes, as I swayed to the rhythm of the holiness in front of me.
Then they followed that up with “Rain,” which is one of my top 5 favorite songs to feature Jungkook’s lilting voice. Plus J-Hope sings (!) and his voice is so pretty, and it’s topped off with Jimin’s sweet falsetto at the end! Good gracious, I’m glad I had that wall to hold me up.
After the ballads, we were treated to a heavy dose of cuteness! Oh my goodness, so much cuteness. First, “Blanket Kick,” which is such a treat to see live. When the boys lined up in a row at the front of the stage while stagehands stealthily brought out a single bed complete with a fluffy comforter, I couldn’t wait for the song to begin. Just knowing Jungkook was lying still and undetected underneath that blanket, made me worry that he was hot and suffocating. In fact, during Rap Monster’s whole first verse, I was so concerned for the maknae, I couldn’t even concentrate on the song! At least, not until Jungkook threw open the blankets and started singing the chorus. Yeah, I worry about that kid too much sometimes.
“Just One Day” was next and it was so swoon-worthy. I love Jin’s live voice in this song. And the choreo is so pretty, yet still masculine. And Suga’s voice is extra-special in this, because it’s more vulnerable than some of his other raps.
Next, the fans were treated to the sexy-cute “Look Here” (one of my personal favorites). And wow, do those boys know how to give fan service! Jimin is exceptional, with his flirty smile and playful dancing. And all the aegyo! I’m personally not the biggest fan of idols being forced to be cutesy, but J-Hope is the personification of aegyo, so it works for him. And Jimin’s entire existence is sexy-aegyo (is that even a thing?).
After the onslaught of adorable, the vocal line–Jin, Jimin (with his fantastic red hair), V and Jungkook–were left to do what they do best–sing and be amazingly flirty and adorable. To say the vocal line’s vocals are good live is not giving enough credit to these fantastic boys. They are not just good, they are flippin amazing!
“Propose” just about killed me. I was so happy to finally hear this song live. I listen to it on repeat at home because it fills my heart with fangirl joy. But to see it in person, to hear my favorite Jin-singing song in person, both made my life AND nearly sent me to my fangirl grave. I still haven’t recovered.
After giving my poor fangirl heart a quick break, the boys came back from a costume change…and set out to thoroughly destroy me. “No More Dream”—the song that started it all for me, the song I still listen to while clutching my heart from nostalgia and beautiful memories—was next up. It doesn’t matter how many times I hear this song (countless), or see it performed live (three times now!), I get so hyped! Jennifer and I jumped, and danced, and fist-pumped along with the boys. And we may have screamed just a little too loudly when Jimin lifted his shirt. Come on, you know we had to!
And then the moment of my death occurred. The moment I had been waiting all these months for, ever since this tour was announced. The moment I never thought I would be lucky enough to see live. “Tomorrow.” BTS performed “Tomorrow.” Oh. My. Gawd. BTS performed “Tomorrow.”
My favorite choreography of all time. One of my favorite songs of all time. Right in front of me. I don’t know if I blacked out or just couldn’t see from the tears, but it was all a beautiful blur. The lyrics, the body rolls, the vocals. Aagh! I was glad again that that wall held me up. I really needed it. “Tomorrow” was absolute perfection.
I believe “Miss Right” was performed next, complete with an audience sing-along portion, but I was still shaking from the splendor of “Tomorrow” that I didn’t quite pay attention. I recovered in time for “I Like It,” which had been my previous favorite BTS song before “Tomorrow” took that title. I love to see “I Like It” performed. The choreo is sexy and cute and adorable and I just love it so much and yes this is now a run-on sentence but oh well. “If I Ruled the World” was up next, and V once again mesmerized me with the sultry quality of his vocals. His voice is a treasure.
After that, three celestial warriors descended from the heavens and conquered us as we stood there, mouths agape. Oh, I mean, J-Hope, Suga, and Rap Monster rapped. Okay, they didn’t just rap, they slayed! “Cypher, pt. 3: Killer” was definitely THE highlight of the night. The floors shook and the walls vibrated with the mass hysteria the rapper line created in that room! Those boys killed! The audience went wild: jumping in unison and screaming the chorus. And when J-Hope did his little, tongue-twist part of his rap, everyone just stood there, basking in the brilliance.
It was the one time in the night I was happy I wasn’t recording, because I let myself be in the moment, experiencing greatness. I’ve never felt so uninhibited and free at a concert, and I’ve never jumped and danced so hard in my life.
By the way, Suga is mesmerizing. I felt honored to witness him in action. And he was on point! I’ve always considered Rap Monster an amazing rapper, with his way with words and the way he seamlessly weaves in clever English phrases, but Suga is by far my favorite rapper. His voice, his cadence, his rhythm–they leave me breathless! And how can someone so cute have so much swagger? That boy seriously needs to release a mixtape. Like NOW!
Whew! That’s a lot of words. And I’m still not done! But I will spare you for now. Be on the look out for part two of my adventures with Bangtan coming soon. Not only will it be fun to read (at least I hope) but it will come with a giveaway! Stay tuned!