The South Korean boyband BTS kicked off their sold-out “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself” US stadium tour Saturday, May 4, 2019 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. Fans of all ages were there well before the concert was to start, lined up to get into the venue or to buy merchandise. By the size and length of the lines one would think they were queued up for a ride at Disneyland. Nonetheless, the atmosphere was abuzz with anxious, happy, and excited fans.
Once inside, the mood intensified. On the jumbo screens BTS’ music videos were being played and fans were singing along, cheering, and even doing the fan chants.
Right away the group came out hard. BTS opened with “Dionysus,” a rock-pop song with insanely good and very fast-paced choreography. I thought surely they would slide into a slower song just to catch their breath, but definitely not; they went straight into one of their older songs, “Not Today,” with massive choreography.
Throughout the concert BTS sang songs off several of their albums including their latest, number one on the Billboard 200 chart, Map of The Soul: Persona. Plus, each member came out and sang their solo songs. These songs were also part of the “Love Yourself” tour (which kicked off last August in South Korea), but each performance was different from the last tour. During Jungkook’s solo performance this time around he suddenly stopped doing his choreography and was strapped to a device that lifted him high in the sky, flying over the audience all the while still singing.
At the end of member RM’s solo of “Trivia: Love,” holographic hearts appeared, giving off the illusion he was the one writing out these hearts which eventually spelled out “Love you! LA.”
Each performance brought out a lot of energy, not just from BTS but the crowd as well. The show headed to a close as RM announced it was their last song. They then performed their hit “Mic Drop,” the remix version that features Steve Aoki. The performance included the dance break that got the crowed in an excited frenzy.
After leaving the stage, “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself” filled the jumbo screens and Armys were waiting for the encore to begin. Soon after, BTS came back on stage to their fun song about a super hero, “Anpanman,” which included a giant inflatable slide and other inflatables the members had fun jumping around on.
Much too soon the concert was coming to an end but not before each member delivered a speech in which they shared their thoughts and feelings regarding the concert and their fans. After teasing V about his speech, which earned a laugh from the crowd, RM began his speech by stating, “Something was wrong with my ear piece, something was wrong with my head set, something was wrong with my Dr. Strange ring.” After the Dr. Strange comment earned a laugh from the crowd, I thought about the other things he said and I personally could not tell he was having problems with any of that; it goes to show what professionals they really are.
They ended the night on a high note almost quite literally with their song “Mikrokosmos,” a song written for the fans. The members walked around saying their good-byes to the crowd and soon after they took their final bows (both with their back-up dancers and then just the band) until they were eventually lowered under the stage, followed by a beautiful display of fireworks that left the crowd in awe.
The first stop on their “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself” concert tour confirmed the members of BTS are certainly great showman who know how to put on an epic two-and-a-half-hour show. It was truly remarkable to see a Korean boyband who sing 90% in Korean selling out a stadium in the US to diverse fans from all different ethnicities, different genders, and all ages.
“Love Yourself Speak Yourself” Set List:
Trivia: Just Dance
Best of Me
Boy with Luv
The Truth Untold
Make It Right