On March 12th, eager members of the BTS Army filled hundreds of sold-out cinemas across the globe, equipped with merchandise and Army Bombs (BTS’ lightstick- a necessity for a K-Pop concert). The atmosphere buzzed with excitement, everyone was eager to see what the group had prepared for Day 2 of Permission to Dance (On Stage), live from Seoul. It’s been almost three years since BTS last visited the UK, and the sheer number of tickets sold for the cinema live viewing proved how much the group have been missed.  

BTS opened with a dynamic performance of 2020 hit, On, accompanied by enthusiastic clapping from the live audience in South Korea (no chanting was permitted due to COVID guidelines). However, the cinema audiences made up for the lack of noise- luckily, the screening I attended treated the viewing as if it were a real concert.  

BTS never fall short when it comes to mashups of their songs; this was particularly evident with the orchestral transition from chilled ballad, Blue and Grey, to the dark, classical track, Black Swan. This saw the group’s high quality dance skills come to the forefront with captivating choreography from the members, alongside dancers adorned with feathered sleeves mirroring swan wings. The setlist also included some of BTS’ most famous songs: chart-topping disco track Dynamite, pop hit Boy with luv, and smooth dance-pop number, Butter. Of course, there were some surprises, several gasps from the audience were heard during the intros of much-loved but underrated B-side tracks Anpanman, Home, and Go Go, which were not on the predicted setlist. 

The lack of subtitles when the members completed their ending ‘ments,’ during the closure of the concert, proved to be only a small inconvenience, we simply clapped when the live audience clapped, and laughed when the members laughed. The show concluded with the title song of the concert, Permission to Dance. The audience of both the concert and the screening I attended enthusiastically joined in with the choreography, sign language for words such as ‘happy,’ ‘peace’ and ‘dance,’ incorporated into the dance moves.  

The energy at the live viewing highlighted the warm welcome BTS will receive from the UK when they hopefully make their return to London sometime in the future. BTS, we are ready!