BTS, the Korean pop sensation, is performing their first live shows since the COVID-19 pandemic, and armies of die-hard fans also went to Los Angeles, California to support their idols in person.
On Saturday, November 27, the seven-member South Korean band performed the first of four "Permission to Dance on Stage" concerts at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. The shows are BTS's first since their last tour, which took them from North America to Europe to Asia in 2019. BTS member RM said at a press conference before their second show on Sunday night that being on stage for the first time since 2019 was an overwhelming experience. “Seeing all the fans, seeing the stadium filled with all the fans yesterday got me really emotional beyond words,” RM told reporters. As the pandemic spread last year, the band decided to temporarily halt, then cancelled, their largest international tour, which included nearly 40 concerts, opting instead for online performances. BTS has led a global K-pop mania with quirky, upbeat music and dance routines, as well as lyrics and social campaigns primarily directed at inspiring young people, since their debut in 2013. They were named Artist of the Year and Best Pop Song for their summer hit "Butter" at the American Music Awards last week, among other accolades. The fanbase of BTS, dubbed "the ARMY," is well-known for its zealous devotion to the group. "We are super excited to see them tonight. It's been so long," said 37-year-old Ravy Sok outside SoFi Stadium on Sunday. "We saw them almost two years ago at Jingle Ball. Finally, this is another opportunity to see them again." Her friend Stephanie Tea, 31, added: "They literally have inspired us and have helped us through so much in our lives and they're such a huge inspiration for us." The band will play shows to round out the four-date tour.