Permission To Dance On Stage
Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV
April 9, 2022
There’s nothing quite like jumping on a plane at six in the morning to go to a completely different state for less than 24 hours just to see your favorite artist, right?
After landing in Las Vegas (during this time: Borahaegas), it was a whirlwind of running around the city to see as many BTS attractions as possible before arriving at Allegiant Stadium to check out all the booths there; from waiting for the PTD billboard to show up outside of ARIA to weaving our way through MGM Grand to find the Live Play shop – it was a full day of BTS.
With the cancellation of the Map of the Soul Tour due to COVID, it felt surreal to be surrounded once more by so many other ARMY (the name for BTS fans). While I didn’t endure the long merch line due to many items being sold out, I was lucky enough to snag a BE album for the Lucky Draw event (yes, I did this solely to have an exclusive PTD photocard). The excitement of seeing who I pulled for the Lucky Draw couldn’t wait, so my friends and I stepped off to the side to see who we pulled. While I pulled my bias wrecker, Taehyung, my friend pulled my bias, Yoongi. And this is absolutely why having ARMY friends are the greatest because Taehyung happens to be her bias and while I normally have an irrational attachment to my photocards, I had no problem trading so we could each have our bias.
I was so impressed with how efficient Allegiant Stadium was with getting fans into the venue as quickly and safely as possible. It took only a few minutes to get through security and have our tickets scanned before we were walking through to find our seats. While we had a couple of hours to kill, it really didn’t seem like much when there were music videos playing on and off along with other clips to promote BTS’ current and future projects. But once it was down to the final 20 minutes or so, after one final video showing ARMY how to connect their ARMY Bombs (lightsticks), it was music video after music video and ARMY’s excitement was already building as singing and fanchants filled the stadium and lightsticks began to sync up with the music.
I wish I could put into words the feeling of euphoria when the lights went out and all that remained were the flickering of ARMY Bombs, the screams that filled the stadium as “WE DON’T NEED PERMISSION” flashed across the screen with the opening VCR, and the absolute pure happiness I felt when BTS were finally in front of us. It’s hard to describe the feelings that were felt in this moment, just know they were euphoric.
In (very cheesy) words, I felt like I was home. I hadn’t experienced this since May of 2019 on their Speak Yourself Tour in Chicago, and with the MOTS Tour being canceled and the future of concerts being uncertain for the longest time, it felt so right to be back with thousands of others who were there for the same reason I was – to see, support, and love BTS in person for a couple of hours.
After a dance-heavy opening including “ON,” “Burning Up (Fire),” and “Dope,” BTS individually introduced themselves – RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook – amping the crowd up for the night and of course greeting the thousands of fans the LIVE PLAY taking place at MGM Grand. They returned back to their performance with “DNA” before an outfit change to slow down for a moment with “Blue & Grey.”
Their performance of “Black Swan” deserves a whole written piece on its own. The intro of this piece was one of the most beautiful artistic performances I’ve seen, the swan (props to the dancers) gracefully maneuvered its way around each member to show a swan at different poses each time, my personal favorite being when Jin was lifted in the air. The creativity behind this intro was stunning and had me in awe, from any angle high or low, it would be stunning to watch.
With pastel colors lighting up the stadium, BTS performed their more pop hits like “Boy With Luv,” “Dynamite,” and “Butter,” before walking onto their respective trolleys to be pushed around the stadium to be up close and personal with fans while performing “Telepathy” and “Outro: Wings.”
Taking a moment to talk to ARMY and catch their breath, also giving Namjoon the chance to tie his shoe, it was obvious that the show was almost over but Namjoon promised that this was the “highlight” of the show as they dove into popular hits that had the crowd going crazy.
The “Stay” transition into “So What” had ARMY jumping up and down with the group, ARMY bombs waving in the air as the boys had their own fun on the stage with smoke machines. “IDOL” brought out their dancers (The Lab) that ended with a high-energy performance and “Make some noise” from Jungkook before the last VCR played.
During this small break, the cameras panned to signs ARMY had including memes, inside jokes, different flags from where people had traveled from, along with encouraging signs for them. ARMY Bombs lit up the stadium saying BTS on the upper bowl and ARMY in the lower with hearts next to ARMY. In the usual fashion of a BTS concert, while waiting for the boys to return to the stage, ARMY began doing the wave with our lightsticks which would be great practice for when BTS returned to the stage and had us do the wave twice for them.
BTS returned to the stage with fan favorites “HOME,” “Anpanman,” and “Go Go,” and I have to compliment them on their absolute big brains to put Anpanman and Go Go back-to-back. The energy during that was unmatched.
After correctly doing the ARMY Bomb wave for BTS, going left to right and right to left, the boys began their endingments. Through their words, it’s not hard to see that BTS love ARMY just as much as we love them.
Their final song was, of course, Permission to Dance. ARMY did not hold back during this and joined in on the singing and even dancing during it. Huge balloons filled the stage and were spread throughout the crowd as BTS and ARMY bounced them around, confetti fell from the ceiling, and The Lab crew joined the stage to dance along. Every member had a smile as they sang the last lines of the song, and I don’t think there was a single ARMY in the crowd without a smile too.
After waving to fans and walking around the stage saying goodbye to ARMY, with a bow to the crowd the show was over – Jungkook lying on the floor and waving to ARMY until the very last possible moment.
The atmosphere and energy surrounding a BTS concert is one-of-a-kind and I’ve found that it sticks with you for quite a while. I hope everyone who loves and supports BTS gets the chance to experience all of this one day.