Last weekend was a rollercoaster of emotions for the BTS ARMY, the powerful fandom behind the meteoric rise and internet omnipresence of Korean superstars BTS. Not to say that the strong following is the sole reason for their success, this past weekend’s two-day nearly 24-hour concert stream series titled “BangBangCon” is a testament to the group’s unfailingly fresh discography. The live stream on BangtanTV garnered “over 50.5 million viewers with 2.24 million concurrent viewers at one time” according to a press release from Big Hit Entertainment. If the numbers are any indication, BTS is arguably one of the biggest entertainment powerhouses at the moment. In an effort to remain faithful to the K-pop concert experience, the fandom was able to connect the group’s lightstick to the concerts so the colored lights are synchronized around the globe.
23 hours 12 minutes 52 seconds
ARMY BOMBs connected via Weverse:
Countries connected with ARMY BOMB lights:
— doolset🍊 (@doolsetbangtan) April 20, 2020
Aside from watching complex choreography paired with the mix of introspective rap and distinct vocals, the appeal from the online concerts included being part of a collective nostalgia and seeing underdogs reach heights they didn’t think were attainable. The shows are more than just shows and the fans are more than just fans. The eight featured concerts—from 2014’s The Red Bullet to their Love Yourself World Tour—chronicled how BTS and their ARMY beat the odds in an industry that favored a certain look (caucasian) and a certain sound (English) that they didn’t fit into. But for the non-stans, there’s also something to be savored. Fan or not, anyone can benefit from what BangBangCon revealed about the Bangtan boys and how they were able to adopt the #LoveYourself mindset despite facing adversity.
Stay sincere and passionate
What I've realized through watching #BANGBANGCON is that @BTS_twt have changed a lot in their appearances they literally grew up, but their attitudes, their sincerities, their performance qualities & their tears are not changed at all, incredibly same from the beginning until now
— Soo Choi⁷ 💜 June is coming (@choi_bts2) April 20, 2020
From start to finish, you can see the fire in the expressions of the members in each number and the emotion pouring out during their ending ments (messages to the fans) for each concert. No matter the size of the venue, the boys are unafraid to show how touched they are by the moment and how determined they are to prepare an even better performance to give back to their supporters. Similarly, we can imbibe the spirit by remaining open and continuing to take risks even though we’re afraid of failure.
Be unapologetically goofy
— Sarah 🌸 (@SarahDesertFox) April 19, 2020
During a concert, BTS keeps a good balance in displays of almost superhuman body control and goofball antics. The shows keep you on your toes because one minute you could be tearing up and the next minute could have you cracking up. While it’s great to strive for excellence in our professional lives, it’s equally important to make the most out of our time outside work. Let your freak flag fly and let yourself have fun—even if you think you’ll be cringing at yourself afterwards. It will probably bring a smile to someone else’s face as well.
Don’t be afraid to express your love
😭 I miss them 💜
— BTSChartDaily⁷ (@BTSChartDaily) April 19, 2020
People have different love languages. No matter how you choose to show it, choose to express it instead of keeping it in. Bangtan talks a lot about how much ARMY and their co-members matter to them, blow kisses and come up with different ways to show hearts (from fingers hearts to Jin’s heart events). You don’t have to be a celebrity to inspire others to spread love. Wear your heart on your sleeve. You never know how much an act of kindness can mean to someone.
For a lot of BTS fans, finding the group and their music was such a positive force that they consider it life-changing. So maybe we don’t all have their social media reach, but we can still spread that #LoveYourself with the people around us.
I wasn't able to see the whole #BANGBANGCON, but for what little I saw I never felt so close to them.
They are wonderful and thank you for changing my life. ✨✨💕 #BTS #BTS_OF_THE_DAY #BTS2020 pic.twitter.com/DUp4LSLodt
— FoxyLamento 🦊 (@FoxyLamento) April 20, 2020
Photo screengrab from BANGTANTV YouTube channel