Speak Yourself: The Final. Or Is It?
The chilly air of October 29th wakes me up and I quickly jump out of bed to get ready. October 29th, wait… Today is the Day I finally get to see BTS for their Speak Yourself: The Final concert!
It is only 6 am when my friend and I are heading to Seoul Olympic Stadium (also known as Jamsil Olympic Stadium), bumping into a lot of ARMY on our way there, and chatting about how excited we are. The amount of people at the stadium already is insane, this early. First of all, let’s get our identity checked and pick up our ticket and wristband. Today’s wristband color is light lavender but it was red on Day 1 and lime green on Day 2. Anyway…We are ready to explore the area!
So many things are happening at the same time, I feel like I am attending a festival more than a concert. A few weeks ago, BigHit shared a vision where the concert experience would be upgraded for all fans. They actually managed to bring their plan to reality.
The Fan Event Zone is amazing: we are given everything we could dream of at a concert! A Studio to take a photo with the hologram of your bias; free dispensers printing out special photocards of the members; massage chairs and numerous spots to take pictures… Several companies collaborating with BTS such as UNICEF, KB Bank and VT Cosmetics also have booths we can visit for free.
Even Weverse and Weply apps are given an important role to play: while Weverse provides us a real-time map of the venue with waiting time at each booth, Weply offers a pick-up system for Fan Club members to get merchandise. The pick-up service is available as long as you are within a 2.5 km area from the Stadium. If so, you can purchase your merch through the app, then queue (from a few minutes to less than three hours) in a dedicated line to pick it up. Considering I had to queue overnight in the past to get some merchandise, it is a great improvement. After that (plus getting freebies from generous ARMY), I feel a bit hungry so I try heavenly delicious chicken and tteokbokki at the Foods and Beverages Zone.
Finally, it’s time to enter the Stadium! Another quick ID check, and we are given a free FILA X BTS blanket in case we are cold during the concert and a banner for ARMY Time.
The show has not yet started but I am already heartwarmed to see how BTS concerts always bring people together regardless of age, gender and origin. In my seat section, I met a 23 year old K-ARMY who just became an ARMY after watching Boy With Luv’s MV, another K-ARMY who's older than Jin, a German ARMY who attended Wembley concert and admitted she “choked at almost every second”, a Russian ARMY and a lovely lady from Jeju Island.
When we are talking about our concert experiences, suddenly the lights dim out and “Idol”’s MV is playing at a maximum volume, making the whole stadium hysterical.
First comes a new VCR which, in my opinion, is not only a masterpiece but a potential source of clues for the next album. It doesn't take long before the fireworks set off, indicating that BTS is about to perform their first song, “Dionysus”. The stadium goes crazier when they actually appear on stage, amazed by how good the boys look in black and grey suits and the energy that they exert on stage.
Without time to catch their/our breath, “Not Today” quickly follows with an intense choreography. After that, the BTS members take time to greet us and introduce themselves, saying that it is a pleasure for them to perform again in Korea, even if they feel like they had their opening concert for the “Love Yourself World Tour” yesterday. “Outro: Wings” is the last group-song before the first of their solo stages and I am already bawling my eyes out because reality has just hit me hard: I am seeing BTS in their home country.
Jungkook and J-Hope’s new VCR comes right after to announce their solo songs. J-Hope performs “Trivia 起: Just Dance” in a dazzling red suit, looking absolutely charming. Then Jungkook performs “Euphoria” in a simple all-white outfit. I am in awe seeing Jungkook flying above the stage, all happy and waving to the ARMY below him. When the song ends, the other six members join him on stage to perform “Best Of Me”, followed by RM and Jimin's VCR.
Then a giant bubble appears on stage, carrying Jimin who starts to sing “Serendipity” beautifully before he pops it to get up and dance. RM’s solo stage is full of him jumping around, playing with special effects and filters on the screen. He ends his performance with a special greeting for us written on the screen, which says: “You, who are as beautiful as Seoul, I love you”. As expected, the whole stadium cries and cheers even harder reading that! RM then quickly changes to a pink blazer and all the members join him for “Boy With Luv”.
When BTS gather to interact again with the audience, and suddenly ask J-Hope to dance “Chicken Noodle Soup”, general excitation reaches a peak. The maknae line joins him and makes the audience dance with them, although most of us end up laughing instead, because they are redoing the fun dance from their #CNSChallenge video on their TikTok account. Then they ask us to stand up for the medley, playing “Dope”, “Silver Spoon”, “Fire” and “Run”.
We barely got time to recover that we are offered V’s new VCR and solo stage “Singularity”. He wears a now-iconic black swan-like outfit, starting his performance lying in a huge bed. With a smirk on his face, he ends his performance gracefully and the other members join him to perform a choreography-free “Fake Love”.
Suga and Jin’s solo stages successfully make us hysterical (again) as Suga shows up with a see-through sweater and Jin exposes his forehead (note to the stylists: we owe you for eternity!). Following, “The Truth Untold” make us a crying mess as the vocal line put a lot of emotion into the song.
Then suddenly we face a complete change of atmosphere as the rap line comes out performing “Outro: Tear”. You know the part where Suga’s part is now J-Hope’s? Dope! I have been waiting for that part specifically so I am cheering hard.
Still with a fierce vibe, the remaining members join the rap line to perform the last two songs before the encore, “Mic Drop” and a special stage of “Idol”.
While waiting for BTS to come back to the stage, we try to create an ARMY Bomb wave but fail twice, which make the whole stadium laugh. The third try is more coordinated and successful… Yay! A K-ARMY beside me tells me that they plan to sing “HOME” while waiting for the encore, so when we hear ARMY from the ground floor singing, the whole stadium quickly follows and it’s such a touching moment to hear us harmonizing.
Alas, I may have spoken too soon because the epilogue VCR is now playing clips from previous concerts making us cry hard again. To me, this VCR shows us how grateful BTS are for the opportunity of being able to fly even higher than they ever dared to dream. It also shows how the whole “Love Yourself - Speak Yourself” Tour was a healing experience for ARMY and how hard BTS and ARMY work together to be each other’s light and to turn each other’s dream into reality. It is also a promise that despite this era coming to an end, there is an exciting future for all of us, as long as we stick together. And with that promise, a bouncy castle is inflated on stage along with “Anpanman” that the boys cheerfully perform, followed by “So What” and a beautiful firework show.
During ARMY Time and “Make It Right”, all of a sudden, the boys decide to add a surprise of their own: a “BTS Time”! While our slogan says “Every language that makes you who you are is paradise”, BTS’ states that “ARMY are the stars that embroidered across the BTS galaxy”, which captivates how precious our bond is.
But ARMY, brace your heart because ending ment is the part where things get harder due to everyone getting emotional. Ever since “So What”, RM has been tearin