Live Review: BTS Conquer Mother Nature with Two Epic Nights at Chicago’s Soldier Field (5/11-12)

The Bangtan Boys delivered an explosive weekend of nonstop jams in the chilly rain

BTS at Soldier Field in Chicago
BTS at Chicago’s Soldier Field, photo by Big Hit Entertainment

Setting the Stage: BTS has taken the world by storm since their inception in 2013, continuously wowing audiences all over the globe with their jaw-dropping stage effects, hypnotic body rolls, breathtaking vocals, and touching lyrics. The now infamous boy band, composed of seven drop-dead gorgeous members, has a sound deeply rooted in hip-hop with a splash of pop, R&B and EDM thrown into the mix. With thought provoking and insightful lyrics, BTS has touched the hearts of many and continues to sustain its ever growing ARMY of supporters.

In 2016 Wings, became BTS’s first album to sell one million copies in South Korea and the band soon found themselves crossing into the international music market. Two years later, BTS had the second and third best selling albums worldwide and have since sold over 14 million records. And if you weren’t already impressed, in 2019, for the first time in history since The Beatles, BTS earned three No. 1 albums in less than a year thanks to 2018’s Love Yourself: Tear, 2018’s Love Yourself: Answer compilation album, and last month’s Map of the Soul: Persona EP.

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In the wake of such success, The Bangtan Boys have made several outstanding media appearances, having performed on The Ellen Show, The Tonight Show, and Saturday Night Live, to name a few. What’s more, they’ve conquered social media, posting an endless supply of silly videos and photos of the members in their everyday lives. Full disclosure: With such cute, coy, and hilarious personalities, they’re all really hard to stop watching.

So, you could imagine the excitement and energy this past weekend at Chicago’s Soldier Field, by far the largest venue in the Windy City, and one that they sold out for two nights within seconds.

BTS at Soldier Field in Chicago

BTS at Chicago’s Soldier Field, photo by Big Hit Entertainment

Taking The Stage: If you were lucky enough to catch the concert film, BTS World Tour: Love Yourself in Seoul in theaters earlier this year, you might have walked into the stadium thinking you were prepared for this concert. After all, several of the same songs were performed, many of the jaw-dropping stage gimmicks were used, and a number of the seamlessly eye-catching choreographed dances were on repeat once again for our viewing pleasure. Real talk, though? No one was prepared for this.

Love Yourself: Sunlight: On Saturday the weather wasn’t looking very promising as it drenched thousands of fans waiting in line to get their merch. Tensions were high and morale was low, but thankfully within an hour of the show, the sun finally started to poke its head out again. BTS stormed the stage soon after, appearing out of nowhere amidst an elaborate fireworks show and two gigantic inflatable cheetahs, and opened with their latest explosive rap-based anthems “Dionysus” and “Not Today”.

“Chicago stopped the rain,” Rap Monster screamed. “You blessed us.”

For over two and a half hours, BTS proceeded to shock and dazzle the packed venue, sending fans into a dizzy with their flawless choreography, exceptional vocals, and intoxicating charisma. At several points, individual members took the opportunity to introduce themselves, engage the audience, and send hearts aflutter, particularly when the group’s sweet jokester J-Hope exclaimed, “I’m your hope, you’re my hope.”

But don’t let their innocent personas fool you! These boys are very aware of the effects their sex appeal has on its ARMY, which is why they continuously blessed us with countless tummy flashes, pelvic thrusts, and body rolls that were all as smooth as butter. Paired with a captivating light show that uniquely complemented each performance, it was almost too much to handle. But they seemingly knew how to up the ante with each passing second, especially during fan favorites such as “Dope” and “Fire”, in which rhythmically-synced confetti cannons, giant fire balls, and fireworks helped color what was likely the best night of these Chicago fans’ lives.

It was never not a spectacle as each performance came paired with short mini movies of them playing tennis, taking photos together, and laying around looking cute in their PJs during costume changes. J-Hope emphatically danced on neon pillars and even jumped over a whole person on the wavy electro jam “Just Dance”. Jungkook literally flew through the audience like a majestic butterfly amidst the sweet echo of “Euphoria”. Jimin sensuously danced with an endless stream of bubbles and gyrated on the floor like an unstoppable force. V awakened from a sweet slumber to show us his multiple personalities in the phantom track “Singularity”, which caused one nearby fan to scream, “He’s a whole meal!” Later on, Jin stoically climbed a metaphorical stairway to heaven during his journey of learning to love oneself on the soulful ballad “Epiphany”.

BTS at Soldier Field in Chicago

BTS at Chicago’s Soldier Field, photo by Big Hit Entertainment

There was no shortage of gasp-worthy moments, leaving fans winded as the night drew to a close. For the curtain call, BTS ran out to the center stage and performed the raucous EDM jam “Mic Drop” in tactical gear and track jackets. The stage went silent as Suga dramatically dropped his mic on the floor and the band walked off the stage. Minutes later, they reappeared with a bounce house for the goofy superhero anthem “Anpanman”. Fireworks and a fond farewell from each member etched their final sign off of the night. “I really hate the cold, but I was so happy with you ARMY,” Jin said with a cozy laugh. J-Hope added, “You are my hope. See you tomorrow!”

And to that, confetti exploded into the sky, and a giant neon sculpture of the Wings logo slowly rose onto the stage.

Love Yourself: Rain: Unfortunately, our prayers were not heeded on Sunday, and the audience found themselves drenched to the core during BTS’ rainy performance the following night. But that hardly stopped these boys from putting on a good show. No, they fought all night to warm the audience with their electrifying music and strong stage performances. Not surprisingly, the weather made it impossible to recreate the massive amount of confetti, giant flames, and fireworks from the previous night’s show.

Even so, BTS put on another epic performance, filling those explosive gaps with silly antics and an ironic homage to the Chicago Cubs via flag football. Rap Monster even personally thanked fans: “Thank you for being with us tonight during this terrible weather because tonight was truly a special night.” And J-Hope brought a smile to everyone’s face when he exclaimed, “I’m not afraid of the rain because army you are my umbrella ey ey ey.” The screaming insisted the soggy fans didn’t mind in the slightest.

Not Today
Outro: Wings
Just Dance (J-Hope Solo)
Euphoria (Jungkook Solo)
Best Of Me
Serendipity (Jimin Solo)
Love (Rap Monster Solo)
Boy With Luv
Singularity (V Solo)
Fake Love
Seesaw (Suga Solo)
Epiphany (Jin Solo)
The Truth Untold
Outro: Tear
Mic Drop

So What
Make It Right