5:18 pm - 06/03/2019

BTS performs at historic sold-out Wembley concert: Day 1 report + Day 2 surprise

LONDON -- BTS on Saturday (local time) made history as the first Korean band to perform at the iconic Wembley Stadium, the largest concert stage in the UK, where legendary acts like Queen, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Beyonce and Adele have headlined.

The first of two sold-out concerts was attended by 60,000 fans, who sang-along, chanted, screamed and danced throughout the performance that lasted for 150 minutes. The group performed 24 tunes, including those from its “Love Yourself” series and latest chart-topping album, “Map of the Soul: Persona.”

Calling the venue a “dream stage,” the septet expressed excitement, joy and gratitude at being able to perform at Wembley as part of its ongoing world tour, “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself.”

BTS had initially planned to perform just one night in the British capital, but tickets had sold out within 90 minutes, prompting the band to add the second concert on June 2. In total, 120,000 fans will watch the two concerts.

“Wembley holds huge significance,” Suga told reporters at a press conference before the first show. “As a singer, there are some dream stages. Since I was young, when I watched Queen at Live Aid, I have dreamed of performing here. I couldn’t sleep last night, thinking that I am performing at Wembley.”

“Finally, we’ve made it to Wembley Stadium, where everyone has been waiting with anticipation,” said J-Hope. “We are truly honored, and thankful to our fans. Our hearts haven’t changed much. As artists who love performing, we will enjoy it and do our best. We will make BTS history in this historic place.”

“We had originally planned one concert in London. But thanks to Armys and your support, we have added one more date. We will try our best on the stage in return,” said Jungkook.

“Thank you for coming all the way to the UK,” said Jin. “Many popular musicians are from the UK and it’s an honor to perform in this country.”

Dubbed the “21st-century Beatles,” BTS commented on the comparison to the legendary British band.

“It’s a great honored to be called ‘The Beatles of the 21st century,’” said Suga. “At the same time, it’s a bit pressuring to be called that. We are BTS, and we want to be the BTS of the 21st century.”

“All popular boy bands in the history of music have always been compared to The Beatles. I think it’s fair to say a lot of musicians have been influenced by The Beatles,” said RM, adding the bandmates were wearing Thom Browne, referring to grey suits that reminded reporters of The Beatles’ fashion.

“In the US we were lucky to do an homage to The Beatles during ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.’ We were very grateful to be called that, and it makes us feel that we are doing good. It’s an honor.”

Asked about hopes for collaborating with UK bands in the future, V expressed his love for Coldplay, while RM said it would be an honor to work with Paul McCartney.

The band’s first concert at Wembley was livestreamed globally via Naver’s V Live platform, with more than 140,000 watching simultaneously, including those from the US, Japan, Taiwan, China and Korea.

“We are live-broadcasting a concert for the first time, so we want to deliver the excitement of Wembley as much as possible so that more members of our Army (BTS fandom), can enjoy the concert,” said J-Hope.

Wrapping up the first night, the bandmates expressed their gratitude to concertgoers, who held up the glowing “Army Bomb” -- the band’s official light sticks connected via Bluetooth -- and turned on the lights on their phones.

“You guys always had the greatest artists, historically, in the music industry -- The Beatles, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Adele. We don’t even have to make a list,” said RM. “So the UK was like the big, big wall to me. But tonight, we and you guys broke the wall.”

“We love you Army, so much from the bottom of my heart,” said Jimin.

More than 100 reporters had attended the press conference, including those from the UK press and more than 30 media outlets from Korea.

“It’s massive, because no Korean group has ever done it before,” said Mark Savage, a BBC music reporter. “The leap in their popularity over the last 12 months has been just incredible.”

“It’s a huge achievement, not only that and to sell-it out, because most bands who perform (at Wembley) don’t sell-out.”

Leading up to the concert, BTS fever descended on London, building up anticipation for the weekend. An official pop-up store for the concert opened in the Shoreditch district from Tuesday to Monday, with fans lining up around the block from early in the morning and waiting in line for more than two hours during peak periods.

The band also rocked the stage for the first time on “Britain’s Got Talent,” performing “Boy With Luv” during the program’s semifinal week Thursday.

On Friday, the eve of the concert, fans gathered at Piccadilly Circus from 6 to 7 p.m. to see Hyundai Motor’s advertisement campaign featuring BTS on the iconic giant screen.

Even without the seven members, there was a festive atmosphere at the event, with fans dressed in BTS gear singing-along to the band’s hit tunes, chanting each member’s name and dancing the night away.


On day 2, there was a project put on by BigHit to surprise BTS with a fan rendition of the Epilogue: Young Forever chorus just before the final song, Mikrokosmos. It was as emotional and moving as you'd expect.

let's stay young forever, together <3

sources: Korea Herald, vminjoon, RMSQ94 1|2|3, GoldenCloset20, encting, BTS_twt 1|2
knighthowl82 3rd-Jun-2019 05:39 pm (UTC)
I still get teary eyed reading all the things they’re accomplishing
mallmouse 3rd-Jun-2019 06:02 pm (UTC)
ah, so apparently there's drama in the European ARMY
Apparently the French ARMY had been bugging Big Hit to let them do the 'Forever we are young' project, but instead Big Hit did it in London, leaving the French in tears and agony (lol. Sorry)
pwrpuffgrl 3rd-Jun-2019 06:36 pm (UTC)
The French Army's response to this has been... interesting
the3rdjester 3rd-Jun-2019 06:04 pm (UTC)
Truly a historic moment. I can't even imagine how amazing BTS must have felt performing at Wembley. I watched the first day that was broadcasted and ngl, I felt bittersweet (and jealous lol) because I will probably never have the chance to actually experience a BTS concert (or any kpop concert, tbh).

But I have mixed feelings about the Young Forever project. On the one hand it was a great surprise for the boys, but on the other hand this was the French ARMYs' project. If BigHit was gonna use it for Wembley (and the reason was most likely because they must have recorded the concert for a future DVD), then they shouldn't have approved of this in the first place. The French fans spent so long organizing it and now they have to find something else to do in less than a week. And even if they sing another song, the impact of the surprise won't be as huge.

Also, not at some French ARMYs blaming the UK ARMYs for this, but also not at other ARMYs telling the French fans to bottle their feelings/move on/etc. Easy for them to say when it wasn't their project that got ruined. I can perfectly understand the latter's frustration. And I don't appreciate how some fans said that Wembley is more important than Stage de France. Sure, it's iconic, but fuck off with downplaying the importance of other venues.

Edited at 2019-06-03 06:05 pm (UTC)
pwrpuffgrl 3rd-Jun-2019 06:38 pm (UTC)
LBR Big Hit did it in London because: Wembley, that's the ugly truth.
pwrpuffgrl 3rd-Jun-2019 06:41 pm (UTC)
I've always said BTS is in a toxic relationship with ARMY but the surprise hit right in the feels.

I'm still waiting for an HD stream download tho

Edited at 2019-06-03 06:42 pm (UTC)
mallmouse 3rd-Jun-2019 07:20 pm (UTC)
Re: The toxic relationship
Just realized that 'Tear' is about ARMY. holy shit
rembrandt13 3rd-Jun-2019 08:37 pm (UTC)
If it's not too much trouble, can someone explain to me exactly what happened? I have a hazy idea from all the comments here but I'm still confused. I'm not usually interested in fandom drama but this seems like kind of a big deal...?
in_noctem 3rd-Jun-2019 08:49 pm (UTC)
i saw a comment on ig from a french army saying that they submitted the young forever idea to bighit and it was approved and then they decided to do it at wembley instead. so now they’re looking for another song to do as a fan project.

idk what went down behind the scenes and if bh thought it was a great idea and copped it for a more iconic venue or if it was their plan all along and it was purely coincidental that french army chose it too tbh.
in_noctem 3rd-Jun-2019 08:50 pm (UTC)
i love how much hobi has been posting since they started the tour. that gif was the cutest damn thing lmao
rainstormraider 4th-Jun-2019 11:26 am (UTC)
I appreciated the IG story with Jungkook running that he posted. Quality content.
nekokonneko 3rd-Jun-2019 09:39 pm (UTC)
For the record, the French fanbase got their banner and slogan officially approved by BigHit. This was the only thing that was officially approved

Here they say that only the banners were accepted by BigHit

There's no real reason to assume BigHit only got the idea from seeing the fanbase talk about it when singing Young Forever at a big concert has been meme in fandom for ages. Fans did this exact project in 2017. It's not new or original at all
pwrpuffgrl 4th-Jun-2019 03:48 pm (UTC)
It's not new or original at all

Their reaction implies otherwise tbh
u_know 3rd-Jun-2019 10:01 pm (UTC)
They seem extremely overworked (which ofc isnt uncommon for kpop idols), do they ever get breaks or is their agency waiting for one of them to end up in the hospital?
garnetstar38 3rd-Jun-2019 10:45 pm (UTC)
To me this is actually the best tour schedule they’ve ever had. They only perform on the weekends and they had a few days to explore each city they were in & have personal time. 6 shows in the US only. I saw Ariana Grande’s tour schedule and it looks brutal. 28 shows from March until the end of May (2 were canceled) I mean everything is relative. It seems like a much lighter schedule even when you factor in promo stops. It’s nothing like the k music show gauntlet where they film all day
gordork 3rd-Jun-2019 11:49 pm (UTC)
I’m a grown woman and my friend and I were crying our eyes out singing young forever at the show. The whole thing was so emotional! I’ll never forget it.
sciencebottle 4th-Jun-2019 12:14 am (UTC)
Seeing the boys getting emotional on social media was so cute, they probably felt so grateful. But all this fandom drama makes me happy that I am nowhere near any of that, for my own sanity. The stuff that I do see (on instagram) is migraine inducing.

I do feel bad for french armys! Lets be real, big hit thought wembley would have more impact. it's not a farfetched idea. but the entitlement and nastiness from everybody is so over the top.

Edited at 2019-06-04 12:16 am (UTC)
jackieee94 4th-Jun-2019 12:23 am (UTC)
Ngl I cried while watching a livestream on periscope. This was a very sweet and intimate moment bts had with their fans. I don’t want to defend Bighit but they’re not entirely at fault. Every project big or small is either approve or denied by them. They only ever approve banners for overseas concerts. F Army we’re rolling with this idea without Bighits approval. It’s a fucked up situation. I’m surprised B Armys didn’t do something like this tbh. They were the ones who started the We love you chant for Namjoon’s solo.
reader17 4th-Jun-2019 03:22 am (UTC)
I had tears in my eyes just watching it. Young Forever is one of my favorite songs of theirs! I am older and mainly watch videos and read articles of how the concert's went. I normally know nothing about the "Army" projects or how anything works. I do feel bad if the French Armies if they asked for this project and it was used for some other venue, since I don't know how any of it works, and if BH may of already had this in mind for London I don't know.

Hopefully everything will get worked out because I really do believe that BTS they care about their fans. Not sure about BH but from everything I see it looks like these 7 young men are giving it their all for their fans to enjoy the music and be a part of their lives, by doing all of that they do for the fans.
markama 4th-Jun-2019 04:27 am (UTC)
Wonderful :)
ostsiberia 4th-Jun-2019 05:05 am (UTC)
Again, I am sympathetic to F-Armies who are disappointed, but I hope they can feel it for now, then reconcile it, and get hype for their show this weekend. To me, it feels like each show bested the previous one on this tour, judging from what I read on Reddit. LA was hype, then Chicago was Frozen the Disney movie so we got extra fan-service, but then NJ was even more hype, Brazil was LOUD and hype, then London was hype but with crying so my point is there's not a scarcity of hype moments and unique experiences. Paris will hold a special place in their heart, like every other stop on their tour. I was in Chicago I'm forever hype because I survived their "First Winter Concert" XD

I'm gonna be *that* person, but keep in mind, those who can go are very privileged because there are PLENTY of I-Armies who will never see BTS because A) BTS will never travel to their country, B) Fans can't afford to travel internationally for a show, C) Those fans can't even get a visa to travel for a show.
pourtant 4th-Jun-2019 10:23 am (UTC)
I'm gonna be *that* person, but keep in mind, those who can go are very privileged because there are PLENTY of I-Armies who will never see BTS because A) BTS will never travel to their country, B) Fans can't afford to travel internationally for a show, C) Those fans can't even get a visa to travel for a show.

lol meee. And I'm actually lucky because I was lucky to see them once last year bc circumstances overlapped in a serendipitous way but I'm not sure it'll happen again. Overall I really don't get this company/fans relationship —it's way too involved for me lol
This page was loaded Sep 20th 2019, 9:03 pm GMT.