On June 13, Grammy-nominated K-pop group BTS kicked off their Sowoozoo concert to celebrate the group’s 8th anniversary. The two-day concert concluded the group’s annual Festa event, commemorating BTS’ debut on June 13, 2013.
The anniversary is a special time for BTS to recognize and reflect on their journey in the limelight with ARMYs. The Festa event itself, termed “muster,” is defined as an assembly of troops. It represents ARMYs who have stood at BTS’ side while on this trek.
A Galaxy-Inspired Exploration
Ever since the initial photos on Twitter teased the concert’s setup and decorations, the outdoor show taking place at Seoul Olympic Stadium had fans in anticipation. The concert’s title, Sowoozoo, is the Korean title for their track “Mikrokosmos.” The theme of cosmos and galaxy had carried through every aspect of the set. Pre-recorded videos—sprinkled throughout the concert—showed the members traveling through a barren extraterrestrial desert. Even experiencing turbulence from a flat tire, the members traveled steadfastly to an unknown destination.
As reflected in the recordings, BTS member V mentioned in his opening remarks that the concept of the concert was “adventure.” Along with the planetary setup, the main stage was designed in the shape of the number eight, or an infinity symbol, and was colored purple.
An Out-of-This-World Setlist
BTS started their concert with their three number 1 chart-topping Billboard 100 hits: “Life Goes On,” “Butter,” and “Dynamite.” Following this, the BTS members took the time to introduce themselves and held an “ARMY Signal” segment. They looked at fan tweets, discussed job options for Suga, scrutinized past stage outfits, and reminisced over previous practice rooms. The members ended this portion with a discussion of how far they have come on their journey, and how much they have grown, which was the perfect segway into their next song, “Moving On.”
“Moving On” originally told the story of the members moving past the difficulties they faced in their first three years of debut and was a means of celebration for their third year as a group. RM, however, adjusted the lyrics to say “for 8 years, thank you.” Additionally, he changed the lyrics at the end of the song to discuss the pandemic and how the world will all eventually move on from it, as a way to comfort the fans. “Moving On” was then followed by the unit songs “Stay” and “Fly to My Room.” ARMYs were excited when they realized the set for “Fly to My Room” was BTS’ Curated for ARMY room drawing brought to life.
The concert transitioned to a 7-member performance of “Daechwita,” a song that was originally part of BTS member Suga’s 2nd mixtape D-2. This group performance was unexpected, to say the least, as it was the first live performance of the song. The stage had Suga poised on a throne as the members took part in delivering the powerful title track of his mixtape. The section was then closed out with the ever-dynamic song “Idol.”
Looking Back at the Journey
Midconcert, the members sat down to reflect on the past eight years as BTS. They used this time to speak on memorable events that highlighted their journey. Displayed on the large screen behind them were clips of their last in-person concert before the onset of the COVID-19, showing the members happily running around on stage. BTS’ Jimin also shared that his mugshot number, from the recent “Butter” music video, had the date of their first concert from their Red Bullet concert in 2014. They also showed a clip of their “Pretty Woman” performance from their first muster celebration from the same year. As they swam through this bittersweet sea of memories, BTS’ RM provided solace with his words, saying, “Even if we can’t meet, our hearts will stay together.”
The concert continued with “Dis-ease,” a fiery song for which the members stepped off the stage to greet the fans who tuned in for the virtual concert. Walking on the turf, the members performed the song while interacting with and smiling alongside fans. Immediately from there, they returned to the stage with the iconic “bultaoreune” for the song “Fire.” Encased in an orange glow as more dancers joined them on stage, BTS set the stage ablaze with powerful choreography. From there, the members performed “So What,” with an upbeat party performance. During the song, the members playfully doused each other with water, living up to the carefree vibe of the song. For these three songs, BTS could hear fans sing along to each song through previously submitted recordings. Finally, BTS transitioned into a remix of “Not Today,” the supposed last song of the evening.
The Adventure Continues
The concert did not end there. In the final pre-recorded video, the members appeared to have reached their destination. Exiting the van with BTS’ leader RM in front, the visual illustrated a vibrant natural world filled with flowers, greenery, and a moon looming over the members as they stood under a glowing sky. Along with its golden specks of light, the scene was reminiscent of the group’s music video “Stay Gold,” a Japanese release from 2020.
The members returned one last time for the encore stage. They performed a never-released Korean version of their Japanese track “Wishing on a star” and then performed “A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone.”
Preceding their final song of the night, “Mikrokosmos,” RM informed ARMYs that it is not the end of their adventure just yet. “Our adventure to ARMY will continue until we finally meet,” he said. “Thanks for being with us on our most precious day that made us who we are now.”
With this message, the members once again boarded their van and made their exit. The promise to meet again lingered in the air. As a firework show commenced, the members comically ended the concert with apologies to local residents for the noise.
Eager for more BTS content? Check out EnVi’s coverage of BTS member RM’s recent release, “Bicycle,” here.
Thumbnail courtesy of HYBE.