New Delhi: It was a homecoming for South Korean music sensation BTS, who held the ‘Permission To Dance – Seoul’ in person at the Seoul Olympic Stadium, a feat that was managed after a gap of over two years owing to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

After two online concerts in the last two years and an on-ground tour of Los Angeles last December, the septet was happy to perform for native ARMY, the fan group of the music band.

Group leader RM on Thursday said the members were “sick and tired of going online” to meet fans.

“I didn’t know how precious it was to see each other in person and to jump together! I feel like we took a giant step. We’re really home now. It was so meaningful to us,” the 27-year-old said.

The group previously held a virtual version of ‘Permission To Dance on Stage’ concert last year, their first since ‘BTS Map of the Soul ON:E’, which was held online in October 2020.

During the 2.5 hour-long concert, which was also live streamed for international viewers via Weverse, they performed 21 songs including “Fire”, “Dope”, “Blue & Grey”, “Black Swan”, and “Blood Sweat Tears”.

Before they opened the show with “On”, a digital graffiti with the words ‘We Don’t Need Permission’ appeared on a massive LED screen setting the tone for a cracker of a concert.

Jin said they have been preparing for the stage act for a long time. Even though it was the same cue sheet as their in-person concerts in Los Angeles, they wanted to redo it for the audience at home, the 29-year-old said.

“Since Korean ARMYs didn’t see this set list, we didn’t want to change too much of it. We stuck with it,” he added.

As fans present at the auditorium were in masks due to COVID1-19 guidelines, J-Hope said, “Since you can’t scream, we will scream for you.”

Several ARMY members at the venue were seen recording the stage acts live and also clicking pictures of the music superstars as the band went around the stadium in two separate open-air mobile vehicles.

The music group, known for their energetic live performances, appeared happier as they got to meet the Korean concert goers at an on-ground show after so long.

From transforming into a majestic black swan with the assistance of masked background dancers, grooving to the disco funk version of “Boy With Luv” to singing “Dynamite” and “Butter”, their two full-fledged English singles, with a live orchestra, BTS created yet another unforgettable memory this evening.

They also took a group selfie with the ARMY when they sang the final notes of “Life Goes On”, the lead single of their 2020 album ‘BE’ which was released during the first year of the pandemic.

In the last few years when he couldn’t perform live, J-Hope said he realised he is a singer in a true sense as he “can’t do performances without the audience”.

“I was missing waiting on you all. The past few years we’ve been wanting to do something for ARMY like online concerts and we also tried to do something on stage without an audience. But it was so hard,” the 28-year-old said.

Performing before the fans face-to-face after two-and-a-half years “felt a little weird”, said Jimin.

“We have missed each other so much. I felt like I was back home. It just made my day,” the 26-year-old singer added.

BTS also sang the ‘Happy Birthday’ song for Suga, who turned 29 on Wednesday.

Suga said the last time they held a show here, he asked fans to “wait for just a little”. As fate would have it, the pandemic broke out by the end of 2019 and the forced hiatus went on for a bit too long.

“I was expecting to enjoy the show with the stadium full. Anyway, we have better days to come,” he added.

Later, Jung Kook teased the viewers that “this is the end” and the members exited the stage bidding adieu. But fans in Seoul kept clapping for the encore and those watching online from around the world too didn’t exit the concert link secretly hoping for more.

After a short break, the band appeared once again on the stage for the special ‘ARMY TIME’ during which they performed “Home”, “Airplane pt.2”, “Silver Spoon”, and “Dis-ease”.

“ARMY, instead of your voice, your clapping just made me want to hear your voice even more,” the 26-year-old V added.

Jung Kook said he was pumped up to perform at the concert in person.

“I’m so happy at this moment. Let’s continue to be happy. It’s just the beginning,” the 24-year-old said.

The grand finale came with “Permission To Dance”, which RM dedicated to ARMY watching the show in person and to those viewing virtually.

BTS is also looking forward to meeting fans in Las Vegas next month after their Seoul shows in front of a live audience and their performance at the 2022 Grammy Awards.

They are nominated in the best pop duo/group performance category for “Butter” at the Grammys.

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