Hey Socialites! If you’ve been following me on social media, you already know that I’m in love with K-pop! One of my favorite K-pop groups is none other than the groundbreaking, innovative, and super talented phenomenon known as BTS! #ARMY
This month, BTS released “Bring The Soul”, a movie chronicling the behind the scenes and stadium moments from their Love Yourself Tour in late 2018. Of course I was super excited to see the film (so much so that I went twice ?).
The film cemented my love and admiration for this talented group of men, taught me a few new things, and reaffirmed a lot of what I already knew. I could talk about this movie for hours, but I won’t. I will, however, share all of the things that I learned from Bring The Soul!
BTS Is A Massive Success
Bring The Soul took us behind the scenes of the “Love Yourself” Tour, and showed us stops in America, London, Paris, Korea, Germany, and Amsterdam. No matter the location, the sold-out arenas were jam packed with tens of thousands of screaming fans, all with lightsticks at the ready. The opening concert of the movie was in South Korea, and the movie noted that over 90,000 fans were in attendance!
As the movie covered the North America tour, we saw the juggernaut known as BTS sell out CitiField: Something many American artists have been unable to do! One moment from Bring The Soul that stood out to me is when BTS was interviewed while visiting the Grammy Museum. The interviewer noted that BTS records mostly in Korean, but has millions of American fans, who have taken the time to learn the Korean lyrics to their songs, and watch their Korean reality and variety shows. Talk about impact!
Despite their colossal success, high volume ticket sales, and legions of devoted and obsessed fans, BTS continues to remain humble, and dare I say, introspective? No matter how many countries they’ve visited, or how many private planes they’ve flown in, you get the feeling that they are still just as excited to sightsee and take in the wonder of the world all around them as they were when they first debuted. As an ARMY, I already knew that the guys are fun loving and appreciative of all that they have been given, but to see them still get shocked by fans in other countries wearing their merchandise, or discussing them on the news is incredible to see!
It’s always a special treat when you are allowed “behind the curtain” so to speak, and can see the true bonds and brotherhood among the group members. The men were trainees for a long time before debuting in 2013, and often speak of being like family, in part due to the long hours spent training, and dormitory style living. Bring The Soul showed us so many facets of their relationship, whether they were teasing each other about their greetings and MC styles in concerts, or displaying deep emotional concern when a member of the band was injured or ill. When Jungkook (one of the best dancers and singers) suffered from a deep laceration on his foot but still chose to perform, the other members wheeled him onto the stage on a special stool, interacted with him during the performances, and openly discussed the huge contribution that Jungkook makes to the group, and how nervous they were without him being in the center. The members care for and look after one another, comforting each other, wiping away tears, and bonding over [a lot of] food!
BTS Truly Cares About Their Performances
BTS is super talented: Their rap line, comprised of RM (my bias wrecker), Suga, and J-Hope is amazing, and their vocal line, comprised of Taehyung (my ultimate bias!), Jungkook, Jimin, and Jin is outstanding! But Bring The Soul showed us that BTS doesn’t just rest on their natural talent. In the film, we see them poring over performance videos from prior shows (much like football coaches analyze game day footage), in efforts to tighten up their choreography and nail down weak spots in their synchronization. Jungkook cries when contemplating a perceived voice crack in his performance of Euphoria (Jungkook, you were amazing! Don’t do that!) Taehyung, while suffering from a sore throat, lost his voice during the show, and broke down in tears on stage, all while apologizing to first time concert-goers that he would “return a better person” next year. Each member always pushes themselves to be the best that they can be, and they never take half measures on stage. BTS is amazing to watch live, and their desire and determination to perform as close to perfectly as possible is a hallmark of the group.
BTS Truly Cares About Their Fans
Whether you’re a die hard ARMY, or a casual fan, BTS loves you! The fans are one of the chief reasons BTS is determined to perform perfectly, as mentioned above, so that fans can get their money’s worth from ticket costs, and a return on the investment of their unwavering support. At one point in the film, RM, the leader of the group, discusses the emotional and physical toll that their success and the tour has had on him. Yet, in the same breath he mentions that although performing is tiring, the fans are right there with them, screaming and singing for the same 3 hours, and working just as hard. It is rare to find groups that truly appreciate their fan base and create content around the clock just to keep the fans happy. When RM tells the audience “Use me. Use me and BTS to love yourself!”, you just know that he really means it. Throughout the film, they refer to the ARMY in loving ways, always writing new closing statements and thank you’s for the crowd. When you have a band with such a huge international following like BTS, you would think that little moments like Taehyung saying “I purple You” to all in attendance would no longer be needed, yet they still do them, which speaks volumes about their respect and genuine appreciation for their fans!
BTS Means So Much To People
Bring The Soul shared a couple of fan interviews with us, and they were really such poignant moments. One woman mentioned that BTS’ music and deep lyrics helped her to realize that she is more than just a “wife and mother” and that she should fearlessly pursue her dreams and take advantage of opportunities that she had denied in the past. Another fan stated that BTS’ “Love Yourself” themes inspired her to get out of a bad situation and make the most of her life. Other fans spoke of dealing with challenges such as anxiety and depression, and BTS’ willingness to discuss sensitive topics in their music such as mental health, counseling, and working with your family to resolve these issues, served as a sort of light that helped their fans come out of their dark places.
BTS has some of the most loyal, devoted fans that attend every concert, stand in lines for hours, and know every lyric to every song, even when they don’t speak the language! It was truly eye-opening to see the crowds at every concert, and the unity displayed among the fans. Prior to shows, the camera would pan around the massive crowds waiting outside the venue, and you would see fans of all backgrounds, nationalities, and religions (wearing their garb) dancing, singing, comparing fan signs, and just having a plain old good time coming together as #ARMY to support BTS!
They Have Sacrificed So Much, Yet Still Find Joy In The Small Things
BTS is beyond famous. And that is still an understatement! Due to their level of fame, and the nature of being “Idols” in South Korea, they are limited in what they can do. Unlike American bands, many of whom talk of years steeped in decadence, drugs, and groupies, BTS has to avoid scandal at all costs. They abstain from publicly dating, mostly to avoid backlash from fans who believe the men “belong to them”, and they are constantly surrounded by managers and handlers. They have had to sacrifice being able to freely enjoy love, being able to relax, and being able to basically be super rich young men. However, Bring The Soul shows us that the members are happy to take a few moments to see the world around them, to laugh at animals in a park, and to just breathe in the “smell of winter air” on a balcony in Paris. It’s good to see them able to indulge their passions through visiting museums (Taehyung), taking in local attractions in tour locations (J-Hope & Jin), or staying up late to compose new music (Suga).
The Journey To “Love Yourself” Is Long But Worth It
In the last moments of Bring The Soul, RM ponders over what it truly means to Love Yourself, and wonders if he is doing a good job in spreading the concept among the fandom. In the emotional voiceover, he encourages everyone to “find the ways they can truly love themselves” so that they can turn around and say, like him, “I have done the best that I can for myself today.” We will always have days where we feel less than others, days in which we feel uninspired and unmotivated, and days where we feel we have failed to reach our full potential. Yet, much like BTS, we can strive to live each day to the fullest, and embrace love and life as it comes!
Did you get a chance to see the film? Are you an #ARMY? Comment below! ??
See you next time!