BTS makes history during U.S. Stadium debut at Citi Field: ‘A remarkable festival of positivity and inclusiveness’

The following is a review by PIX11 reporter James Ford, who attended BTS’s performance at Citi Field on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, with his daughter:

My full review of last night’s BTS concert, the first ever by a Korean act in a U.S. stadium, Citi Field: Excellent. A remarkable festival of positivity and inclusiveness, done to some phenomenal beats (the megagroup’s backup band deserves special kudos) and very impressive dance moves. #btsmakeshistory

I was particularly struck by the ethnic diversity of the crowd. It was a full spectrum of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. In fact, the only way in which I, an African-American dad in attendance with my 11-year-old daughter, stuck out was by my age and gender. My girl and I agreed that the 40,000+ sold out audience probably consisted of 35,000 females. It was actually blissful to see so many women and girls loving themselves and the band, together. They’re key to the fan group, #BTSARMY.

I couldn’t help but think while watching one hip hop-laden routine after another how odd (and possibly a case of cultural appropriation) it was to see this genre, born here in the Bronx, be repackaged as a Korean phenomenon and brought back here decades later.

That’s why it was satisfying to hear BTS’s leader, RM, or Kim Nam-joon, address this issue lovingly in his closing words. He thanked New York City for being the home “of the music that saved my life.” Well done, Mr. Kim, and it sounded like he meant it. In any case, this genius lead singer (it’s all over the web that his IQ is 148) had done his homework. It really did seem heartfelt, bless him.

All seven young men managed somehow to be larger than life, yet vulnerable and accessible to each audience member at the same time. BTS member Park Jimin’s crying at the end of the concert felt genuine and was touching. You could feel the audience embrace him.

The band’s producer, Big Hit Entertainment, clearly knows what it’s doing, and it showed throughout the evening.

My only complaint was the volume — of both the high-pitched screams (did I mention that I stuck out because of my gender?), and the music. The screaming could not be helped, but on a 10 scale, the music volume was a 12. It could really come down a notch. My daughter agreed.

Nonetheless, I would happily see this seven-member Wonder of the World again, and recommend them to anyone. Just next time, some kind of ear protection will be a must.