The BTS ARMY Explained What It Was Like to See BTS For the First Time Live on “Good Morning America”
Well, I can now say I’ve attended my very first BTS show, on May 15, when the wildly popular K-Pop group played Good Morning America’s summer concert series in Central Park. Teen Vogue has covered BTS extensively over the past couple years, so I’ve gotten to know my way around the fandom (I even have my own bias — V’s song “Singularity” was one of my first favorites). Still, seeing the BTS ARMY in real life was even more powerful and delightful than seeing them on Twitter.
On my way to the park, I could hear their screams from blocks away, only to find that the actual stage area that GMA has set up isn’t massive. It felt like an arena’s worth of weeping from maybe a thousand people. They brought their posters and signs as they shivered in the cold for hours to see the boys; some even waited literal days, because the New York Police Department had to tweet out safety warnings to people who had decided to camp out in the park last week.
Some fans traveled to New York just for the occasion. Zoe Martin, a 14-year-old from Florida, and her mom flew up a day before with the hope that they’d be able to get into the show. They were successful — even though they’re flying back home to Cocoa Beach in a day. The quick trip was worth it. “I’ve been wanting to see them forever,” Zoe told Teen Vogue. “They’re just awesome. They talk about loving yourself and accepting yourself, which is better than negative vibes. What is there not to like?”
During the morning show, they performed hits such as “Boy With Luv” and “Fire.” Coincidentally, “Fire” was the first song that brought 17-year-old Brooklyn resident Blessin McFarlane into the BTS ARMY back in 2016. The GMA concert is her fourth time seeing the group live; she’s also picked up some Korean from listening to them and has made an effort to learn more to keep up with what’s going on on Twitter (some of her favorite BTS stan accounts include @btsraplinehoe and @cosmosdior).
“I love the message that you don’t have to be someone else. You don’t have to be a superhero in life to be happy,” Blessin told Teen Vogue, adding that her bias (A.K.A. her favorite member) is J-Hope. “[They say] you can find your dreams in your own time. Society’s standards aren’t your standards.”
Brother and sister BTS fans Jasmine Santiago, 17, and Miloh Santiago, 15, also saw BTS for the first time in concert on GMA. Miloh called it “an out of body experience.” Jasmine said the experience of seeing them live was “so unreal.” She’s also rooting for BTS’s younger brother band TXT, which is under the same BigHit Entertainment umbrella. “I like that there’s finally a group underneath them. It’s cool to see them grow.”
A highlight for them was seeing the BTS ARMY in action, and being surrounded by screaming fans who love this group as much as they do. One particularly artistic fan, 15-year-old Natalya Nuñez, even sketched some BTS members in a notebook for the occasion. GMA also pulled up young fans on stage who sang and rapped “Fake Love” for the thrilled audience. “It’s great when everyone is together,” Jasmine said. Miloh added, “It’s like a community.”
Watch BTS’s performances on Good Morning America below:
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