Just when we think that BTS content is already at its prime, the group and its company continuously breaks barriers and breaks records with content they have been releasing this 2020.
From the release of MOTS: 7 in February, to the success of Bang Bang Con: The Live last June which garnered a record breaking viewership for an online concert, and the release of Dynamite that charted (and still at the top spot) on the Billboard Hot 100 for weeks. Now, BTS brings another record breaking performance with MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E.
Held last 10 and 11 October in Korean and streamed via Kiswe, a live streaming company based in the US. The group, with the cancellation of their world tour for the year 2020 because of COVID19, has been doing various activities and releasing them through various platforms to connect with their fans all over the world.
MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E is another addition to the success of the group following their first stint with Bang Bang Con back in June.
Let’s talk numbers
The concert garnered a total of 993,000 viewers from 191 destinations beating their Bang Bang Con record at 756,000 viewers in 107 locations. Estimated earnings for the concert is at 50 billion won according to KMedia sites.
Those behind the planning and execution of the concert explored technologies like AR (augmented reality) and XR (extended reality) to make the experience one of a kind. Considering that the concert was held online, this is definitely a big leap.
BTS and ARMYs were also able to share a short but sweet moment with a segment called ‘Army On Air’ wherein the band can see their fan’s screens and hear their cheers for them too.
MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E Repertoire
With a total of 23 song performances mixed with pre-recorded clips, the show ran for 150 minutes. Opening the concert with a blast and accompanied by a live marching band was ON from their MOTS:7 album. Followed by NO and We Are Bulletproof Pt. 2.
The solo performances started with RM’s Intro: Persona. It clearly gives off that President Kim Namjoon vibes as he starts his solo standing behind a podium. He then goes on to wow the crowd with the great energy he has on stage.
Also performed were fan favorites from their old album like Boy In Luv and Dionysus, one song from their latest albums. With his mysterious and cool aura, Suga performed Interlude: Shadow. He starts off by making his way out coz he’s trapped by walls with hands grabbing at him. This is a nod to the song that talks about his shadow that follows him, gets bigger and darker as the light gets brighter. The solo was followed by Black Swan that gave way to Jimin’s solo dance that highlighted his talent.
To give time for fans to gather themselves and prepare for other solos, the Rap Line performed angsty UGH! and the Vocal Line serenaded fans with Zero O’clock, these performances are the first live performances for these unit songs.
Shock and awe, that’s what I think JK was going for, when he performed his solo My Time. The Golden Maknae has clearly embodied his moniker with this performance all the while trending on Twitter because of it.
Next is the much awaited (at least for me) Jimin solo that is Filter. Sultry dance moves and his special talent of holding you in place with his smoldering eyes, Filter is definitely going to the list of fan favorites from now on. Talk about cute and sexy all rolled into one person.
Little Prince Kim Seokjin is in the house with his solo song Moon. His impeccable looks and his bright clear falsetto sets off Jin on his solo. He was accompanied by backup dancers donning fox masks and with a familiar rose plant atop a makeshift moon. Ending it with a flourish and in true Kim Seokjin fashion, a shiny moon was hugged and kissed by the vocalist.
Moving on to the second to the last of the solos, we have Taehyung with Inner Child. Organizing and creating the set design for this concert must have not been an easy feat. Every performance shows off the effort of the great team behind it. Performing while riding a carousel was definitely a testament to that effort. As a nod to the song, he was accompanied by a little boy while Taehyung croons in that deep, soulful voice of his.
Last and definitely not least from the band’s great solo performances is Outro: Ego. Now if happiness is a song and if serotonin could take form, it would be JHope and his solo. He sets off riding a flashy red sports car and then happily moves to the rhythm of this great song that shows off the dance line leaders’ talent.
Title songs like No More Dream, DNA, Boy With Luv and Idol joins the list together with Dope, Spring Day, and Billboard Hot 100 charter Dynamite. And lastly, as a tribute to fans, the band signs off with We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal.
The End of An Era and Birth of a New One
This may come as a bittersweet feat since the Map of the Soul era ended with BTS and ARMY not reuniting physically and lighting up stadium after stadium. Nevertheless, with the amount of effort from the band and their management, this era will be a memorable one for BTS and ARMYs alike.
And finally with the end of one great era comes a new one. BTS is now preparing for the upcoming release of their new album ‘BE’. With release set on November 20, preorder for the album started last September 28.
A highlight of the upcoming album is the involvement of the band members in the album production. They are involved not just in the music making process but also in critical parts like concept, composition, and design.