BTS Burn the Stage: The Movie, Part 2

When we left off in part 1, the guys were in Australia. During their pre-show meeting they were discussing fan reaction to their winning a Billboard Music Award. Namjoon said that he read a lot of comments on the internet where fans felt it was due to their passion and love for music. “And today is another opportunity, so let’s work hard like we always do,” he concludes. “Okay!” Namjoon then says “Billboard award-winning artists!” “Bangtan, Bangtan, BangBangtan!” the guys all shout. “…tell Namjoon to stop mentioning the Billboards,” Yoongi says. Namjoon protests while everyone else cracks up.

I’m kind of touched that the award meant so much to them. I don’t know how BTS feels about it now in 2021, but obviously it was important validation for them during this time period. Or at least it was important to Namjoon. Haha.

Pre-show huddle. L-R: Jin, Namjoon and Taehyung

We then cut to a lot of performance clips as the song Outro: Wings plays. Cheesy narrator guy says, “We have ventured into the unfamiliar. Different languages, cultures and emotions. There is no common ground, but we keep sharing our message.” Don’t be daft, annoying narrator guy. Of course there is common ground. The love of music for one. The fact that, ultimately, people are people even if there are differences in cultures and customs for another.

Happy crowd.

We then linger on the guys performing “Still Wishing For More Good Days.” They stop singing and hold their microphones out to the audience so the crowd can sing. The audience does well. Narrator dude says that while they started the tour with fear and trepidation, what they feel now is joy and thrills. Fade out.

Yoongi

A black screen reads “Ocean” in white letters as we fade in to the guys sitting at a table having a meeting with their director. Director of the tour? The CEO of their company Big Hit/Hybe? I’m not sure who the director is. [Edited to add: He is the director of the tour.] Anyway, BTS is in Tokyo, Japan the caption tells us. The director tells them this is their first official meeting since they won the Billboard award and the guys say, really? and clap. They have hope they will win an American Music Award, too. The director tells them they have about a 90% chance. And they have been asked to perform. Yoongi throws his arms up and is thrilled to hear that. Someone else says, “Wow! Really? That’s dope!”

The director tells them that America loves how natural the guys are as well as their fun and crazy side. BTS still gives off a rookie vibe; American artists don’t, he says. That’s for damn sure. North American music artists definitely prefer a more jaded, been there, done that image for themselves. The guys feel gratitude to their fans for waiting to see them at award shows and cheering so loudly. It made people curious about BTS. “Don’t ever forget your love of music and how great your fans are,” the director says. “We won’t ever forget,” the guys reply.

Interestingly, there is a fast film cut and the meeting concludes with the director telling them they need to find a way to be happy. “If you keep going like this, I worry that you might feel miserable,” he says. It’s unknown what conversation inspired that lecture from the director. Narrator guy explains that if the guys aren’t feeling happiness themselves in their lives, their message to fans through the music becomes a lie. Fade out.

We fade in to Jimin backstage getting stretched by the physical therapist. Then Jin. Then we cut to the guys getting some food. Without telling us why, Yoongi says he starved himself for 18 hours. He needs to eat now, he says. Ah okay, he tells us he is on a diet that calls for an 18 hour fast and then within a 6 hour window you can have meals before you fast again. Why Yoongi feels the need to be on a diet I have no idea. I guess the pressure to be thin is constant even for the male idols. The standard of how thin is thin enough is quite stringent in Korea. Shots of everyone eating as the narrator says that the guys have been slowing down just a bit to tend to their music, health and other plans.

L-R: Namjoon and Hoseok

Saitama, Japan. A tired looking Hoseok is cooling off in front of an electric fan taking a break from rehearsal. “Finally it’s our Japan concert,” he says. The stadium they are performing in is huge.

Yoongi

Heading back to the hotel, Taehyung talks writing lyrics with Hoseok. Then we cut to morning and Namjoon eating breakfast by himself. It’s in an empty room with plastic white furniture. Across the room it looks like a couple of people have gathered to stare, either at the camera people or Namjoon himself. Probably at Namjoon,

Namjoon is talking about how fans went wild at the Billboard Music Awards. He hopes to make more memories like that. After breakfast, he speaks with a translator telling her that he wants his thank you speeches to the Japanese audience to be casual, but sincere. He says he doesn’t speak Japanese well so it’s more of a struggle to get across what he wants to say. She helps him with that. The narrator says that the guys feel grateful that international fans try to understand BTS’ Korean lyrics so they want to speak in their language when they thank the fans on stage.

Some more happy fans.

Show time. Narrator guy narrates dramatically as we watch clips of the guys joking around on stage. He’s basically saying that BTS feels an enormous sense of gratitude to their fan base for making their dreams become a reality. Backstage, the guys feel good about how the show went.

Osaka, Japan. They are performing at the Kyocera Dome which looks massive from an aerial shot we see. The performance goes well and they are happy. Having performed at a venue as big as the Dome they really feel like they are blowing up in a huge way. Someone says that it’s just the beginning.

Taipei, Taiwan. In the dressing room the guys are told they will go on a short vacation after they perform. Namjoon is stoked. I think the “short vacation” is flying back to America for the American Music Awards so, not exactly a real holiday. Then we see a lot of shots of fans from all over the world as cheesy narrator guy says that now BTS can communicate with their music, if not their words. Then we see shots of fans expressing their reasons for liking BTS–they’re cute and energetic–to thanking them for their great music and the inspiration they give.

Los Angeles, California. We cut to the guys talking about the American Music Awards. This will be the first time they have performed there. We see them arrive at the airport and fans have lined up to greet them. The first thing they have to do is perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live. It’s good promo since Kimmel has millions of viewers all over America. We see a very short clip of them performing.

The next day. The guys are meeting some celebrities (was that Post Malone?), but I don’t know who they are. Oh, okay. They are in the green room at the AMAs. They say the space is the nicest green room they have been in so far. Then we see the guys pose for some pictures in front of an AMA sign as the press pool snaps away. Then we cut to the show and we see that BTS is seated in the front row. Jimin tells us that a lot of fans came. Even more than they first realized. We don’t see clips (probably for legal reasons), but the guys kill it when they perform. It’s a bummer we couldn’t see footage of the performance or of the night overall.

American Music Awards, 2017.

They don’t win an award though, because the next shot is back in Seoul, Korea. The guys are in a practice room, but Jimin is preparing a birthday cheesecake for Jin outside. As he brings it in everyone sings “Happy Birthday.” The next shot is the next day and Taehyung has brought his dog Yeontan (aka Tannie) to practice. Yeontan has become a bit of a little furry celebrity among the BTS fanbase and Tae adores him. In case you are wondering, Taehyung’s parents take care of Yeontan when Tae is on tour.

Taehyung and Yeontan
Jimin

We then get clips of the guys through the years starting from when they first debuted. They all look so young! The Maknae line, as they are sometimes called– Jimin, Taehyung and Jungkook– all look about 13 years old. The point of the clips is to show that, from the start, they were hard-working, ambitious and grateful for every step forward they made. Watching the footage, I really felt the intensity of how hard they have had to work. None of their success has been an accident or a fluke.

We cut to BTS giving their final performance of the tour in Seoul. Each member thanks the fans for helping them get to where they are or some jazz. Namjoon tells the audience that when they first began the tour they had trepidation, but it went well and he is grateful for the support from their Korean fans. He hopes the fans can get from BTS at least a little of what BTS has gotten from the fans.

The final bow.

We then cut to the guys in one on one interview clips reflecting on how far they have come. At one point, we cut to a clip of BTS winning an award in America. I have no idea which award it is. Was I wrong and they did win an AMA? No clue. I’ll have to Google. [Edit: They won an AMA the following year in 2018.] Anyway, in his one on one, Hoseok admits he would like even more success if it’s possible. Yoongi says that at times he wants it all to stop so that he can rest. But then he thinks about how the day will come where BTS won’t be able to continue on even if they want to so, he wants to keep going.

The ironic thing is that, as every BTS fan knows following this tour, 2018 was a rough year for them. They seriously considered disbanding. Though I said in my intro that it’s hard to pinpoint when BTS officially became a very big deal worldwide, that is incorrect. It’s safe to say it was in 2018. The guys were really feeling the pressure of their increasing celebrity and were having doubts about whether they wanted to keep going. But, after a period of self-reflection, they chose to stay together and set new goals for themselves. And here it is, four years later, they are still gaining new fans and one of them is writing stupid recaps about them.

브라보!

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