Last night, BTS finally closed the curtains to their long-lived 'LOVE YOURSELF SPEAK YOURSELF' tour. The boys kicked off in their home country on August 2018, then made their way around the world to 13 countries, 23 cities, performing a total of 62 concerts for more than 2 million fans.
"If you ask me now, whether I love myself, I'm still not sure what to say," he said, breaking down into tears.
Till the very last second of their final concert, both the audience and the 7 members went full force without a hint of exhaustion. "We'll rally till there's nothing left," Suga exclaimed in dedication to the last concert. Jungkook added that they "have gnashed their teethes for this [last performance]" and "will [perform] with a do-or-die attitude."
As promised, their performance was perfection. From their foolproof coordinated dance routines to each member's overpowering stage presence, the 7 international superstars conquered the stage. Their counterparts, ARMY, paralleled the boys' energy. The dominantly Korean audience - famous for their staggering sing-along skills - did not disappoint.
It was clear that nobody was ready to say farewell when closing time approached. But knowing that it had to come to an end, the boys shared a few words to wrap up not only the particular concert but the entire tour.
'Plant the star that is ARMY in the galaxy that is BTS.' These are the words painted on the slogan that BTS presented - words that BTS members put together themselves. "For a long time, we only received from you guys. This time, we wanted to write this for you," V said. "I know this [concert] is the last of our tour, but I don't want you to consider it the last. We'll perform again in an ever bigger venue. I love you and thank you."
"I was worried [that people wouldn't show up] because it's a Tuesday. But you guys filled the stadium - thank you," J-hope confessed. "I remember last moments always being sad and disappointing. But I don't feel that way today. This was a good way to put a period to our tour. I love you."
The eldest member, Jin, broke into tears as he spoke. "I got upset singing 'Epiphany' today at the thought of it being the last. But I looked at you guys and all I could do is smile. We will return with a great album," he said.
Jimin, being the angel that he is, focused on consoling the fans. "Don't be sad! We will quickly prepare a new album and come back," he assured. "When I was with you guys, I was so happy that I felt like I was in another world. I wanted to tell you guys that whatever happens, it's okay and I love you."
Concluding the series of already overwhelmingly heartwarming yet heartbreaking ending remarks, RM shared a sentimental speech that left the crowd in a sea of tears.
"Let's give a round of applause to BTS and ARMY for enduring through this journey to truly loving ourselves. Thank you.
I've been contemplating [this topic] since I wrote the last verse of my 2016 song 'Reflection,' which goes 'I wish I could love myself.' I thought, 'I don't know what loving myself really is. Why don't we search [for the true meaning] together?' That's how this journey started...
If you ask me now, whether I love myself, I'm still not sure what to say. But I feel like I do. Even though our [album] concept 'love yourself, speak yourself' ends here, the search for a way of loving yourself doesn't. So I hope that we can continue to accompany each other on this endeavor. After all this time that has passed, all that has happened, I wish that Kim Namjoon can be Kim Namjoon, BTS can be BTS, and all of you can be who you are as well.
Thanks to you, I was able to make it all the way here. Thank you for believing in me. Going forth, I hope that even one word we speak, one verse we sing can help you all love yourselves. No matter what happens in the future, let's keep pushing forward, together.
I'm sad that our tour has come to an end. I wish there were a grander phrase to express 'love,' because I love you all so, so much. Please know that.
RM's tears continued to flow after he finished speaking. J-hope approached the crying leader and embraced him.
The 'Love Yourself' series began on September 2017 upon the release of LOVE YOURSELF 承 ‘Her’ with 'DNA' as the title song. Next came 轉 ‘Tear’ with title song 'Fake Love' on May 2018. Their last album 結 ‘Answer‘ with title song 'Idol' concluded the series on August of the same year, immediately after which they began the 'LOVE YOURSELF SPEAK YOURSELF' tour.
According to BigHit Entertainment, the series had been in the works since 2016, even before the release of hit song 'FIRE' that officially put them on the K-pop radar. RM's emotional breakdown was understandable, considering the significant amount of time and effort that had been dedicated to the project.
The burden he carried as the leader of the group is simply incomprehensible. And to have obtained what they have, over the past 3 years, must feel like a dream. His ending speech captured the essence of that experience, touching thousands of souls on the spot, and will be remembered by all ARMY for years to come.
By Jackie Park and Bongbong firstname.lastname@example.org
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