BTS’ Permission to Dance on Stage Concert Was Virtual, But the Love Was Felt IRL: Recap

Breaking down some of the highlights from the epic online concert

BTS Permission to Dance On Stage
BTS, photo courtesy of BIGHIT MUSIC

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    In June, BTS held Muster: SOWOOZO, an online concert celebrating their eight year anniversary as a group. More than 1.3 million (!) people around the globe purchased tickets and tuned in.

    More recently, BTS announced their first in-person concert events in almost two years, currently their only shows of 2021. All four nights at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium sold out during pre-sale. For anyone counting, that’s nearly 300,000 seats swiped up… all before public onsale could even happen.

    On the evening of Sunday, October 24th in Seoul (5:30am for this writer), BTS held their latest online extravaganza, entitled Permission to Dance On Stage. The show encompassed 25 songs and stretched more than two and a half hours — and, as with every show the septet has held sans live audience, the Bangtan Boys did not come to play.


    Notably, V experienced a calf injury during the group’s dress rehearsal and was confined to a chair for almost the entirety of the performance. There’s an interesting phenomenon that occurs whenever BTS isn’t able to perform as seven: as with the recent months in late 2020 and early 2021 in which group member SUGA was on a hiatus to recover from shoulder surgery, the group didn’t shift their choreography in the absence of their missing member.

    Instead, the remaining six left a placeholder for where V would have appeared and spent plenty of time making it known that they always, always prefer to be onstage as a whole. This mentality is a pretty concise portrait of how the group has operated throughout their career, and it’s certainly a contributing factor in their unusual longevity. (Making it to seven years in the K-pop world is a rarity; making it past eight, with more than a million people paying for a virtual show, is practically a miracle.)