courtesy of BIGHIT MUSIC
They may be industry veterans and global superstars, but even BTS isn't immune to a little stage fright — especially after such a long time away from a stadium crowd.
The K-pop group, who were just nominated for their second Grammy, was forced to cancel their 2020 U.S. tour due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but took the stage Saturday night in Los Angeles for the first of four shows at SoFi stadium — their first major in-person concerts since 2019.
"Before a concert we always talk amongst ourselves and do a huddle in the green room. Before [the first song] 'On,' everyone said 'I think I'm gonna cry.' Everyone was very nervous," Jin, 28, said during a press conference attended by PEOPLE on Sunday. "We were afraid to make a mistake but that made us practice that much harder." He noted, "Everyone said they were going to cry but no one actually did."
"I was very nervous. I was scared," added Jimin, 26, of the show before joking of the group's elaborate, high-energy set, "Today, I will take it easy."
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty BTS
Despite their nerves, each of the members — who also include leader RM, 27, Suga, 28, J-Hope, 27, V, 25, and Jungkook, 24 — expressed their excitement to get back on stage.
"It didn't seem real until the AMAs. [They] gave us all of that energy for yesterday," said Jungkook, who along with his bandmates took home three American Music Awards, including Artist of the Year.
"It got me really emotional beyond words," added RM, who called the four-night event, dubbed "Permission to Dance on Stage" after their chart-topping English single, "the beginning of our new chapter."
During the pandemic, BTS has performed numerous online concerts watched by millions of viewers in 197 countries, and done remote TV appearances, but PTD On Stage is a return to form for the group — performing in front of tens of thousands of their fans, known collectively as ARMY.
During the pandemic, Jimin admits, "We felt powerless and felt depressed. We wanted to bring healing to everyone." Now, he says, "We're back where we belong."