At the end of BTS’s 2021 Muster SOWOOZOO concerts, fireworks flickered and crackled over Seoul’s Jamsil Olympic Stadium as the septet rode into the darkening sky. “We’re all shining / from one’s own room, from one’s own star,” the lyrics to “Mikrokosmos” read per Doolset Bangtan’s English translation. The annual celebration of BTS and ARMY — named this year for the Korean title of the Map of the Soul-era song — played with the fundamental spirit of what makes BTS, BTS. Beyond their many hard-earned, long-overdue accolades, beyond their years of work and commitment, something magical and connective happens when BTS takes the stage. Even when the audience is present only over video stream, the energy from fans and BTS alike is enough to power 7 billion lights, 7 billion worlds.
As part of their yearly FESTA celebration, BTS rang in their eighth year since their debut with two nights of performances on June 13 and 14, live streamed through the VenewLive platform. Somewhat different from normal concerts, BTS’s Muster shows typically feature skits and games, plus special performances (who can forget the BTS vocal line singing fan-favorite “Ddaeng” in Busan in 2019?) While SOWOOZOO didn’t feature much of the former, it had plenty of the latter — and that looser, lighter Muster energy was palpable.
If you bought tickets to SOWOOZOO, you can enjoy the virtual magic all over again with replays of night one at 9 p.m. ET on June 18, and night two at 9 p.m. EDT on June 19. Plus, you can relive the magic here; below, we rounded up 10 of our favorite moments from BTS’s 2021 Muster concerts.
“Butter”: The ARMY Formation and Song of the Summer Performance
ARMY might have not been physically present at Jamsil Olympic Stadium, but BTS made sure the fandom got its proper representation by nailing the now-legendary move on the “Butter” choreography. It’s a moment you might have missed on night one if you stuck to the main cam – unless you had the multi-view handy. As RM sang his “Got ARMY right behind us” verse, the members happily struck the ARMY formation pose behind their leader.
With snapping bass lines even stronger than in the studio version, “Butter” was one of the concerts’ kickoffs and it set the tone for what was to come. The song, which just reached its third consecutive week atop Billboard's Hot 100 chart, got the concert performance it deserved during the event. It was fun, it was clean, and it was, above all, summery. The members also made sure to further highlight the “Buttery” drip in coordinating white and yellow outfits – and even some new hairdos to match (we see you, RM mullet.) —SD
“Daechwita” But Make It OT7
ARMY was already in a state when BTS dropped a spoiler that “Daechwita,” the iconic title track from Agust D’s D-2, would be part of the Muster setlist. (Especially since live performances from the members’ mixtapes are rare.) However, nothing could have prepared fans for an OT7 rendition of “Daechwita,” with the members portraying characters from the MV while Agust D sat high upon his throne. They added to the moment with a seamless transition to “Idol,” a perfect match: in both songs, they stand proudly in their ever-growing list of accomplishments and their Korean nationality. —NM
Honorary Eighth Member of BTS: The Water Bottle
BTS has a delightful stage presence, whether they’re tearing it up during “Fire” or, well, getting up to any number of other things. During SOWOOZOO, they leaned into their natural playfulness — especially when Jungkook got his hands on a water bottle during night one, proceeding to chase V around the stage at high speed in a largely successful attempt to douse him. Night two saw a water bottle reprise, as Jin mounted an attack on J-Hope before he was sidetracked thanks to a JK & V joint sneak attack. (Jimin didn’t escape unscathed either.) It will never not be a joy to watch BTS have the time of their life while performing, hijinks and silly facial expressions 100% included. —PCD
“Wishing On a Star” Gets Her Moment
Musters are always rife with surprises and exclusive content, but nobody could have quite predicted this one. During night one’s encore, BTS unveiled the Korean version of “Wishing On A Star” for the very first time on the SOWOOZOO stage. Originally in Japanese, “Wishing On A Star” released in 2016 as part of Youth, BTS’s second full-length Japanese album.
Encore numbers are more emotional and laidback, and “Wishing On A Star” was no exception. Clad in SOWOOZOO merch with their colorful mics in hand, the members sauntered across the stage while delivering the song’s encouraging message. The song’s lyrics – about believing in your dreams and yourself – take on a different meaning during these times, for both BTS and ARMY. Of course, since night two was the world tour version, the song also got to shine in its original Japanese too. —SD
The Tiniest Solo Teases
If you wanted to hear some beloved solo tracks during SOWOOZOO, you were in luck — at least for a little bit. While sitting together during night two, each member sang a few seconds of some of their favorite solo tracks: J-Hope did “Blue Side,” Jimin did “Promise,” RM did “everythinggoes,” Jungkook did “Still With You,” Jin did “Abyss,” Suga did “People,” and V sang “Winter Bear”... to the tune of “Sweet Night.” Fingers crossed all of these incredible hits get full live versions one day. —PCD
“Chicken Noodle Soup” But Make It OT7
We had wondered how BTS were going to outdo their night one performance of OT7 “Daechwita,” and yet they managed to do it again with another OT7 rendition of a member’s solo song. This time, it was J-Hope’s 2019 single with Becky G, “Chicken Noodle Soup,” which samples DJ Webstar and Young B’s song of the same name. Keeping with the global night two theme, RM and Jimin even rapped and sang Becky G’s lines in Spanish — and they got Becky’s stamp of approval. —NM
A “Not Today” Remix for the Ages
With every new concert, BTS seem to find a way to revitalise songs in the discography that we already love. For the sixth Muster, they created a Hip-Hop remix of “Not Today,'' while RM changed the lyrics of the intro and shouted out, “All the ARMYS in their room!” At this point, BTS need to do what Destiny’s Child and J-Lo did in the early 2000s and drop an album of all their remixes. —NM
“Moving On,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and Some Plucked Heartstrings
It appears as if Bangtan Sonyeondan’s mission is to make us drown in a river of our tears. “Moving On,” the story of their trainee years, and "A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone," about wanting to walk the journey to success with each other and ARMY, accomplished just that. It’s poetic that the group were able to reflect upon the emotional bruises they faced on their path to their eighth anniversary, all while celebrating their success as the biggest group in the world. —NM
The First Live Performance of “Dis-ease”
Sounds of rejoicing were audible when BTS answered our desperate pleas and finally gave fans the first live performance of BE album track “Dis-ease'' at both concerts. What made the performance even more endearing was when the group got off stage and walked amongst the screens of ARMYS in their rooms, waving their ARMY Bombs and serenading the virtual audience. —NM
BTS Will Perform Together Forever
During night two’s ending ments, Jungkook expressed his desire to sing his entire life, and together, perform as a group until they’re 200 years old. They made their promise with an imagining of what their pre-concert huddle will look like when they’re elderly, with Jimin and RM joining for a quick chant. But hyperbole aside, their passion for what they do and support for each other is so visible — ARMY will be right behind them for centuries to come. —PCD
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