Korean boyband BTS kicked off the latest leg of their Wings world tour, in Seoul, South Korea, last night. The latest part of the Wings tour begins as the K-Pop outfit reflect on the fact that the latest BTS album dominates the charts in their home country, and in many areas where K-Pop is popular. As we reported in the Inquisitr earlier this week, the latest BTS release is an extended version of the Wings album, which was released back in October 2016.
The new version, titled Wings: You Never Walk Alone, adds four new tracks, including “Spring Day” and “Not Today,” two tracks that have really captured K-Pop fans imagination. A measure of BTS’s fast growing popularity is the fact that the video for “Spring Day” has amassed almost 27 million views on YouTube since it was released just one week ago.
K-Pop fans will be hoping that BTS are demonstrating a new spring for the musical genre. In truth, it has been a pretty bleak winter for K-Pop fans, some of the best-known groups in the genre, including 2NE1 and the Wonder Girls, have split, and many have claimed that 2017 will be a pivotal year for K-Pop.
BTS are gaining fans worldwide and seem set to break into the mainstream music charts in the U.S. and elsewhere. There are reasons for BTS’s massive popularity, and their secret lies in the fact that they are breaking the K-Pop mold.
There is no doubt that K-Pop has a dubious reputation in the music industry. Many K-Pop bands are “manufactured” in a way that is alien to western culture. Millions of dollars are spent training young hopefuls in every aspect of the industry. Nothing is left to chance, each band member has an image, and the music is carefully produced to meet the needs of the target audience.
BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys, are different, and they are different in a huge way. If the BTS Wings tour visits your city, what can you expect?
Will The BTS ‘Wings’ Tour Visit Your City?
So, what makes BTS and their Wings tour different? Let’s start with the band themselves. BTS are perhaps unique in K-Pop culture, they write most of their own songs, and those songs are often about their own experience. As Billboard points out, BTS song lyrics do not conform to the traditional K-Pop formula. Instead, they explore “deeper social and personal topics.” BTS lyrics have touched on difficult topics, in a bold and forthright manner.
BTS songs have explored difficult issues, and those issues are the same ones experienced by many of their teenage fans. Bullying, mental health and the dark sides of adolescence are all matters that BTS have tackled. BTS fans identify with those issues and relate to BTS on a deeper level because they feel they share experiences with the band that go deeper than the public persona of many K-Pop bands.
“Spring Day” is a perfect example of what makes BTS unique. The song has a light and breathy feel, but you perhaps need to watch the video to really understand what is really going on. Superficially, “Spring Day” is a song about missing someone, but watch the video while checking out the English translation of the lyrics. This is a song about depression, mental illness, and isolation, and yet it is hopeful. Jungkook tells us there is a way out, there is hope, because “no darkness, no season, is forever.”
BTS also manage to put those issues over, in a very human way, during their live performances. As the Wings tour recommenced in Seoul last night, the K-Pop Herald wrote that BTS “shared a chemistry” with their adoring fans. Of course, with any K-Pop outfit you can expect, glitz, glamor, and a very slick performance, but BTS go beyond that. It is BTS’s connection with their fans that sets them apart from other K-Pop bands.
After tonight’s performance in Seoul, BTS will be taking the Wings tour to Chile and Brazil, before arriving in the U.S. for a run of shows. Sadly, there will only be five BTS shows in the U.S., these are in Anaheim, California, Newark, New Jersey, and Rosemont, Illinois. If you don’t already have tickets, you are out of luck, the whole Wings tour is sold out.
BTS’s wings album has already spent 18 weeks on the Billboard 200, you can expect them to push higher, and doubtless major U.S. tours will follow.
[Featured Image by Big Hit Entertainment]