The grandiose BTS virtual concert MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E has connected 993,000 viewers from 191 countries/regions. The two-day show over the last weekend on October 10 and 11 in Seoul delivered a total of 23 performances, and for the first time ever, viewers could watch the stages of the B-side tracks of 'Map Of The Soul: 7'.
While the offline rendition of the concert had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, a number of cutting edge technologies such as AR, XR amplified the visual experience and the “ARMY on Air” fan event allowed a more intimate live interaction between the pop act and spectators. MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E also marks the world’s first streaming concert that applied both multi-view and 4K/HD. These technologies enabled the fans to choose their favorite screen out of the six multi-view displays in either 4K or HD to watch the performances taking place on four massive stages.
MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E provided various features to ensure that everyone could enjoy the concert: “Delayed Single-view streaming” that gave access to the replay of the live stream, and live-viewing event at theaters in Japan. Viewers from 191 countries/regions tuned in for the show, a number that increased substantially (by 84) from the June’s “BANG BANG CON The Live” watched from 107 countries/regions.
As the grand gates opened up, BTS emerged to kick start the concert with their lead single 'ON' from 'Map Of The Soul: 7' along with a marching band. The gates from the intro, the giant version of RM from 'Intro: Persona', the planets that glowed up the stage for 'Moon' and the cubic reflections of fans in 'We are Bulletproof: the Eternal' were all realized with the help of AR technology. The vast galaxy in 'DNA', the elevator from 'DOPE', and the bullets from 'No More Dream' were all enacted through XR.
The band shared a few words regarding the concert and all the sweat they shed in preparation for it. “For the 'Map Of The Soul' album series and this show, we focused on putting our thoughts, personal stories, and songs of the past seven years and prepared really hard”, said BTS. This was evident in the group performances of the 'Map Of The Soul: 7' tracks, debut song 'No More Dream', the globally loved “DNA” and their latest Billboard Hot 100 No.1 track “Dynamite,” gliding over the global superstars’ seven-year career.
The band also brought as equally as phenomenal solo plays on stage: RM’s charismatic 'Intro: Persona', SUGA’s epic delivery of 'Interlude: Shadow', Jimin’s breathtaking solo dance routine, 'Filter', Jung Kook’s honest expression of self in 'My Time', Jin’s 'Moon' reminiscent of Little Prince, V’s heartwarming depiction of 'Inner Child' on a merry-go-round and j-hope’s passionate 'Outro: Ego'.
The show further drew BTS and fans closer together - fans were displayed on LED screens and their fervent cheer sounds could be heard in the venue, all in real-time. BTS expressed their joy by saying “we are happy to see you, even if it’s through a screen. It’s invigorating to hear your voices in such a long time. They are the most beautiful sound on earth.”
Dedicating the encore entirely to ARMY, they gave variations across the two days; on the first day performing 'Butterfly' and 'Run' and on the second day 'Spring Day' and 'Idol'.
MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E boasted a solid composition and production as well as innovative planning that proved the one-year preparation period paid. Above all, BTS' seven-year growth was prevalent throughout the 150-minute long concert.
Upon wrapping up, BTS added, “The concert crossed countless emotions. Our first march began with seven boys who gathered for a small dream. And together, we will march on forever, each of us waving flags of various colors and singing different stories in different languages. BTS is not a story of only seven, but is about you, me, and everyone.”
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