Once upon a time, there was a sad, and lonely, fan-girl. For two long years, she watched as the world tipped sideways, and everything unraveled. She was helpless, as postponed concerts and cancelled tours piled up all around her. It became harder, and harder, to feel the spark of joy she once had from her favorite musicians, and she was afraid they were feeling it, too. Nevertheless, she pushed through– and so did they. She awoke at the most unholy hours of the night to watch them perform halfway across the world, through the little screen on her cellphone. It made her happy, but it still wasn’t the same as being together. But one day everything changed, when she heard the news. “The wait is over, BTS is coming.”
I can still remember it. It was an average, even boring day when my sister stormed into my room with the news. I had to see it for myself, and there it was in black and white– BTS Permission to Dance on Stage in Las Vegas. I felt like I could finally see the light at the end of a very long tunnel. The only catch, was that tickets were going on sale next week, and the show would follow just a few weeks later. That left only a week to consider all the finer details that a trip like this would entail. But it didn’t matter. We didn’t have to think about it. It felt final, we had to go.
Fast forward a couple of weeks–and after having jumped though several hoops, registering for pre-sales, probably shaving off years from our lifespan– we got tickets. A sweet victory. This meant the count-down had officially begun, and all that was left to do was wait. But the weeks that passed, seemed to fly by and soon, it was D-day.
My sisters and I left bright and early on the morning of April 7th, the day before the concert. The road was long, and desolate, as it usually is in the desert. But that wasn’t important, because our destination was set. Eventually, the barren, and bleak, landscape gave way to a city–sparkling and glittering with neon lights. And then a funny thing happened. The city we found ourselves in, wasn’t what we thought it was. It had transformed, before our very eyes. It was no longer Las Vegas–it was now BORAHAEGAS. BTS and ARMY swept in, bringing with them a purple tide.
It was incredible. Wherever you looked, there were traces of BTS, and ARMY was everywhere. (BTS fans go by the name, “ARMY”.) Almost every building had a purple sign proclaiming Borahaegas. (Borahaegas is a play on the word borahae–a term BTS invented that means, “I purple you”. A mix of the Korean word for purple [bora] and the phrase “I love you” [saranghae].) The famed Bellagio fountains even had a special water show just for BTS fans. And nearly everyone on the streets was there for BTS. It was extraordinary to see so many people who had the same plan as me–who jumped through all the same hurdles to be there, in the same city, at that exact moment. But all of that was just a teaser, a small taste before the real thing– the concert.
The next morning, despite the exhaustion of a long travel day, we were ready. We could hardly contain the nervous excitement as we waited. And when it was finally time, we left our hotel, bound for the stadium. This was not my first rodeo, so I was expecting a crowd. I was even prepared to embrace the crowd, but it still managed to surprise me. It was like standing before a rushing river of people, all flowing into the stadium. We joined the flow, and soon, we made it to our seats. The excitement, and anticipation was nearly bursting from the stadium, and you could feel it coursing through the air like electricity.
And then, it was show time.
As amazing a sight as Borahaegas was, it couldn’t hold candle to the glittering lights, and fireworks, during the show. And the seven members shone brightest of all. The ARMY bombs, (fan light-sticks), flashed a rainbow of colors on beat to the music. The cheers, and roars from the audience nearly overpowered the sound system. And I couldn’t blame anyone for cheering so loudly, because the show was that amazing. It was so fun to hear all of my favorite songs performed live, and not only that, but to see all of the members singing and dancing with my very own eyes, was unforgettable. And being surrounded by so many people, all sharing in their excitement for this night was such a memorable experience. But as the show came to an end, I was happy, yet it was a bittersweet feeling. I was so grateful to have seen the show, but it felt incomplete.
The next morning, as we went out for some shopping, neither I nor my sister could shake the feeling in our gut. We had to go to tonight’s show, too. The only problem was, we didn’t have tickets for the second show. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Thus ensued a very brief, but intense search for tickets to a sold out show. And in the end, we got tickets. We were going to see them again! The second night was just as spectacular, and stunning as the first night.
As I was leaving the stadium, I didn’t feel sad at all. In fact, I was struck by the fact that I felt so happy. There is so little left in this world that can bring joy, and a feeling of lightness to your heart, but after the show, I felt just that. It was strange, even alien, to see so many people, so happy, and so kind to one another, all in one place. It’s like there was an unspoken understanding among everyone there and we were all able to share these special nights, together. I realized how marvelous it is when people join together for something positive. For something that makes this world a little less bleak, and a little less sad, if only for a short time. Getting to know BTS, and listening to their music has changed my life in ways I would have never expected. And I’m truly grateful I was a part of it.
Finally, our trip felt complete. When I returned home, my bags were packed full of bright moments, and happy memories that I’ll cherish forever.
Borahae my friend, thank you for reading
P.S. You can watch a vlog from my trip HERE on my sister’s YouTube channel. Check it out!