In February this year, I caught BTS: Yet To Come in the theatres. The concert, which was held in October 2022 in Busan, was a special one for ARMY for a number of reasons. Not only were the septet — RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V and Jung-kook — performing onstage after a gap, but this was also scheduled to be one of their last official appearances as a group before they went on a brief hiatus, given that they would have to start enlisting to fulfil their mandatory military service in South Korea.
A theatrical experience meant experiencing the highs of their music, and the melancholy of their words, as a group. In the audience, many of us didn’t know each other and yet, joined in to sing along loudly with Boy with Luv, IDOL, and Save Me. We watched quietly, eyes misting over when the group spoke about their plans for the future, and how thrilled they were to hear the cheers of the crowd there in Busan.
The biggest strength of this concert film is how this experience carries forward when you watch it on a smaller screen. BTS Yet To Come dropped on Prime Video on November 9, and it manages to come through as an affecting, immersive experience.
The concert film has a high octane start — with Mic Drop, followed by the first stage performance of Run BTS, which at the time of the concert, was among their newest releases from their anthology album Proof. The choreography is so well executed that you can’t help but think how stunning a music video for this song would have been. The stage set-up backed by multiple LED screens is especially impressive during songs like Run, and it helps that the Asiad main stadium is also illuminated with the thousands of light sticks from the audience.
While the vocal line (Jin, Jimin, V and Jung-kook) take over the stage to perform beautiful renditions of Zero O’Clock and Butterfly, it is when the rap line (RM, SUGA and j-hope) come on that the concert seems to hit a crescendo. This ranks high among their performances of UGH and Cypher Pt.3: Killer.
Thirty-five minutes into the concert film, which is one hour and forty-three minutes long, you almost begin to wonder if they’re peaking too early. There is, however. a lot more music in store that charms. With the stage bathed in pinks, purples and blues, the septet go on to perform some of their biggest hits — Boy With Luv, Butter, and Dynamite — to deafening cheers. There’s also Dope, IDOL and Fire in quick succession, which ensures the energy never once dips.
The set list has a great mix of their older hits and newer songs, and the performances are punctuated with the members talking about the energy of the audience, and how thrilled they are to be there. For Jimin and Jung-kook in particular, this is a special venue given that they are from Busan themselves. “There’s no way we can miss out on performing this song,” Jimin says, before they break into Ma City.
Given the timing of the concert, the vibe is not just energetic but also emotionally charged. The biggest strength of the film is having footage of the members baring their hearts onstage, and expressing their hopes for the future. While Jung Kook speaks about his growth, and the members pulling him through hard times, j-hope is emphatic when he says how it is time to shape the future with trust in one another.
.It isn’t surprising that their emotional best is reserved for the last. In a befitting culmination, the members sing Epilogue: Young Forever and Spring Day. When they end with a performance of the song Yet To Come (The most beautiful moment), the song that the concert is also named for, you can’t help but feel how allusive these lines are: “Yeah, the past was honestly the best / But my best is what comes next.”
There has to be something said about the timing of this film’s release on a streaming platform now. Over the last few months, the members have launched their solo projects to much acclaim and while this has brought forth a lot of good music, there’s something surreal, nostalgic and warm about seeing them together onstage. Watch it for this, and for a ride through some of their best music as a group. The past surely was the best, but there’s definitely a lot of excitement for what is to come in the future.
BTS: Yet to Come is streaming on Prime Video