The iconic “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself” tour has finally reached its conclusion. The final days of the tour (October 26th to October 29th) welcomed septet back to their home turf as the members gathered with fans in Seoul Olympic stadium to pay a grand ode to an era that not only brought a significant professional turn in BTS’ journey, leading them to earn several accolades within and outside South Korea but also incorporated the discourse of “self-love” in the psyche of fans.
— Olympics (@Olympics) October 29, 2019
While “Love Yourself World Tour” ended with BTS’ final concert at Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok, Big Hit Entertainment announced the stadium extension of the tour on 19th February via a YouTube video under the name “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself” which simultaneously aligned with RM’s speech at United Nations “Generation Unlimited” summit as BTS’ frontman urged his listeners to move a step further in their journey to self-love – a step towards finding their “lost voice”:
“Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: speak yourself. Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself”.
Beginning with their historical showcase at Rose Bowl Stadium, the group went on to perform at some of the biggest stadiums in the world, filling up these places with a total attendance of 815,116 people (excluding the finale in Seoul). BTS also became the first-ever foreign artists to hold stadium concerts alone in Saudi Arabia, an unprecedented feat that garnered the attention of both the industry and well as the locals who were still acquainting themselves with the group’s global appeal. Excluding SA and South Korea, the stadium tour has helped BTS gross over $99.26 million.
Love Yourself era began with the release of a trilogy comprising of three albums Her, Tear, and Answer. The era explored the idea of love in its relation with one’s self and others. Initiating the conversation through the cliched understanding of the term, ‘Her’ explored romance with the outro acting as a bridge between the first album and the remaining two perspectives. As the boys attached affection to others, ready to put on a facade for someone else’s happiness, they encountered a divide between their self and external expectations leading to an identity crisis, the conflict of which was assessed in ‘Tear’. This coming-of-age album saw its protoganists’ transition and prepared them for healing. The era saw its musical culmination with “Answer”, an introspective work of art that emphasized on self-reflection and self-love, components without which external reparation is not possible.
With songs like Paradise, Go Go, Magic Shop, Idol, Trivia: Love, Answer: Love Myself and several others, the trilogy showed that self-love is not a linear process. In this world where love and care is promoted in the guise of commercial indulgence, love can only be harboured when one embraces the goods and the bads in one’s self and incorporate habits that can provide long-term benefit. Self-love is a life long exercise that requires constant questioning and as ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’ reiterated, there is no definite answer to the question “who am I?”
ARMYs first got a sense of tour’s conclusion when RM posted a tweet, becoming the first person from the group to announce the start and an end for the world tour.
D-1 SEOUL FINAL ? pic.twitter.com/ShkCFJyl9f
— ????? (@BTS_twt) October 25, 2019
With personalized concert accessories, drone shows, BTS X ARMY time, brilliant solo and group performances, ARMYs had a bittersweet moment as members took turns to share their farewell messages. The moving spectacle reached its peak with RM, the leader of BTS, who broke down in front of his fans, thanking them for taking the journey along with the group.
Final words of Joon’s ending ment:
I think I’ll be regretful we can’t do this LOVE YOURSELF SPEAK YOURSELF ’18 tour in the future — it’d be good if there was a better word than ‘love’, but truly, I love you. Please know that. #SpeakYourselfTheFinal_D3 pic.twitter.com/yC4yalTI41
— wisha ? (@doyou_bangtan) October 29, 2019
During his live broadcast on VLive (RM’s Hello 2017), the rapper-songwriter shared his wish to develop a more empathetic approach and become a ‘better person’. With a personal stake on the era, RM’s own journey towards self-love has served as a true example and inspiration for fans looking at the group for motivation. Having a reputation of a strong leader who always stands as a backbone for the group, RM’s ending mention, as tears rolled down his eyes, turned fans and members emotional.
Link to his VLive video: https://www.vlive.tv/video/20090
Each member paid their gratitude to fans and assured them of their wish to come back with more albums and concerts. Binding both BTS and ARMYs in their personal ‘microkosmos’, Bangtan Universe completed one more chapter in its narrative.
Jimin Ending Ment
(these may take a bit longer, since they are longer and i want to deliver each of their words accurately ?) pic.twitter.com/OetOv9ko7B
— ???? (@STUDIO_0613) October 29, 2019
And it’s a wrap! What was your favourite moment from the tour? Share your thoughts via tweet @CelebMix.