For the past week, Korean band BTS had taken over the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon—showcasing the seven-member group’s stellar performances and elaborate sets, as well as the members’ camaraderie with each other and with the host.
The week-long performances ended with ‘Dynamite’, their latest single which has topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart multiple times, and which currently occupies the top position for this week’s chart.
BTS also spoke about their upcoming album BE—which is slated for a November release. Member Jimin said “We poured in the emotions that we feel now such as joy and sorrow, into this album. There are a lot of good songs, as good as ‘Dynamite’. So, we hope we can make it to the Hot 100 chart.”
Viewers of the show were treated to performances of their songs ‘Home’, ‘Idol’, ‘Black Swan’, ‘Mikrokosmos’—the sets and outfits for which were intricately sophisticated, with ‘Mikrokosmos’ being performed at Gyeongbokgung—or Gyeongbok Palace.
BTS are the first South Korean group to achieve a number one on the Hot 100 chart—and their achievements and accolades have been many; their fanbase, A.R.M.Y., has also come together to support various social and environmental causes. Their next goal, now, is to win a Grammy—leader RM says “Grammy is the most honourable music award that evaluates the prominence and the musical odyssey of an artist.
So, we all grew up watching Grammy Awards. and we especially remember the 2009 concert with the suits, Jay Z, TI and M.I.A. We watched all of it.” BTS had previously performed at the Grammy Awards with Lil Nas X for a remix of ‘Old Town Road’, and presented an award as well; but the Grammy Awards have also historically been dominated by older American white men—making it difficult for artists of colour.
“Doing a solo BTS performance with our own song winning the Grammys is kind of awesome and a dream that has grown inside us. Winning a Grammy in such difficult times could give greater hope and dreams to a lot of people, especially our ARMY,” admits RM.
In addition to the performances, BTS also participated in several hilarious games—Zoom Olympics and Dance Your Feelings being some of them.
Wrestler and actor John Cena also appeared on the show—the first in-studio guest since the COVID-19 pandemic—and spoke about the Korean band. “When something becomes a thing, it’s open for criticism and I love what this band has done because they’re this massively popular thing. They’ve been so globally popular for so long, I was like, ‘Okay, I should probably know about this.’ When I started to look at BTS and listen to their music, I was originally drawn.There are rappers in that crew and they use on some of their Intro tracks, bookend tracks, they use sick*** boom-bap beats and they actually rap. I was like, ‘I kinda like this, it’s great.’ I got interested in their music and then I got interested in what their music stood for. They advocate self-love, they advocate ‘Don’t be afraid of failure’, they advocate ‘You are enough.’ They are trying to shatter the stereotypical difficulties and uncomfortable situations that we go through. They are catering to an audience that is living, the young people. That’s why they are so popular around the world. One, they are great performers but it’s the message they send, it resonates with the people.”
He also praised their fanbase for their work—“This BTS ARMY charity gives a bunch to philanthropic causes. As an artist, as a performer… Hell man! We have fun, we are doing good stuff. But, if we can resonate through the television to you at home to come out of your pocket to give to a cause, that’s work. That’s purpose. That’s f*****g changing the world. That is impressive.”
BTS ended their week-long takeover on The Tonight Show with a vibrant performance of ‘Dynamite’, which ended with the members roller-skating (or for some, trying to do so) in a colourful skating rink.
You can check out BTS’ latest single, Dynamite, here: