Through my years of liking Kpop I have had the opportunity to see BTS several times. My first time seeing them being in 2016 at Kcon in LA and the last time being in 2018 at Citi Field in New York. I had skipped the speak yourself tour in 2019 to be able to see a few other groups and was excited to see BTS again at the 2020 Map of the Soul tour. However, as we all know, the tour was cancelled. Thanks to some blind luck (and very good friends) I was able to snag a ticket to day 3 of their Permission to Dance shows in LA earlier this month. While out in LA we stopped at a few shops and got to enjoy traveling after almost a whole 2 years of not being able.
We headed off to LA early on November 30th with a 5am flight time! Although groggy and tired for having to be at the airport at 3am we made it just fine and were excited to see so many other Armys headed off on their own adventures in LA. I even found out later that Colorado's own @Simplycreations was also on our flight!
After an hour delay of our flight and sitting on the plain we were finally off and landed in LA around 7:30am to begin our adventure!
We only planned to stay in LA for 3 days so we had to pack everything we wanted to do into our short stay. After landing and dropping off our luggage we made our way to the Line Friends store in Hollywood! As expected there was already a large line formed - and the prospect of everything being sold out from the previous days - however, we still wanted to take some photos so in line we waited!
After hosting so many events I've been left with some extra goodies. I decided to bring some of these goodies along and pass them out during the trip! While waiting in the long line for the Line Friends store I decided to pass a few left over member photostrips from our 8 year celebration back in June. I had a blast seeing and meeting so many kind Army and getting to see smiles on their faces from receiving a goodie!
While waiting in line we also got to see two birthday projects for our dear V! Shown on the big screens on the street of Hollywood Boulevard!
After 3 hours in line we finally made our way inside the store. As expected the pickings were slim and many of our favorite items were sold out. That didn't stop us however, from having a great time in the store. There are plenty of fun photo opertunities with the character statues as well as the hand plaques of each of the members and we made sure to take advantage of them.
After leaving Line Friends we were off to our next store! For anyone in Colorado you know there aren't many Kpop store options here so we always make sure to visit our favorite Kpop stores when we come to LA. Our next stop and go to CD store was Choice Music in Korea Town. As always they had an absolutely amazing collection of albums for all Kpop fans. And, of course their stock of BTS albums were nice and full! Being I already own all the albums in the BTS collection I made sure to grab a copy of Seventeen's "Attaca". We then stopped by Music Plaza - who has more albums and some other fun extra goodies like stickers, figures, pins and more! Here I made sure to pick up the EPEX's second album "Bipolar Pt. 2" and Felix's "God's Menu" Bbokari figure.
Our last stops for day one in LA were a delicious dinner of KBBQ where we stuffed our faces with as much as we could eat and then finished the night with a dessert of Bingsu! Oreo Bingsu to be exact! After stuffing our faces we headed back to our hotel to rest and open our albums and get ready for the big day the next morning!
It's concert day! And we planned on spending most of the day getting ready for that night. Heading over just a few hours early to pass out the rest of the freebies (Past cupsleeves and wristbands) that I had brought! Many people want to go early for merch but one piece of advice I have is try and get your merch online before the concert! Lines during the concert are LONG and can take hours to get through and they run our very very quickly!
Okay, back to the blog, concert day! We started our day with a continental breakfast provided by the Hotel. Usually, I stay in AirBnb's due to them being cheaper but because of the pandemic Hotels were the way to go this trip and the included breakfast was a wonderful addition. Not only did it save a little money on food but it made getting up in the morning easier when we knew breakfast would be waiting!
After breakfast three of us in our group decided to go get our nails done for the show. Wanting to be concert ready from head to toe! It's always a fun time going to a local nail solan to get your nails done for a concert. A great bonding experience and perfect way to pamper yourself on a trip. Once our nails were beautified it was back to the hotel to finish getting ready! Hair, make up, and outfit all set!
We arrived at the venue about 5pm. The skies were foggy and it was a bit chilly outside but the area was packed and lines were already LONG! As I stated earlier I always suggest to get your merch online before the concert so I didn't wait in line. Instead, I set off to pass out all the freebies I had brought. Past cupsleeves, wristbands, and special concert prints! Everyone was so kind and thankful for what they received. It's always a joy to see how excited everyone gets over what you are passing out.
After passing out freebies we searched for our gate, and let me tell you, it was hard. Sofi is huge - signage was also scarce so finding where our gate was was extremally difficult. We ended up line hopping until eventually we were just told to go to any open gate and get inside - and that's what we did. We made it inside fairly quickly with no fuss and took a few photos with the Sofi sign and of the inside of the venue. If I thought the outside looked large the inside looked even bigger. The seats in the 500 all looked so far up and the whole venue was so spread out, it was definitely the largest venue I had ever been in.
My ticket was in the 100 level - and to get to the 100 level you actually had to go down the elevator and under the main stadium to access your section. The only section lower then ours being the floor. I was lucky enough to be in the 6th row of my section in the isle seat so I was close to the railing and I had plenty of room to dance. Only down side of where I was seated - and something for any new concert goer to be aware of - was I had an obstructed view by the moving camera for the whole show. It would move back and forth so at some points it was fine but others it would be in my way. Although annoying it wasn't anything too big of a deal.
Now here's what you are all waiting for - the concert! Before the concert, like usual, they were playing music videos for the fans to watch. Its always a joy to hear everyone sing along and fan girl over the videos together. When the concert started it of course started in the flashiest way they could - a full performance of ON! I was so excited to see ON live because it is one of my favorite songs and I was so bummed when it didn't get a chance to promote more.
They then did some of their older more up beat songs like Fire, Dope, and DNA. The boys looked so amazing in their white outfits and I loved hearing some of their older songs to help pump up the audience right away. I want to avoid listing out every song they did in our show. The boys killed ever set they had but I'd like to focus on the special ones. Special performances like "Black Swan" with the inclusion of the dance opening. The whole performance with the background dancers being their wings was gorgeous and the boys wore all black outfits to fit the songs name.
Some of my other favorite stages included "Life Goes On" where they were on a bed that moved around the stage and a camera took photos of them as they went that froze on the screen when they were taken. The concept was very cool and it was fun seeing the members trying to hit the perfect pose but, in most cases, failing (I'm looking at you JK.) I also loved "Butter" - which the best part of the performance was the synced light sticks that made the whole stadium one big light show!
During "Telepathy" the boys road on moving carts around the stadium to visit their fans in the stands. I was so excited since I was in level one and close to the railing - however, a bunch of fans from the back rushed down the stairs and blocked the way. A lot were also standing on chairs. I was a bit disappointed to see this happen - mainly due to how unsafe it is. I know you want to see the boys close but please be safe and don't rush down the stairs or stand on chairs to do so. Despite all that however, I was able to get a good view of the boys when they were close. As always they were so good looking it hurts!
They performed a lot more songs - such as "Love Myself," another favorite of mine "Spring Day," and of course the namesake of the show, "Permission to Dance." However, one of the best parts of a BTS show is the MET's and getting a chance to hear them talk. Now there was too much to relay message by message - but the MET's are always my favorite because I feel really connected with the idols when listening to them. Their jokes, their inspiring words, event their tearful ones all mean a great deal. Not only that but it just felt so good to listening to them talk live after so long.
They ended the concert with confetti, balloons, and smiling faces and it was everything I could ask for. I know I went over the concert relatively quickly here but it's hard to articulate in words everything I felt during the show other then pure hippieness to just be there again and not only seeing a concert after almost 2 years but getting to see BTS after 3.
After the concert we were hungry and buzzing with energy o we took a walk down to the Ihop for dinner/breakfast (it was close to 1am when we finally got seated). After filling out bellies and getting home we understandably went straight to bed and slept hard - images of colorful confetti in our heads.
Day 3 marked our last day in LA and our last opportunity to do everything we wanted. I have family in LA so I ended up waking up early to go eat breakfast with them. Once I came back to the hotel we immediately set off to go back to Korea Town to hit two more stores to round out our trip. The first store is a go to stop for every trip to LA - however, its not a Kpop shop. Instead we went to Paris Baguette our favorite Korean bakery. if you've never been it resembles a Tour Le Jours - however tends to have a few more items. My very favorite thing to get is their pudding, but they were all out so I ended up getting a raspberry mochi doughnut and it was AMAZING.
After grabbing our treats we hopped in line to our last Kpop store of the trip: Kpop Music Town. Kpop Music Town not only had a ton of albums but they also carried a ton of other items like art prints and lanyards and pillows. The only thing I would warn about Kpop Music Town is they do carry off brand items so make sure you take a close look before you but!
After we got our goodies (I picked up both versions of "Christmas Evel") we rushed back to the hotel to pick up our bags and head to the airport. Like our flight out the check in process was very easy and we got in no problem. The only difference was there wasn't nearly as many Army on the flight home :(
Our trip was short and sweet but I loved every minute of it. Being able to not only go see a concert after almost 2 years but being able to go see my favorite group with my best friends made the trip even better. I hope next time we can spend even longer and make more memories together!
Until the next adventure!