the bean was extra thrilled when thanksgiving was well and truly done this year because she was laser focused on something happening that saturday night - her very first BTS concert. i guess this wasn't technically her first, considering they'd headlined jingle ball in 2019...you know, in the before time. and she (along with millions of other fans, known as "army") had waited a long, long time to get the chance to see them perform live for more than fifteen minutes. later i found out that having this concert to look forward to was what kept her going through the days, which sounds a little dramatic but also makes sense considering what the world has gone through over the last two years.
the concert was at sofi stadium, a brand new venue that had just officially opened not too long before the concert. the hub had already been to a football game there, and had told us horror stories of trying to find parking passes under $300 (!!!) and long lines to get through security and what have you. and so when i bought the concert tickets i made sure to secure a parking pass right away. this paid off big time when we got to the stadium and found only a few cars in front of us to enter the lot.
like her sister before her, the bean had used some window markers to decorate the car before we left the house.
as we walked around trying to figure out which line we needed to get in to enter the stadium, we encountered several different groups of fans who had prepared little gifts to give away to their fellow army members. based on the other BTS-related outings we've done, i've learned that BTS army is among the most thoughtful and generous groups of fans. they're always giving each other things like photo cards, wristbands, and all kinds of other trinkets just to share their love of the group. it's really sweet, and the bean was stoked when her sister snagged one of these packages for her from a passing group of giggling girls.
it was madness, i tell you. there were so many people there, with lines that snaked around the entire property and so many of them didn't even know what they were standing in line for. the lack of organization and staffing to ask where to go was pretty alarming.
an ambulance coming through the crowd didn't seem like a very good sign.
it seemed to take forever, but we finally figured out where we were supposed to be. what a shitshow.
we stood there for the longest time without moving. as we looked ahead of us, we could see the lights flashing as people went through the metal detectors, but for some reason there was just no movement in the lines. it didn't make any sense, and time was ticking. we knew there was no opening act, and with a half hour till showtime and hordes of people still in front of and behind us, the vibe was starting to bring on some anxiety through the crowd. i gotta tell you, with the disaster of astroworld still fresh in our minds, i was a little worried. there were so many people there all trying to get through those gates to see this group of global superstars and i knew the old lady was starting to feel a little panicky along with me. what seemed like a minor annoyance had turned into a real concern, and i kept scanning the area to make sure i could find some way to get the hell out of there if we needed to.
it was probably about 20 minutes till showtime when we finally found ourselves in the dividers that led to the security checkpoint. one of the event staff came by to yell out instructions to everyone, asking them to have their vaccination cards and IDs ready for inspection, and as he scanned the crowd you could tell he was super overwhelmed at the task at hand. finally he shouted "okay guys, hold up your cards so we can see them" which was completely useless because of the sheer number of people in front of him. and then we found ourselves moving forward at a much faster pace as we heard more staffers walking up and down yelling to each other "stop checking everything, just let 'em in! STOP CHECKING EVERYTHING!" and then we were inside.
jesus h. christ. they were literally letting everyone in - they'd stopped checking bags, scanning tickets, literally everything. i heard stories later of people coming in and finding seats and spaces in VIP suites who didn't even have tickets. and i couldn't help but be nervous throughout the entire show because if they weren't even checking bags or having everyone go through the metal detectors anymore - well, you can imagine where my mind was wandering.
our first stop was to the restroom, knowing that we wouldn't want to go during the show and finding that the line to get into a stall wasn't long yet. and then we found our seats and plunked our happy asses down in them.
our seats were pretty good, i gotta say. we're not really floor seat people because i learned the hard way that i can't see shit when we're down there on ground level.
the bean was super excited to finally get to use her army bomb - the official BTS light stick that she'd already synced up to her seat so that it would glow in unison with the thousands of other light sticks in the audience.
the lights went down and the video intro began promptly at showtime.
when the lights went down again it was ON. the fans went nuts and the volume turned way up as the anticipation built up to the max.