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BTS Deliver Exciting Performance In New York City For 1st U.S. Stop On Their Red Bullet Tour [Concert Review]

By Adrienne Stanley | July 19, 2015 11:57 PM EDT

New York City is the birthplace of hip-hop, where acts like Grandmaster Flash and the Sugarhill Gang used to spit rhymes over party records during underground, basement shows. On July 16, the Korean hip-hop group BTS took NYC audiences back to the days of pop-influenced rap with their sold-out live performance at Best Buy Theater.

BTS, also known as Bulletproof Boyscouts or Bangtan Boys, have grown in popularity due to their gangster rap imagery and hard-hitting rhymes which reflect on contemporary issues like school conflicts or romance.

The seven-member group promptly hit the stage at 8 p.m., following an introduction video featuring a militaristic school teacher with the guys who are a cross between class clowns and foot soldiers. 

Bathed in red light, they took the stage to deliver a heart-pounding performance of "N.O," from their EP "O!RUL8,2?" They immediately launched into "We are Bulletproof Part 2," before delivering a greeting to the crowd.

Rap Monster led the group through their introductions, presenting his gritty timbre to the crowd of screaming fans. 

BTS then addressed their naysayers by performing the four-on-the-floor banger, "We On," which reminds listeners that the group is "whatever haters say, I'm here for my music." The crowd of fans known as A.R.M.Y sang along to the reaffirming track, which transitioned to "Hip Hop Lover" from their 2014 album, "Dark & Wild."

"Hip Hop Lover" was one of the high points of the opening set, balancing the assaulting rhythm of songs like "We Are Bulletproof Part 2," proving that BTS is more than just hip-hop club bangers. 

The group halted the music to interact with the crowd, before launching into "Let Me Know" from "Dark & Wild." "Let Me Know" presents the strong points of the group, particularly the ability of the vocal line to deliver four part harmony. BTS has previously noted that they were inspired by acts like Epik High but on songs like "Let Me Know," the are reminiscent of the soulfully evocative group, 2PM paired with the rap style Illionaire's Dok2 and the Quiett.

They followed "Let Me Know" with "Rain," before hitting the bed for "Blanket Kick." During "Blanket Kick" they appeared more like a boy band than at any other points, as they delivered fan service with mock kissing and other slightly sensual moments. 

BTS returned to their earlier release, "Skool Luv Affair" with "Just One Day." During this point, audience members held up signs which greeted BTS in Hangul. The fan event was organized by the group, Army United BTS, which provided a statement about the event. "The best moment by far of course was seeing the members reactions to the banners," said organizer Emily Yesgosh.  "I was not expecting them to be that happy!" 

The group returned to "Dark & Wild," launching into "Look Here" and "Outro." BTS departed from the stage while the introductory video served as a transition point for a set and costume change. 

They returned with the jazzy track "No More Dream" before launching into "Tomorrow." "Tomorrow" and the subsequent song, "Miss Right" proved that there was a significant use for the LED screen used to decorate the stage. 

The set incorporated a dynamic LED screen, which served the dual purpose of visual effects and provided audiences with Romanized lyrics of their slow jams. This allowed fans to sing-a-long with BTS like they were at a karaoke session and served as a neat addition to the show. 

They returned to "O!RUL8,2?" with "If I Ruled the World," before showcasing J.Hope, Suga and Rap Monster on "Cypher Part 3: Killer." 

"Cypher Part 3: Killer" demonstrates the powerful flow of BTS' rap line, which excels past acts like Drake and Big Sean. As the trio performed the trap-influenced song, the audience was drawn into a total frenzy, driven by the hard-hitting beats. A true cypher should be able to withstand a battle and the rap line of BTS could slay many of the contestants on "Show Me the Money 4" with their live delivery of "Cypher Part 3: Killer." 

BTS then performed "War of Hormone," before launching into their hit "Danger."  

Unfortunately, they did not have the opportunity to perform many songs from their latest album, "The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1." They captivated the crowd with "I Need U" from the latest album before they launched into "Boy In Luv," a track which helped to increase their popularity in K-pop. 

BTS departed from the stage and delivered one encore song, "Road/Path."

Their concert was abruptly halted by what initially appeared to be technical difficulties. However, later reports revealed that a Twitter user delivered a death threat against Rap Monster. The concert, which was a non-stop joyride, concluded without departing words from the group or a true finale.  

New York City has hosted numerous Korean hip-hop concerts without any threat of violence from audience members or internet users. Hopefully, audiences will remember the highlights of the concert, rather than the unfortunate conclusion of the show. 

Stay tuned for the KpopStarz interview with BTS and photos from the session.

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About the writer: Adrienne Stanley is a contributing editor for KDramastars. She is also a contributing writer for KpopStarz, MTV Iggy, Viki and CJ Entertainment's KCON blog. Her passions include a love of K-pop and Asian drama. When she is not writing, she is hanging out on Twitter (@retrogirladdy).

Tagged :  BTS, Bangtan Boys, Big Hit Entertainment, Live Trilogy Episode II: Red Bullet

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