K-pop group BTS is returning to New Jersey on May 18 and 19 as part of the final leg of their world tour. BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band formed in Seoul in 2013. They gained worldwide popularity in 2017, when they became the first ever K-pop group to perform at the American Music Awards. They have only gained more recognition since, particularly in the United States, where they have collaborated with artists already popular here, such as Steve Aoki, Nicki Minaj, Fall Out Boy, and The Chainsmokers.
Last semester, BTS performed at Prudential Center in Newark, and I was able to see them live along with a high school friend. After arriving at Prudential, I also noticed several familiar NJIT faces in the registration lines. Although BTS will not be returning to Prudential, instead performing at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, many NJIT students are still interested in attending.
“I really, really want to go to this concert, but I still haven’t bought tickets yet. I’m considering buying tickets the day of the concert because it’s cheaper,” said Swata Gade, a freshman studying biology. “BTS just released a new album, ‘Map of the Soul: Persona.’ It’s a more mature take on BTS music…. It’ll be interesting to see the dichotomy of them performing their past music alongside their new songs. I’m really excited for this concert.”
“Map of the Soul: Persona” was released on April 12, 2019, and it surpassed more than 3 million pre-orders. In less than a week, the new album became number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart—becoming the band’s third number one album in less than eleven months. The last musical group to do so in eleven months was the Beatles in 1995-1996, when the band released the trilogy of compilation albums, “Anthology” 1, 2, and 3.
“So ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’ is very different than their other songs … this album is based off the psychological principle called the ‘map of the soul’ in the book called Jung’s Map of the Soul,” said Stephanie Nieve-Silva, Computer Science ’21. “In this principle, it breaks up the mind in four distinct parts (persona, ego, shadow, and anima/animus) and this album focuses more on like each of those aspects. In previous albums, [BTS] wrote songs about why and how to love and truly appreciate yourself for who you are, while in this album, it goes more in-depth with the psychology behind those feelings.”
Jung’s Map of the Soul, written by Jungian therapist and author Dr. Murray Stein, summarizes the theories of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. In particular, the book discusses how Jung classified the different parts of the mind. BTS is known for tackling mental health issues in their music, from the myriad of expectations on youth in “Baepsae,” to self-doubt in “Awake,” to consumerism culture in “Go Go.”
“I have seen [BTS] live before in their “Love Yourself” tour at Prudential Center and it was legit so much fun and energy like I’ve never felt before,” continued Nieve-Silva. “The fanchants are absolutely breathtaking once you hear them live and the performances are amazing. The boys try and connect to the audience through their music and even through their little breaks in between by talking and thanking all of us for our support. I’m going to see them May 18 at MetLife, so I look forward to seeing them again.”
Photo attributed to Wikimedia Commons