Pamela Chelin


BTS' Army Showed Out In LA In Purple & Orange

“I’m excited to see Jimin in person. I want him to sweat on me and possibly spit.”

by Pamela Chelin

On Thanksgiving weekend 2021, the BTS ARMY couldn't have been more grateful or excited to see the global pop sensations live in concert for the first time since 2019’s “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself” world tour. Sunday night, Nov. 29, marked the second of four sold-out BTS shows at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, where the beloved K-pop 7-piece finally brought Permission To Dance On Stage to the stage, after the pandemic forced them to cancel their Map of the Soul world tour last year. Though the revered boy band wasn’t scheduled to hit the stage until the early evening, hundreds of BTS fans were already filling the massive grounds of the Los Angeles stadium, buying official merchandise, by noon.

Ardent ARMY from far and wide began flying into Los Angeles from as early as Wednesday, even trending #ArmysinLA and #BTSArmy on Twitter as they posted photos from airports and airplanes to catch the only scheduled BTS live performances over the last two years. But the BTS jubilance extends beyond just the show. On Tuesday, the group was nominated for a Grammy in “Best Pop/Duo Group Performance” for their 2021 single “Butter,” making it their second nomination following last year’s nomination in the same category for “Dynamite,” which they performed on the high profile music awards show in March.

Outside Sofi Stadium, NYLON caught up with ARMY — many of whom were carrying their “ARMY bombs” (light sticks) and wearing purple (symbolizing love and trust) and orange (the color of “Permission To Dance On Stage”) — to talk about their passion for the beloved boy group whose devoted following loves its music as much as its message.

Ana Acosta, 30, from Chihuahua, Mexico (left): “I got tickets before the pandemic started and when the pandemic hit, the tour was canceled. I was waiting two years to see them. I like the music and the message, how they show me how to love myself truly. I spent years in therapy but they showed me how to truly love myself.”Melissa Urias, 25, from Moreno Valley, California (right): “I love them. I love everything about BTS, the message and the music.”Pamela Chelin
Maddie Reid, 27, from Charlotte, North Carolina: “I just love BTS so much, especially Suga. He’s just sweet and he’s so talented. BTS just make me so happy. They have the best energy and they’re so thoughtful and kind. I like a lot of the rap songs.”Pamela Chelin
Carleen Cuevas, 29, from San Bernardino, California: “This is my third or fourth time seeing [BTS] live. I’ve been a fan since the beginning. It brought me joy when I first got into them. I was very depressed and I had a lot of anxiety and so when I got into BTS they kind of helped me get out of my shell. I would lock myself in my room 24/7 and if my friends invited me out I wouldn’t go. So getting into BTS and their lyrics helped me get out of my shell, and I got help for my depression, so I love them and that’s why I’m here.”Pamela Chelin
Paola Roman, 20, from Los Angeles (left): “I’ve been a huge fan since 2016. I get to see RM, my bias. He’s my favorite because he’s the leader and because of his intelligence. He’s the smartest one.” Jessie Longest, 20, Los Angeles (right): “I’m very excited for tonight. I’ve been a fan of BTS for a long time. I just love them as people and how inspirational they are. Jungkook is my bias. I am dressed in black because he’s kind of my vibe and I wanted to match that. He’s a really good dancer and his outlook on life is very similar to mine. He always talks about everything happening for a reason and he seems like a really appreciative and cool person.”Pamela Chelin
Akiya Roy, 23, from Virginia Beach, Virginia: “This is my first concert ever. I really love the boys, so I really wanted to see them and I'd been wanting to see them for a while. I had tickets for the last tour before it got canceled.”Pamela Chelin
Tisha Petersen, 44, from Meridien, Idaho: “I came in with my daughter and friend and we’ve been hanging out in LA and running into ARMY everywhere and it’s been the best vibes. I love Jimin. I love his passion when he dances and the way that he’s so sweet, too. I watch all the shows about them and I feel like I kind of got to know him. He’s very talented and his voice is beautiful and he’s so cute.”Pamela Chelin
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Sabrina Quezada, 21, from Tucson, Arizona (left): “I really like the boys’ message. They’re very encouraging, too. There’s kindness in the message but they also bring awareness into it. You don’t see a lot of bands these days trying to give out the message of awareness whether it’s mental health or loving yourself.” Arizai Flores, 19, from Tucson, Arizona (right)Pamela Chelin
Maggie Wegele, 26, Kansas City, Kansas (furthest left): “What I love about BTS is that it’s a really great message of loving who you are.” Jordan Williams, 33, Kansas City Missouri (second left): “I love that they tell you that it’s ok to be yourself — love who you are, love who you were meant to be and don’t care what anyone else thinks. Love what you love and love it unabashedly. Be yourself. You’re valuable the way you are.” Larry Burroughs, 25, from Kansas City, Missouri (third left, designed the t-shirts the group is wearing): “I really love their music and the message that they’re sending which is to be kind and considerate to others, especially right now in the times that we’re going through.”Pamela Chelin
Rebecca Malinao, 21, from Los Angeles (left): “It started out with me originally going to a BTS concert before COVID and then I started listening to a couple of their songs and then I started liking them a little more than I should have. I haven’t liked a group this big since One Direction.” Patricia Malinao, 21, from Los Angeles (right): “I’m here with my cousin because we made a impulsive buy at the restaurant and we said, ‘We’re just going to go to the concert for fun.’ We do literally everything together.”Pamela Chelin
Christine Alcala, 56, from Riverside, California: “I’m a fan because my daughter made me a fan. I love their music and positivity and they inspire people to be good. I’m excited to hear their music and just dance and sing along.” Antoinette Alcala, 37, from Riverside, California: “I just love BTS. I’ve been a fan since 2016. I love the message to love yourself and the positivity in the music and they make all their fans feel so loved.”Pamela Chelin
Timothy Nguyen, 23, from Moreno Valley, California: “This is my fifth time seeing BTS. I got the tickets last night as a surprise from my wife. They bring so many different messages that actually help the world. They always try their hardest in every single performance and if there’s a slight little mistake you can see that they’re very upset about it which is pretty sad.”Pamela Chelin
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(Left to right) Victoria Pakizer, 30, from Orlando, Florida; Marcy Pakizer, 56, from Orlando, Florida: “I’ve been a BTS fan for about two years. We were going to a grocery store one day and we were on our way there and Victoria and Ariel said, ‘We’re going to play you some K-pop’ and I was like, ‘Oh my God, not again.’ They were doing that all the time, but every time a song came on that I liked it was always BTS. I don’t do all K-pop but I love BTS and the girls talk about them all the time.” Ariel Pakizer, 28, Orlando, Florida: “Five or six years ago, Victoria found K-pop and gave me a bunch of songs. Every time I really liked one of the songs, it was BTS. Then I wanted to know who was who and to learn their names, and the rest is history. Then we worked really hard to get my mom to be a fan. I’ve also worked hard to get my friends to be fans, too. I’m an advocate.”Pamela Chelin
Griselda Manzano, 18, from Charlotte, North Carolina (left): “I’ve been listening to BTS since 2015 and my first concert was going to be Map of the Soul. I had floor seats but it got canceled so I bought tickets to Permission to Dance and I’m so excited to see them. Their stage presence is everything.” Nasratu Tunis, 18, Charlotte, North Carolina (right).Pamela Chelin
(Left to right) Vy Nguyen, 23, Orange County, California: “I’m excited to see Jimin in person. I want him to sweat on me and possibly spit. I’m trying to get close, close. I love the way that he moves, his body language. He is the best dancer.” Naomi Tran, 23, Orange County, California: “It’s my birthday and it was what I’d been dreaming of. Last year, Vy gave me a birthday present and it was a check for our future BTS concert and, a year later, we’re here. When I heard the concert date announced, I said, “There’s no way! It was meant to be.” Jackie Nguyen, 23, Orange County, California: “I’m dressed like a carrot because Jungkook was dressed as a carrot for the 4th Muster concert and it’s orange like Permission To Dance. I am excited to see Jungkook and confirm that he’s real. I love that BTS love their fans and seem really genuine.” Phoebe Nguyen, 23, Orange County, California: “I love their music and they have such a positive energy about them and they really care about their fanbase, which is really reassuring as a fan. It’s connected me with a lot of people in my life. I’m just very excited to see them.”Pamela Chelin

BTS’ Permission To Dance On Stage — L.A. concert series resumes December 1 and 2 at SoFi Stadium.