Last October, yours truly was lucky enough to land a seat for the “BTS Love Yourself” concert in Chicago. The struggle for tickets was beyond what most fans expected when they went on sale, and my timeline on all of my social media was filled with people desperately searching for any ticket to any of the sold-out shows. While nothing will ever hold a candle to the experience of seeing your favorite act live, BigHit Entertainment¬†gave those who missed out a new opportunity this time around in the form of the “Love Yourself” concert movie. While it’s not exactly the same in many ways, I think there are some benefits to showing the concert in a movie format that even outweigh some aspects of being in the venue itself for the show. For those who missed the concert, here are my thoughts on the pros and cons of both experiences and why seeing it both ways was really fun for me!

For starters, let’s talk about venue seating. A lot of places where concerts are held are actually arenas meant for large sporting events. Chicago’s United Center is no different. This means that some of the seating for the “Love Yourself” tour was at less than ideal placing. In some cases, fans might not have had a clear view of the stage from their seats. Equipment and the large speakers got in the way. Those who had general admission and were next to the stage missed out on a lot of the group choreography and couldn’t always see the members when the elevated stage came close or other, taller people were standing around. Watching the concert in the theater took away a lot of those issues since the movie was filmed from an ideal height to show fans the highlights of the show how they were meant to be seen. That being said, seats higher up in the venues generally give you a new and interesting perspective for viewing the choreography and are definitely worth snagging for any concert if you ever get a chance!

Bighit released this image as the poster for the “Love Yourself” film on their Twitter page.

Another issue of being in a venue versus watching the movie is the loudness of the crowd. While it is really amazing to be part of the fan ocean and hear the fan chants all around you, I was pleasantly surprised while watching the “Love Yourself” movie because I heard a lot of subtle details in the backing tracks for the songs that I didn’t hear over the crowd in Chicago. It was really nice to catch the instrumentation in more detail, and I love some of the arrangements for this setlist. Between the two, I think the live experience is better here because nothing compares to being part of the fan chants.

Other details that I noticed in the movie but couldn’t see as well in the venue were the lighting effects on stage and the ability to focus on each member during their solo performances a lot better. Some of the lighting and mood-setting details are lost when you have a seat at a concert, or at least it seemed that way to me. Also, during each member’s solo performance, being able to watch the filmed version gave me a chance to really focus on the vocal quality and also the energy of the performances themselves. Seeing “Singularity” live snatched my soul, but Jimin doing the “Serendipity” choreography from a front angle had me reeling. Both versions are worth it when it comes to the solos.

The only other major difference that I want to mention has nothing to do with the concert part of the experience at all. I find it interesting that my interactions with other fans were extremely different between the two. At the concert I went hours early to meet with friends, wander the venue and buy merch. One thing lead to another, and by the time the concert started I found I had several new friends and had a fun time waiting for the concert to start. At the movie, my interaction was different, and definitely not in a good way.

My friends and I bought our tickets in advance, and the theaters here in Orlando usually have you choose which seats you will be sitting in. The seat number gets printed on your ticket so you know where to sit. Unfortunately when we arrived, there were some people in our seats (though several open seats nearby were available) and they refused to move. It was overall a negative moment and some very rude things were said. I can’t speak for everyone, but in my own experience, none of the ARMY that I met in line for the live concert were ever as rude as those girls in the theater. I hope nobody else had any negative interactions when they went to see the film.

Overall, I can honestly say that both experiences are completely worth checking out. As a concert junkie, I would almost always take the chance to see live music over any other option, but I was far from disappointed in the concert film. I think it was a great idea for Big Hit to offer the viewing through the big screen for fans who couldn’t make it to a live show. I’m really glad I had the chance to see the concert both ways, and I can’t wait to see what Big Hit throws our way next!

Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever gotten to see BTS live! What do you think are some more pros and cons of concert versus film?



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