BTS’s comeback show, which aired today (Sept. 21) at 8:30 p.m. KST, took over Korean channel MNET in a nod to the group’s breakout international success.
The record-breaking K-pop superstars debuted the choreography for three songs — “MIC Drop,” “Go Go” and “DNA” — off their new album, Love Yourself: Her. They also gifted fans with throwbacks to two of their most formative singles, “I Need U” and “No More Dream” — a signifier that the Bangtan Boys are still tied to their roots as they progress forward into uncharted territory for K-pop.
Check out all the performances below.
“I Need U”
This single was a turning point in their career as it was the first notch in their trajectory toward success, taking them from No. 43 with “Miss Right” to No. 5 on the Korean Gaon Music Chart. So, it’s fitting that they performed this song during an era when they’re so on top that MNET gave them their own show.
Their performance matched the mood of the song, which is one of their harder hip hop tracks in recent times. The point dance is a kind of hyperactive jump roping movement, but they manage to make it look aggressive as they mug for the camera. And, of course, a song called “MIC Drop” wouldn’t be complete without a literal mic drop, courtesy of Suga.
“No More Dream”
This was the group’s first single, and the immediate juxtaposition of this performance against their newer work emphasizes their growth as a unit. At the same time, the inclusion of this song proved that their older material still holds up. Not to mention, Jimin’s fans rejoiced the return of his ab dance.
As music journalist Taylor Glasby first observed, the choreography is reminiscent of both “Am I Wrong” and “21st Century Girls” in that those are both socially conscious songs with lighthearted choreography. Backpack Kid’s signature move — which went viral during Katy Perry’s Saturday Night Live performance of “Swish Swish” — is featured prominently in their performance.
The lead single off of Love Yourself: Her closed out the show. Stripped of the trippy, ultra-vibrant editing from the music video, the precision of their choreography becomes that much more apparent. Each member shines as close-ups are abundant through deft camera work.