In Seoul on Saturday (Nov. 30), BTS took home the night’s top prize at the 2019 Melon Music Awards (MMAs). Sweeping the grand prize categories for artist of the year, record of the year, album of the year with April’s Map of the Soul: Persona and song of the year “Boy with Luv,” featuring Halsey, the septet turned the event into their own personal mini concert with a set that put the spotlight on their musicality and artistry.
Things started off with RM performing “Intro: Persona,” his solo track off of the Billboard 200 chart-topping EP Persona, opening up the event that the MMAs dubbed “Map of the Soul: The Show.” His set then turned into “Boy In Luv,” BTS’ 2014 single and an artistic foil to “Boy with Luv,” which they then performed next.
An evocative performance of “Mikrokosmos” followed after an introductory voiceover from RM: “In the beginning, I did not shine so bright. I only knew my best to shine. But we found each other and our universe was born. Now let us shine on each other. We are no longer small. Just as the universe expands, our universe will last forever.”
While most artists’ sets at an award should would be complete with something like those performances, BTS upped the ante and spent the next 20 minutes or so putting the spotlight on the act’s individual members and their lengthy discography, incorporating older hits alongside new ones as each of the seven men had his own chance to shine in mini stages. A skit of Jungkook, reflecting on who he used to be and who he is now, led into a rousing rendition of “Dionysus” that ignited the night’s main portion.
Preceded by a solitary horn blower, as if summoning the arrival of the legendary stars, BTS’ arrival was heralded by gladiator-like dancers and acrobats. V arrived first, as the sound of “No More Dream” bolstered his solo dance performance. He was followed by Jin, arriving atop of an equine statue as “Danger” played in the background. Jimin was next, performing an elegant, flowing contemporary solo dance set to “I Need U.” Suga then changed the mood up with a fierce rendition of “Fire,” which got its elemental counterpart in Jungkook’s following performance, where the youngest member of BTS took to water to perform sleek choreography set to “Save Me.” J-Hope appeared next with a dubstep edit of “Fake Love,” turning the venue into his own personal club, as he showed off his dynamic dance moves.
Following these, RM returned to the stage next to announce the arrival of “Dionysus” and the rest of the members in earnest as if the master of it all, ceremonially slamming an elegant staff to the ground. Several women dressed as woodland nymphs, classical instrumentals, uniformed dancers, horseback riders, and giant jaguars bolstered the septet’s appearance as a group once more as they performed the boisterous song, declaring their prowess for the whole world to see. In the final moments of the performance, “Dionysus” turned into a remix for a dance break, integrating elements of “N.O” into the newer song.
BTS also took home several other awards at this years MMAs, such as best dance performance for “Boy with Luv.” TXT, ITZY, Chung Ha, Seventeen, Epik High, Taeyeon, N.Flying, Heize, AB6IX, The Boyz, and many others also took home awards during the event.
Following the event, BTS shared the entire set to their YouTube channel, BangtanTV. Watch it below.