Top 10 BTS Live Performances
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 BTS Live Performances
For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the most mind-blowing live stages BTS has given us over the years.
Which BTS performance made your jaw drop the hardest? Sound off in the comments!
#10: “No More Dream” …But a Real Debut
“M Countdown,” 2013
For newer fans, the BTS who burst onto the scene in 2013 might not seem like they have much in common with the group they know today. Presenting as a bunch of hard rapping tough guys, BTS debuted with intensity- and eyeliner- that could not be ignored. While their look is very different, their undeniable talent is already shining through. From BTS’ rock solid vocals to the killer coordination in their choreography, these guys seem more like polished pros than nervous rookies. With a hunger to succeed, and a few eye-catching surprises, BTS was already hinting at great things to come. The style concept might be a little cringey now, but from day one this group proved worthy of a closer look.
#9: A Nostalgic “Boy with Luv,”
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” 2019
Eventually it became clear that BTS wasn’t just another boy group, and they started earning comparisons to another paradigm shifting musical act. So when BTS was invited to perform at The Late Show’s Ed Sullivan Theater, they decided to lean in. Treading the same floor where The Beatles made their US debut, the group paid tribute to their legendary forerunners while also claiming their place as worthy successors. Though the aesthetics may be borrowed, the charm is 100% BTS. They deliver a performance overflowing with the kind of easy-going charisma that you just can’t help but fall for. And the clever Beatles callback just makes them all the more endearing. By the end of this number it’s impossible not to look at all seven boys with love.
#8: A Mic Drop-Worthy “Mic Drop”
Mnet Asian Music Awards, 2017
At face value, this performance might seem a little simple compared with other award show appearances- And trust us, we’ll get to that. But sometimes BTS is at their best when you just send them onstage and let them do their thing. With little more than a video screen backdrop and some strong lighting choices, they give a rendition of their Steve Aoki collaboration, “Mic Drop” that can only be called scorched earth. Every second of this performance is crackling with an explosive energy that jumps off the screen. The white hot delivery, the ferocious dance moves, the sheer swagger on display, it’s almost overwhelming. BTS shows what it means to leave everything on the floor.
#7: The “DNA” Rock Remix
KBS Song Festival, 2017
Many western fans were introduced to BTS when they made their US television debut performing DNA at the American Music Awards. However, later that same year they brought a truly iconic version to the KBS Song Fest. The powerful guitar heavy-remix inspired BTS to bring an entirely new dimension to the hit song. The grittier rock sound let them sand some of the polish off the track and try a looser, harder-edged vocal performance. Between the new variation and the screaming hometown crowd, it couldn’t be more obvious that they’re enjoying themselves. With every improv and every extra pop in their movements their energy just gets more infectious. It seems like there’s no genre BTS can’t absolutely own.
#6: “ON” Goes Off in Grand Central Station
“The Tonight Show,” 2020
Where better than a train station when you want to tell the world you’re going places? In February 2020, BTS debuted the lead single from their new album, “Map of the Soul: 7” on The Tonight show. With its slightly darker lyrics about struggle and survival, ON already spoke to the kind of resilience BTS is known for among their fans. And with this performance they made a powerful statement about what to expect in their next chapter. Backed by an ensemble of dummers and showcasing some of their best choreography to date, the group seemed to be issuing a cool-eyed battle cry. This was BTS announcing they were back, and coming for everything. Watching them confidently claim their power, fans couldn’t help but get goosebumps.
#5: “Boy Meets Evil” and It’s All “Blood, Sweat, and Tears”
Mnet Asian Music Awards, 2016
“The Blood, Sweat, and Tears” era exemplifies BTS’ at their most theatrical. Look no further than the 2016 MAMAs for proof. As if the opening image of Jungkook dangling from the ceiling wasn’t dramatic enough, we got a truly incredible dance performance to kick things off on stage. Whether it’s J-Hope’s ever-impressive duality, or Jimin’s control while blindfolded, the way these two use their bodies is astounding. By the time the group performance started we were already enthralled. “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” is a song as spooky as it is seductive, and BTS masterfully walks that line in this performance. If this is what it means to fall to the dark side, BTS can trip us any time.
#4: A “Butter”-y Smooth Heist
The GRAMMY Awards, 2022
BTS have made no secret of their GRAMMY ambitions. And when they finally got a chance to perform live at the ceremony as nominees, they showed that it was a mission that was anything but impossible. Inspired by the Las Vegas setting, BTS infused their performance of “Butter” with references to Oceans 11 and other heist movies, and stole the show instead. Which, of course, included a few tricks up their sleeves. Or with their sleeves, as the case may be. Cool and smooth as their song, you could still feel BTS’ pure joy and excitement in every second. They may not have walked away with a trophy, but this number shows why there's a strong possibility we’ll see them on a GRAMMY stage again. After all,
#3: You Had to “BE There”
Melon Music Awards, 2020
With in-person awards shows impossible in 2020, many remote broadcasts started to feel kind of flat. BTS to the rescue! Even without Suga, this seventeen minute production is impressive, especially in how it shows the group’s seemingly limitless range. You want an artistic contemporary ballet? Check. You want something that captures the meditative essence of life in quarantine? Gotcha covered. Okay, but how about a rebellious anthem? Yup, that’s there too. And as is so often the case with BTS, it ends with optimism. Is there anyone who couldn’t feel better after listening to the contagiously upbeat “Dynamite?” Or watching the Michael Jackson inspired dance break added for this performance? Leave it to BTS to make even remote awards shows into events worth remembering.
#2: The Divine Reckoning of “Dionysus”
Melon Music Awards, 2019
Whatever else had happened before this number at the 2019 MMAs, Dionysus obliterated all of it. The finale piece of a nearly 40 minute mini-concert started out cranked to 11, and only went harder from there. However, it’s the dance break that really pushes this performance to legendary status. Using the table set, each BTS member got a chance to shine. The intricate choreography and creative transitions are almost hypnotic, making it impossible to look away. Incredibly, BTS was not done. The number kept building and building as they throttled towards an explosive conclusion. Their performance here becomes almost superhuman as their energy only intensifies with not a single hint of flagging stamina. It’s a jaw-dropping display of their strength and showmanship.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
A “Danger”-ous Comeback, “Show! Music Core,” 2014
BTS Had Swagger to Spare With Their First Full Length Album
“I Need U” Proves We Need BTS, “The Show,” 2015
The Group’s First Music Show Win Was the Start of a New Era
“Fake Love” But the Real Deal, Billboard Music Awards, 2018
In Their First BBMA Performance, BTS Definitely Lived Up to Their Social Media Hype
A Tiny Desk and a Big Impression, NPR, 2020
Stripped Down and Simple, BTS Proved They Shine All by Themselves
A “Dynamite” Grammy Debut, The GRAMMY Awards, 2021
The First-Time Nominees Brought a Performance That Lit Up The Skies of Seoul and Beyond
#1: Korean “Idol”
Melon Music Awards, 2018
If you’re looking for a single performance that represents everything BTS is about, this might be it. Influenced by a musical style of storytelling called Pansori, the song “Idol” is a merging of Korean culture with African rhythms and modern pop beats. This is very much a reflection of BTS. This performance elevates the point even further, becoming a celebration of BTS’ national pride and intersectional identity. Honestly, we could write a full entry just about the intro, which features the dance line showcasing Korean traditional performance arts. The entire performance is on another level though. With lyrics that clap back as much as they tout self-love, masterful moves, and a colorful, energetic presentation, this performance proves once and for all why BTS are worthy of the mantle of Idols.
What is BTS most famous performance? ›
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