BTS / Photo = Lee Seung-hyun @lsh87

Because they’ve been smashing one incredible record after another, there are people who respond to the news in a nonchalant manner. These people aren’t reacting in a negative way; it’s just that BTS’s success is now something that is to be expected. At some point, everyone started to expect BTS to top every chart, and now it’s no longer a surprise when the group achieves remarkable things outside of their home country. However, the recent bit of news that has come out about BTS deserves more than just a cursory glance. Why? BTS is getting ready to plant their flag next to the legendary English rock band, The Beatles.

On October 6th of this year, BTS will be holding a concert at Citi Field in New York. Out of the 40 shows on their tour that includes 19 cities from around the world, this particular venue stands out the most. Citi Field, which will be featuring a musical act from Korea for the first time when BTS performs there, is a stadium that actually holds a special place in pop music history.  

Citi Field opened in 2009 as the home field of the New York Mets. Citi Field was built as a replacement for the former home of the New York Mets, Shea Stadium, which is where one of the most significant moments in the history of pop music took place. The first stadium concert that was given by The Beatles was held at Shea Stadium on August 15, 1965. The Shea Stadium gig by The Beatles was one of the first stadium concerts ever held, and it paved the way for the British rock invasion of America. A total of 55,600 die-hard fans were in attendance. Although Elvis Presley performed in front of a crowd of 26,500 in 1956 at the Cotton Bowl Stadium, after The Beatles were able to draw in more than twice as many people, they became regarded as “pioneers of the modern rock stadium concert” and as the “founders of stadium tours.”

BTS / Photo = BigHit Entertainment

Because Shea Stadium holds a special place in Paul McCartney’s heart, he stood side-by-side on stage to perform with Billy Joel in 2008 for a concert that was held to bid farewell to the Shea Stadium. Paul McCartney even performed at a concert to celebrate the opening of Citi Field in 2009.

The fact that BTS will be at the very venue that hosted a significant event in pop history will no doubt be remembered as a historical moment itself. Although American mainstream music has broadened its horizons after The Beatles by absorbing other musical styles and genres such as hip hop, latin music, and reggae, the first musical act to truly “invade” the US music scene since the British Invasion is BTS.

The fact that BTS was able to accomplish such a feat without doing any kind of promotional activities in the US prior to blasting on to the scene makes everything they’ve achieved that much more impressive. Even though BTS hasn’t released any songs in English, fans from all over the world have flocked into the BTS fandom. As a result, a number of countries from around the world in addition to the US have been analyzing and studying BTS’s global success.

As soon as the tickets went up for sale on August 17th for BTS’s concert at Citi Field, fans from all over the world gathered to buy out every single one of the venue’s roughly 42,000 seats. After scoring a number one album on May 30th on the Billboard 200 chart, BTS said that one of their dreams was to do a worldwide stadium tour. Looks like BTS has made another one of their dreams come true. 

Translated by Jennifer Earwood