[Stitch Talks Ish] Episode 8B: Map of the Soul ON:E – Day Two Reaction


So, we’re on episode 8B of Stitch Talks Ish. This is the second part of my virtual concert experience, recapping the second night of BTS’s Map of the Soul ON:E performance. If you were unsure, this is the concert that effectively takes the place of the concert I was supposed to see in May.

Heartbreaking, isn’t it? We’ve all lost lots of opportunities across this pandemic and not getting to see a concert sucks, but it’s not the worst thing that could have happened, or that even has actually happened, to me and my family— so far.

But, it was another really great night of paying attention to BTS, and kind of checking out of what was going on in the world around me. So, if you’re ready for another post concert recap, here’s the recording I made right after the concert ended on the 12th. I believe, no, the 11th of October.

1:47 -[musical interlude]

So it’s 5:44 in the morning here, where I’m at, and Map of the Soul ON:E Day 2, the final day, has just finished. And I know that it would be tough, (you know?) like, if 2020 wasn’t 2020, and we were doing concert season as we’d planned, going out with everybody and having fun, and being out. Right?

Post concert depression would still be a thing because it would be still the end of a moment, within fandom, and with BTS, even if you’re going to other concerts, because, at some point, you don’t have other concerts.

But with… but with Map of the Soul ON:E, which is replaced the Map of the Soul tour that we were going to get, there is this deep, bitter, bittersweet feeling of “well, that’s all folks.”

Not forever, of course, BTS is clearly still creating content. We have the new album coming up at the end of next month. You know, just in time to terrorize your socially distant, non ARMY friends and family by playing it everywhere, all the time, while wearing a mask and staying far apart from them— If you’re in the US, of course.

But yeah, this sucks kind of.

I kind of live tweeted the entire concert. It’s almost, almost entirely the same set as the previous night. The shift in- the shift comes in like wardrobe, but also in the songs [in] the encore.

I live tweeted most of it on Twitter, so I’ll throw a link up. (Not that anybody really cares. This is entirely for me. This is the most self indulgent thing I do in my life— have this podcast.) but I will throw a link up anyway to show what I’ve been going through. But it’s really cool.

I mean this, is this is really great experience to have. It hurts because I couldn’t share it with my niece, who got me into BTS. She is nowhere near me; she’s with her mom. And she was the kid I was taking with me to the concert, in Orlando. And it’s just like this sucks, and seeing BTS say this sucks, helps.

I talked about it for day one (for my recording for that part) but one of the things that Map of the Soul ON:E has done is reaffirm BTS as people, not just celebrities, but people who are stressed out annoyed, sad, by the same thing that we are; that they don’t get to do their lives as planned in 2020. And it really does help.


So, let me go over my notes with y’all and just tell y’all kind of like what I clocked or what has changed, or what I screamed about, across day two of Map of the Soul ON:E.

So for the first part, I said that the Dionysus remix was hip hop, everybody’s saying it’s trap. So it’s a trap remix. And Big Hit it really does need to put it up for streaming because I only want to hear this song in this version from now on. (Sorry, I only want this one.)

So, also, yesterday, I couldn’t remember what the word was for the video clips in between the stages, and those are called VCRs. I don’t know what the acronym actually stands for, but they’re those pre recorded bits between concert stages. And the ones from Map of the Soul ON:E are really good.

There’s kind of a horror theme across Tae and Jungkook’s specifically, but it’s really good. It’s like a disconcerting, almost anxiety inducing moment, but in like a good way— oh, it’s really good.

Speaking of unsettling or disconcerting, looking again at Yoongi in “Interlude: Shadow,” the setting for that stage is very claustrophobic. I- I talked about it. He’s like kind of coming down a hallway with hands pressing at him to either side, and then he gets onto the main stage and it’s silhouettes of like hands against like the glass, and the dancers are kind of zombie like.

And um… I really do love it because I had spent earlier – so it’s 5, it’s 5:49 on a Sunday morning, so 10 o’clock Saturday night, I was watching History of Horror, on AMC. Which means I got to see a lot of Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead commercials and the terror inspired by zombienes, and the implications of the zombie, like, I don’t know if they’re fans or if they’re paparazzi, in the dancers represent in “Interlude: Shadow” is really cool, like especially after the night I’ve had— whoo, oh.

And I love that that is what directly leads into “Black Swan,” which is, again, really good. I really love Jungkook’s shirt. Again, it’s mesh. It’a see through. [It’s] the same shirt he wore [the] previous night, so same level of screaming over Jungkook on my… on my- on my timeline. And he deserves it because it’s good. He’s great. I love him.

I think that- I also really liked Yoongi’s (not Yoongi) Namjoon’s shirt. So they’re wearing the same costumes they were the night before for- for “Black Swan,” and they’re still really good. So I’m a huge fan of that of those looks.

Let’s see what else I got.

I also was trying to figure out if Tae’s shirt was see through but then I was like, “That’s a bit much. Let me let me walk that back. We walk that back.”

So, since many of the stages were structurally similar to the previous night, it was really my emotions toward them that were heightened or muted.

And one of the ways that showed was in Jimin’s solo after “Black Swan” where he’s alone on the stage, because his ending mentions or just really stressful and sad. And I felt deeply for him, and the experiences that he must have had, that he may not be able to, like, verbalize. It’s like who has the language to talk about something like being just alive, in a time of COVID right?

Like, how do you how do you talk? Especially like what I can say, as a non celebrity but minor public figure, is completely different from what an actual celebrity can say about their fears and hopes and frustrations. But it just hit different. You know? Like, I definitely felt more deeply as I watched him perform this time.

And I think overall, like, so, I’m thinking, like, sitting there watching VCRs and Jimin’s solo, I really want BTS to do a horror concept. I was introduced to “Trumpet Creeper,” (and I’ll also link to that music video in my notes for the episode) and that’s a really good horror concept song. And I want more of that, and I think BTS will do really good at horror concepts.

And so, because it’s later- or earlier, so this was when we were basically starting yesterday, I was able to drink. So I don’t know if it’s the two glasses of wine and then glass of soju with some juice, but “UGH!” just hits harder. It hits different— whoo. Love it.

Love Namjoon, Yoongi, and Hobi being, like, kind of aggro. It’s hot. That’s- that’s really where we’re at. A lot of my- a lot of my public tweets were, like, edging hornt because I was like, “Oh, this is really hot” but, like, I know, for some reason, teenagers follow me. I guess because my account is safe for work.

And so I’ve been like, “I can’t tweet what I want to because I will traumatize the young’ns.” But oh, boy, do I want to tweet what I want to tweet, right?

Second night of “Filter” and… and “My Time,” which is Jungook’s solo— perfect. Literally when he came on stage, I literally tweeted “What the fuck Jungook?” Right? And I’m really proud of this tweet that I tweeted after because he did- he- same stage different outfit. Really good outfit, and I would like an affordable dupe, if possible. But um, I tweeted:

“The thing about being into a group full of mostly never nude is that the barest sliver of skin (like with [Jungook] now) makes me react like a stereotype of a repressed Victorian pervert, like, ‘Oh shit, I can see sternum! I just saw an ankle! Was that some tummy.'”

And considering how ARMY reacts, like ARMY that’s old enough, like in that sweet spot of old enough, but not old enough, (you know?) to react to this, like we’re all freaking out over both of those stages, because they are very, very sensual.

The thing about “My Time,” though, is again, this is a song about Jungook basically going like “I- where’s my childhood? Where’d it go? I don’t have the time to do all the things I want- wanted to do.” But like, it’s all rubbing up on his thighs— like thanks, keep doing that. I appreciate it.

And then “Filter!” “Filter” is- is all about being seen, but in like a super sexy, super gender, way. Like, I would like Judith Butler- Judith Butler to see “Filter.” I would like, I would like their opinion on filter in the context of gender performativity, gender as performance gender euphoria— for a lot of reasons. So if anybody has Judith- Judith Butler’s contact information: give it to me. [Laughter] Give it to me.

And I just really love it.


My notes are like really funny, because here’s one: “Jungkook is so close to having a whole titty out.” Why did I write that? That’s not even true because this is, again, not a group that does that. If this was Monsta X, yes, there would be at least one titty out. Why did I write that? God…

I really enjoyed just experiencing the stages again. So they re- they did “Dope,” “DNA” “Dope,” and “No More Dream” again with the really kind of haunting mix for “No More Dream” and all three of the songs have updated or different remixes. But the one that clicked for me was whatever “No More Dream’s” got going on. And I think “No More Dream,” in this concert at least, is my favorite of the old stages.

And I think that… here’s the thing. Intimacy is a really important part of the concert connection for Korean idols. I don’t know if it’s like that for other artists. The last concert I went to prior to A.C.E. in December was Paramore, before that it was Guns and Roses.

So these aren’t groups that do fan service like that, that I know of. So the intimacy that is on offer with idol groups and individual like solo idols, like, Sunmi, differs.

And then what they can offer in terms of intimacy: like, I know… I know that in some tourist spots, on some websites, you see people share, like, “here’s top 10 Korean idols with pride flags,” right? But with no audience to hand them pride flags, and then digital… digital audiences from around the world, including places where that may not be as accepted. That’s something that isn’t present. You know? There’s a lot that shifts across that divide when you- when you go from in, you know, in real life concert to the digital. And it’s not a bad intimacy, it is just different. You know?

And, um… the thing is that for me, as we covered, I haven’t seen BTS live yet. I saw the Wembley concert recorded, but I haven’t seen them live. So the intimacy that I’ve always gotten from BTS’s concerts is kind of like secondhand, but a recorded concert in England is different from a live- not record- but a live concert in England is different from a live concert in Korea that’s blasted out to the whole world, where they have to take the whole world into consideration as their audience.

And I’m really interested in seeing not just how BTS handles intimacy, and shifting digital intimacies, like, other- other companies, their idols are doing digital fan signs, digital meet and greets. I know BTS has through I Heart Radio, and I think another online platform, they have offered, like, their giveaways that chance to connect with BTS. (And I still want an Namjoon and Yoongi to answer my friggin hip hop question. [Popping sound] Just sayin.)

But they’re not a group that is doing that a lot. Like, right now, through the sub- sub culture shop, you can enter to win a meet and greet, I think, with Stray Kids members. But pre ordering BE, the upcoming BTS album, doesn’t get you entered into winning anything. Like, it doesn’t. And, and I mean, it’s not like fan signs were that easy to enter in the past either. because they weren’t. And, especially if you weren’t in Korea like— good luck. So I am interested in seeing how they’ll- how this will shift.

How audiences will shift as well, because I know when the concerts on V LIVE, that some SM groups, did had issues with fans who were inappropriate during meet and greet sections. And um… at the end of the day, we are all people, and that is what makes some of us very problematic —very.

One thing about this concert and, again, intimacy is that Jimin didn’t cry, so I didn’t have to cry, (love that for me, because I was unwilling to cry again) but Namjoon’s ending mentions, were um… a lot. And he delivered them all in English. And I’m going to read them. So this is from Twitter user ErinBrownWrites, who transcribed it, which is really great:

“‘You know what? I’m happy. I’m so happy. I’m literally so happy. I have no religion, but I thank God that we’re living in 2020. I thank God that we have this technology so we could be connected with no latency to see each other’s faces— like, really, literally, you’re here, it feels like you’re here. And I hope you guys feel the same, too. And I thank God that we can do this— at least we can do this. At this kind of stage, it is no one’s fault. It’s not your fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not our fault, it’s not anyone’s fault.

“‘We’re the people, we’re the humans, we’re just doing our best. Just doing what we can do. And, you know, we have those six, seven years— you know, we’ve been to America, been to Asia, been to everywhere, and we saw our faces, we felt our energy, we recharge each other’s batteries, we literally did all those kinds of things. And I believe in those years and the time, you know, the belief and the energy that we felt build together will never betray us. So I’m happy and I hope you could smile and feel it, feel the same, and vibe and we’re doing it right now, like, together. I hope you’re happy. Stay safe. Thank you very much. I love you.'”

And like when I say I bawled like a little bitch… like, Kim Namjoon is my bias in BTS. I am fascinated by him. I love his interest in hip hop. I want to know more about who he is as a person. I also think he’s hot— that’s a whole thing. Then it is times like this when he… he says things like this I just reaffirms my interest in him as a, as a whole ass person.

This is one of the hardest things we have had to go through as people, so far, in modern history. Because it is- COVID is something on top of everything else. And few places are handling it well. Even in Korea, which is handling it well, they were unable to hold the in person concert version of this because it just takes one person to make everyone sick— because that’s what it does. And um… the re- the reaffirmation that this isn’t our fault, we didn’t do this, and all we can do is just stay safe— it’s just it’s really, really helpful.

Um… Jimin, for his ending mentions, at one point, was like- said that this, (right?) as in, like, the performance, the relationship with ARMY, perhaps, is all we’ve got and it’s our strength about BTS. And it is just like kind of really heartbreaking. And I know, like, yesterday when Jimin cried, like, everybody’s hearts collectively broke. And it was like alright, so we got to make everybody wear masks so we can get a concert, and I feel that again tonight.

All the ending mentions were hopeful. All of them were honest. All of them were like “we don’t know when we’ll see you guys again; we hope it soon because we miss you guys” and that is so… nice. Like the vulnerability on display by everyone. It- it really does… It does make you feel like you’re a part of this. And Yoongi in his ending mentions he was like “stay put,” and I was like “bitch I ain’t moving, I got you. I got you.”

In 2020 BTS has really done a lot of heavy lifting for my mental health. My wallet is in great, great pain, terrible pain, the worst pain, but my soul is healed. It is great. Thanks to BTS, thanks to their content, thanks to their selfies, thanks to these concerts we’ve had, thanks to their reminders that even though they don’t know us as individuals, they love us as a collective— and that rocks.

But, also, while loving us as a collective they’re like, we don’t stand for prejudice. So, you know, bigoted ARMYs can GTFO, yo. Just sayin.

But um, I don’t know. I cried. They did not seem to cry this time. I don’t know. I only had the one, the main camera. So they could have been bawling, I don’t know. But… I cried. I love these freaking nerds.


I love that I get to be a part of ARMY, that I get to be a fan. I love that I get to experience BTS with other people. And I love that, even in this time of uncertainty, where the literal industry that their careers are built on is unwieldy, that they take the time to reassure us, to reaffirm their care for ARMY, and that they’re here. I said this last time, and I’m going to reiterate that I didn’t expect to care about BTS this much. But I also didn’t expect to feel a sense of care.

I have been a fan of other artists. I have to catch up with what Miyavi is doing ’cause I know he had a concert and I forgot, but I have been invested in Miyavi since I was 14— super invested. The first concert DVD I ever figured out how to do imports for was Miyavi’s. And having BTS, and the experience of BTS, I feel like… I’ve- I’ve only had BTS in my life for a short time, as opposed to Miyavi, who I’ve had in my life for like 16 years. I feel like, if the world keeps on spinning, I could have BTS in my life for 16 years too— at least.

And I hope there are many more concerts in our collective features, hopefully in perso— safely— because there are some experiences that the untact, (I believe that’s what they’re calling it) the untact experience of concerts can’t quite provide us. That doesn’t mean that we get as bad. It’s actually pretty good.

But, from kind of going deaf during the A.C.E. concert in December, I want to go through that for all my favorites, and I want us to be able to go through that for all of our faves. Whether you watched one or both nights of the concert, whether you didn’t watch any, whether you’re watching a completely different artist for your concert experience, I hope that you get to hear them, to see them, in person soon. We deserve it.

29:37 – [musical interlude]

So, now that you’ve heard about my digital concert experiences over the past month or so, What are y’all up to? Have you seen any cool concerts? Are you planning to watch any cool concerts? Up next on my agenda is Epik High’s October 30 concert. You can get tickets from Global Interpark. I will throw a link for that down in my notes, as well, because it’s Epik High and they’re fantastic.

2020 sucks. Like, it sucks hard. But I am super grateful for all the fans, celebrities, staff, everybody putting their heads together to figure out how to make it suck a little less. I hope things have been great with you guys, or as good as they can be considering the circumstances. Tell me how you’ve been. Tell me what you’re listening to. And next episode we’re going to talk about the Blacklist— because I have watched, so, so many episodes.