Over 60,000 attendees. Bright fireworks. A harmonious sing-along to K-Pop hits. BTS, the famous South Korean boy band, became the first foreign artists to play a "solo stadium show" in Saudi Arabia over the weekend.
On Oct. 11, the band performed to a sold-out crowd at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh. Some have said the gig could've been better organized and could've had better sound systems installed. But BTS fans - aka Saudi ARMY - finally saw their dreams materialize into reality.
The seven-member band arranged for free shuttle buses, allowing fans to commute from the city to the stadium. They even uttered a few Arabic phrases in the midst of their performance.
When one band member said Arab ARMY's are the best ... in Arabic
This is not to say the band didn't face criticism for going ahead with their scheduled concert in Saudi Arabia. The band revealed it wasn't an "easy" decision, especially considering other artists have canceled their performances in Saudi Arabia previously. The band had explained that they were "officially invited" and that it's been a while since "we've performed in the Middle East - I guess the last time was 2015 in Dubai."
Just a day before their much-anticipated concert in the kingdom, hashtags like #BTSinRiyadh and #RiyadhWelcomesBTS invaded Twitter. The city of Riyadh also lit up in purple in honor of the band's arrival to the kingdom.
The day of the concert saw other hashtags occupy the micro-blogging platform. Videos of the band's concert took Saudi Twitter by storm. For those who weren't able to attend, a live-streamed version was available online.
There was one video, in particular, that went completely viral on Twitter, amassing over 1.5 million views. In it, an "Arab fanboy" can be seen freely enjoying his time at the concert, which many have called a "dream come true."
The band members' solo performances - including, but not limited to, J-Hope's "Just Dance," Jimin's "Serendipity," and V's "Singularity" - left fans in complete awe.
Video footage posted on social media shows thousands of fans sing along to BTS' music. Many took the time to share their excitement on Twitter and used the moment to thank the band for coming all the way to Riyadh.