The Korea Herald


[Herald Review] BTS' Suga proves solo power with 'D-Day' in Seoul

Rapper to extend solo tour with 3 nights at KSPO Dome in August

By Choi Ji-won

Published : June 26, 2023 - 16:03

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BTS' Suga holds a solo concert at Seoul's Jamsil Arena on Saturday. (Big Hit Music) BTS' Suga holds a solo concert at Seoul's Jamsil Arena on Saturday. (Big Hit Music)

Suga made a bold jump from BTS rapper to solo musician Agust D this year, dropping his first official album, "D-Day," in April and instantly kicking off a global tour.

The two-month odyssey was set to end on Sunday in Seoul, with the world tour -- officially titled "Suga | Agust D Tour ‘D-Day’" making its apparent final two-day run in the rapper's home country, before Suga made the surprise announcement of encore concerts the same day.

Opening the act to the big night were the clashing sounds of rain and thunder and the eerie playing of the haegeum, a traditional Korean string instrument that is also the namesake of the title track leading the rapper's latest album.

"Hello, Seoul? Welcome to 'D-Day' tour's last concert," Suga shouted out with his soloist identity as Agust D switched on.

Pouncing around the stage and shaking his head rhythmically to the song's growling hip-hop beats, he continued through "Daechwita," "Agust D" and "Give It to Me," before addressing the fans.

"Last night's show was a rave. You guys, are you also ready? I've prepared so much for tonight. Please enjoy it to your fullest as it's the final day," Suga exclaimed.

His words were curt, yet genuine, just as the 30-year-old star has always been -- no frills and down-to-earth.

Cutting the talking short, Suga sat down on a chair and picked up an acoustic guitar, playing himself into the next song, "Trivia: Seesaw." The atmosphere in the venue turned tender, with fans up on their feet, waving light sticks glowing a majestic shade of gold.

He continued with his latest releases, "SDL" and "People Pt. 2," the latter of which was joined by the crowd filling in for the parts sung by female singer-songwriter IU on the album.

"I'm grateful to Hobi, who made the choreography for that one," Suga said, referring to BTS rapper and dancer J-Hope. "That was the softest part of my gig. Let's go!"

BTS' Suga holds a solo concert at Seoul's Jamsil Arena on Saturday. (Big Hit Music) BTS' Suga holds a solo concert at Seoul's Jamsil Arena on Saturday. (Big Hit Music)

Firing up the crowd, the rapper served up "Moonlight" and "Burn It," both from his second solo mixtape "D-2," released in 2020. The old-school hip-hop vibe deepened with a nonstop run through old BTS tunes, including "Interlude: Shadow," "BTS Cypher Pt. 3: Killer" and the "BTS Cypher 4" medley, "Ugh!" and "Ddaeng," capped off by Suga's solo single "Huh?!" featuring J-Hope.

"I feel alone performing these songs that I used to sing with the other members. But ... today, I have my brothers here!" Suga shouted out as the large screen behind him showed bandmates Jimin, V and Jungkook in the audience. "Thank you guys," he added.

The artist made sure fans got much more than just a live rendition of his songs that night, and one portion of the show that proved that came next: a completely new version of BTS' 2020 hit "Life Goes On." Suga sat at the piano, playing live while singing and rapping flawlessly to the ballad remix.

Before going into "Snooze," a short video of Suga and the late Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto was played in tribute to the veteran musician. "Snooze," which came out in April as part of "D-Day," was released posthumously for Sakamoto, 71, who passed away in March from cancer.

Sunday saw Seoul hit a record-high temperature for the year, and despite the air conditioning blasting at full inside the venue, the air proved damp and sultry.

The night's energy hit its climax with "Polar Night" and "Amygdala." For the last song, Suga performed atop a burning stage, belting out with his everything. Marking a dramatic finale to the act, the rapper fell, sprawling onto the stage and was carried out solemnly by dancers.

Toward the empty stage, the crowd unanimously chanted out not only Suga's real name -- Min Yun-ki -- but the names of his BTS bandmates, calling back the rapper for an encore performance.

BTS' Suga holds a solo concert at Seoul's Jamsil Arena on Saturday. (Big Hit Music) BTS' Suga holds a solo concert at Seoul's Jamsil Arena on Saturday. (Big Hit Music)

Suga returned to the stage in a new outfit for "D-Day."

"I started this journey on April 21 with the release of my album. The past two months have been bliss for me. Thank you for reminding me of how much fun I have holding a concert," he said.

Not yet ready to see him off, fans whined and moaned louder than usual, as Suga took a picture from the stage with the audience to commemorate his final concert.

"Today is really the last. No more. When I take the stage again, it has to be all seven of us together, right?" he cheekily asked fans, who cried out "no" in response.

The venue's screen switched to a kitschy poster just then, announcing Suga would extend his solo tour with encore concerts in Seoul. He shouted, "Let's meet again in KSPO Dome in August!"

The rapper capped off the night with "D-Day," "Intro: Never Mind" and "The Last."

Suga, going by Agust D as a solo musician, is the first of BTS to hold a standalone concert tour. With "D-Day," the rapper has so far traveled to 10 cities in the US and Asia, where he held 25 gigs attended by some 290,000 concertgoers.

The BTS rapper is set to continue his world tour with three days of encore concerts from Aug. 4-6 at KSPO Dome in Seoul's Olympic Park.

For the two-day run of "D-Day" in Seoul, some 15,000 fans flocked to Jamsil Arena over the weekend, with countless more joining virtually online via livestreaming.