The Korea Herald


[Herald Review] Suga ends solo tour, bids farewell before enlistment

Joined by BTS bandmates, Suga wrapped up his first solo world tour with "D-Day The Final" in Seoul

By Choi Ji-won

Published : Aug. 7, 2023 - 17:10

    • Link copied

BTS' Suga performs at BTS' Suga performs at "Suga | Agust D Tour 'D-Day' The Final," which took place from Friday to Sunday at the KSPO Dome in Seoul. (Big Hit Music)

BTS' Suga on Sunday concluded his first solo world tour, "Suga | Agust D Tour ‘D-Day,’" following three days of encore concerts in Seoul. Although the tour came to an end, it marked the start of a new path in the musician's solo career.

The encore shows, titled "'D-Day' The Final," were held in Seoul's KSPO Dome from Friday to Sunday, rounding out Suga's four-and-a-half-month solo tour, which kicked off in the US in April.

They were also the last concert by the rapper-producer before he begins his compulsory military service. The band's agency, Big Hit Music, announced on Monday that Suga is enlisting soon.

Suga has curated an extensive list of solo music over three full-length solo albums since 2016, allowing him to emerge as the first BTS member to launch not only a solo standalone concert, but also a solo world tour.

It was difficult to ignore Suga's masterful stage presence, his immaculate performances and his welcoming attitude toward those who surround and support him, placing him in the ideal spot to navigate the solo concert landscape.

Just as with his previous shows, Sunday night kicked off with its usual run-through of "Haegeum," "Daechwita," "Agust D" and "Give It to Me," before taking a short pause to welcome his fans.

As the night marked the final show of his tightly run concert series, Suga's voice was coarse almost from the start, but his vigor was more evident than ever.

Picking up his acoustic guitar, he returned to the set list's "softest part," as Suga put it, which was comprised of "Triva: Seesaw," "SDL," "People" and its spin-off, "People Pt. 2."

BTS' Suga performs at BTS' Suga performs at "Suga | Agust D Tour 'D-Day' The Final," which took place from Friday to Sunday at the KSPO Dome in Seoul. (Big Hit Music)

The audience singing along to "People Pt. 2" echoed even louder and clearer than during the rapper's previous concert in Jamsil Arena on June 25, turning the song into a true collaborative rendition by Suga and his fans.

While Suga gave his usual shout-out to bandmate J-Hope, who crafted the choreography for "People Pt. 2," this time, J-Hope replied back from the crowd. He had attended the concert with Jin, another bandmate doing his mandatory military service. Both were seen wearing caps over their shaved heads. While waving at Suga, the two South Korean army soldiers saluted instantly when the camera caught them.

The surprises did not end there. Continuing Suga's collaborative performances with Jungkook on Friday and Jimin on Saturday, that night, band leader RM appeared on the stage for a duet of "Strange," a song from Suga's second mixtape, "D-2."

"It's an honor to join Suga at the grand finale of his long solo endeavor," RM said after their performance.

Referring to his shaved head, RM reassured fans that he was not enlisting in the military just yet. However, he noted that it would be his "last live performance" before enlistment.

As a gift for his fans, RM performed an unreleased solo song that he is still in the process of making.

"After releasing 'Indigo,' I've been working on a new project with new people. This one is still incomplete, and it doesn't even have a title yet, but it's a song I dearly cherish and I wanted to sing it to you guys here," the rapper-producer said.

BTS' Suga and RM perform together during Suga's world tour encore concert, BTS' Suga and RM perform together during Suga's world tour encore concert, "Suga | Agust D Tour 'D-Day' The Final," at the KSPO Dome in Seoul on Sunday. (Big Hit Music)

BTS memories were celebrated throughout the rest of the night. Suga blazed through some BTS songs next, including "Interlude: Shadow," "BTS Cypher Pt. 3: Killer" and the "BTS Cypher 4" medley, followed by a beautiful piano version of "Life Goes On," with Suga on the piano himself. A short video clip of past BTS videos and pictures were played then and at the end of the concert, reminding everyone that, even when apart, BTS is always together.

The realization that his tour was finally coming to an end seemed to have hit Suga hard. Bursting into tears during "Snooze," he continued into "Dear My Friend" with his eyes wet and voice strained with emotion.

Suga apologized for his tears and fans replied with deafening chants of "It's okay Yoon-gi" and "We love you Yoon-gi." The 30-year-old musician's real name is Min Yoon-gi.

"I'm so sorry. How did you find the new performances I prepared for this final gig?" he said, referring to his playing of the electric guitar during "Snooze" and the first-ever live performance of his 2020 song "Dear My Friend."

The concert jumped to a fiery crescendo with "Amygdala" and the night's first encore track, "D-Day," during which he jumped off the stage and approached the audience on the ground and took selfies using their phones.

"My first solo tour is nearing its end. I've learned and experienced so much. But more than anything, the happy faces of Army will last a long time," he said, referring to BTS' fan community, known as Army. "I'm so grateful for your company through my 28 show-long journey. ... When I perform in Seoul next time, I expect the seven of us brothers to take the stage together."

He pulled down the top of his jacket and revealed the iconic "7" tattoo shared by the seven members. The camera zoomed in and focused on it for several seconds, as if reflecting a promise of the group's reunion.

BTS' Suga performs at BTS' Suga performs at "Suga | Agust D Tour 'D-Day' The Final," which took place from Friday to Sunday at the KSPO Dome in Seoul. (Big Hit Music)

At the end of "Intro: Never Mind," Suga reiterated the lyrics, "If you feel you're gonna crash, just accelerate harder. Never Mind," as if speaking to himself, while at the same time, replying back to his 22-year-old self who had written the song in 2015, telling him his struggles were not in vain.

Rounding out the night with "The Last," Suga exited through a white door on the stage.

Suga, who also goes by Agust D, attracted an audience of 38,000 people with his encore concerts held at the KSPO Dome.

His whole global tour, which was held in ten cities -- New York; Newark, New Jersey; Rosemont, Illinois; Los Angeles; Oakland, California; Jakarta; Yokohama; Bangkok; Singapore and Seoul -- amassed a total of 330,000 concertgoers, placing him in seventh place for the US Billboard's Boxscore top tour as of May and nabbing a perfect mark of five from prestigious British music magazine NME.

The final wave he sent onstage on Sunday was the last farewell to fans ahead of the next chapter in his life: his military service.

Big Hit Music on Monday announced Suga is set to enlist soon and has begun the procedures for conscription.

"Suga has applied to withdraw his request to postpone his draft and we will announce any new updates related to his service once they are decided," the agency said on Monday.

Suga is the third member from the septet to enlist following Jin and J-Hope, who each enlisted in December and April, respectively. The group has been on a group hiatus since June 2022 to focus on their solo careers and fulfill their military service.

The rapper may carry out his duties as a social service agent owing to the shoulder injury he sustained during a traffic accident in 2012. While all able-bodied South Korean men are required to serve in the military, those who are found to be unfit for active duty serve through alternative forms.