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A Filipino sign reads ‘Tagay!’ as Suga sips whiskey at D-Day concert

With Filipino ARMYs we brave the rain and cold to see our awesome BTS member in New Jersey

Suga 93 crew post concert (from left, front row) Trinh Danh, Nhu Dao, and the author; (back row) Amber Hoang, Sara Velarde, Theresa Hoang, Michelle Clemente, and Daphne Tumaneng

Suga and whiskey. [Photo by Nikko Dizon]

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY—He is Yoongi. He is SUGA. He is Agust D. And for his SUGA | Agust D D-Day concert tour, he showcased Genius Min PD, too.

Yoongi-Suga-AgustD (Photo by Nikko Dizon)

Allow me, for this brief recollection of D-Day 3 in Newark, New Jersey, USA, to call him Yoongi because that was how I saw him for two-hours onstage —the second oldest Bangtan (BTS member) who is extremely talented, gorgeous (hot!), smart, and funny, you’d think heaven loved him a little extra for blessing him with all these qualities.

He was also Yoongi, 1/7 of Bangtan Sonyeondan, that night, even if the concert tour was part of his solo project. I couldn’t count the times he mentioned BTS in his spiels, genuinely longing for the other members to be with him onstage. The wristbands, at least for the first seven shows, had the colors of each of the member’s microphones.

He was Yoongi-hyung who was thrilled to tell ARMY that his little brother, Jimin, was in the audience. The Prudential Center shook with our screams. We really thought—we hoped—that YoonMin was going to perform, but just seeing Jimin wave to all of us from a second-floor suite was enough to make all of us deliriously happy. Two of seven Tannies under one roof? We were blessed!

SUGA’ Agust D D-Day onscreen at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey (Photo by Nikko Dizon)

I’m doing my best not to give away so many spoilers. The US leg of the tour is not yet over, and there’s still the Asia and South Korea leg coming up. This piece has so many videos and photos from the Newark concert on April 29, so feel free to stop reading at this point if you’ll be watching any of the upcoming shows.

In the D-Day concert, Yoongi shared with ARMY his life story in music, with a production that drew a packed arena into his intimate and masterful storytelling. The stage was almost bare, and it unbuilds itself after every song and ultimately has Yoongi singing the last songs at the floor level with ARMY. The VCRs were exceptional and powerful, they should be released as short movies.

Yoongi told ARMY, through a meticulously curated set of songs, about his journey as a person, a musician, an idol, wrapped in vulnerability and pain, as much as he has joy, contentment, and excitement today.

I found myself listening to the songs on the set list and going over their lyrics again after the concert. It’s my way, as an ARMY, to honor and respect Yoongi’s story and all the effort he poured into telling his story as honestly as he could.

With a plastic cup of whiskey in one hand, Yoongi said “Cheers!” then went on to briefly (very Yoongi) open his heart to ARMY with these words:

“As you know, many of my solo songs are quite intense. But from now, I want to tell my story with less anger. We just did Seesaw, SDL, People, and People Part 2. You’ve seen the soft part of my concert. So now, shall we jump again?”

Throughout the show, ARMY jumped with Yoongi and sang with him as best we could. We knew we mangled the Korean lyrics.

Inseparable: Min Yoongi and an ARMY bomb. Apobangpo. (Photo by Nikko Dizon)

A quiet moment was when Yoongi paid a poignant tribute to his musical hero, the Japanese music icon, Ryuichi Sakamoto, who passed shortly after the release of the D-Day album where Yoongi collaborated with him and Woosung of The Rose, in the song Snooze.

Yoongi’s tribute to his music hero, Ryuichi Sakamoto, brings tears to our eyes. (Photo by Nikko Dizon)

He was so adorable when a string snapped while he was tuning the guitar signed by Namjoon, Jin, Hobi, Jimin, Taehyung, and Jungkook for the acoustic version of  Seesaw. He was aghast and smiled like an embarrassed kid. The performance became an electric guitar version of Seesaw. It was so beautiful I found myself closing my eyes to savor the music.

Yoongi with cat ears singing ‘Seesaw’ (Photo by Nikko Dizon)

Yoongi’s embarrassed smile after the guitar string breaks (Photo by Nikko Dizon)

Yoongi, you’re so fine! (Photo by Nikko Dizon)

Yoongi, you’re so cute! [Photo by Nikko Dizon]

Yoongi raises his arm and the crowd goes wild. (Photo by Nikko Dizon)

Yoongi brought us to another dimension with his live version of Life Goes On, tugging at our heartstrings as he played the piano while singing. Singing, yes. Yoongi has a charming singing voice. We’re used to him effortlessly rapping in BTS concerts, but to hear him sing live in the concert was nothing short of a benediction.

As always, Yoongi is the best endorser any brand could have. He was in Valentino sweatpants during soundcheck. And seven concert days of the tour, so far, have yielded seven hysterically funny and candid moments with Yoongi, an ARMY, and a handy phone that must be a Galaxy, not an iPhone.

Along with thousands of other ARMYs with soundcheck tickets, I lined up for hours in the torrential rain and biting cold wind outside the Prudential Center, the most unprepared and disorganized venue among the US shows since it kicked off at the UBS Arena in New York. I was comforted by the fact that my sister and some of her friends were doctors that should I, a tropical girl to the bone, collapse, I would have immediate medical care.

We were lucky that our group ended up near the barricade, which was quite near the stage and gave us a good view of Yoongi.

Tired but extremely happy ‘ahjummas’ after the concert (from left): Daphne Tumaneng, Michelle Dizon-Clemente, the author, and a friend

Hello, bro! Jimin is in the house! (Photo by Nikko Dizon)

An ARMY holds an Agust D picket while waiting for other ARMYs to fill the Prudential Center arena. (Photo by Nikko Dizon)

Our little ARMYs, Amber and Austin, came dressed as sunflowers. We screamed so loud when they both made it to the screen during ARMY time, along with the “Genius Min PD, your music saved me” sign made by our friend Sara, and held up by another friend, Trinh. All these made getting wet and shaking in the cold worth it.

Sunflowers Austin and Amber Hoang,brave the rains with their mom, Theresa Hoang (center) and aunts Nhu Dao and Trinh Danh. [Contributed photo]

Our sunflower kids, Austin and Amber [Photo by Nikko Dizon]

The author—wet, disheveled, but still happy with her ARMY bomb wedding bouquet

We had other funny, smart, and endearing signs, too, during ARMY time. One came dressed as Yoongi in the “That, That” music video. Not a few were tangerines. One Philippine sign had the flag and “shot, puno!”—very timely for Yoongi’s whiskey shots on stage; there was a Mom who asked Yoongi to be his mother-in-law; another said “Yoongi’s skin is brighter than my future.”

The Philippines’ ‘shot puno’ and ‘tagay’—’bagay na bagay sa’ whiskey. [Photo by Nikko Dizon]jpg

Tangerines for Yoongi [Photo by Nikko Dizon]

Where is the lie, though [Photo by Nikko Dizon]

There’s an ARMY who wrote, “I hope I’m saving you, too.”

One of the signs that brought the house down [Photo by Nikko Dizon]

Because Min PD does marvelous music all the time [Photo by Nikko Dizon]

A heartfelt message from ARMY [Photo by Nikko Dizon]

Yoongi, our lotus flower. [Photo by Nikko Dizon]

By now, BTS have proven to the world that they are formidable artists and superstars as a collective and individually. Which is why to me, it was touching to see the ARMY’s sign that said, “Apobangpo.” ARMY forever, Bangtan forever.

Because we were in Newark, New Jersey [Photo by Nikko Dizon]

ARMY forever. Bangtan forever. [Photo by Nikko Dizon]

About author


Nikko Dizon worked as journalist specializing in security and political issues for nearly two decades. She is doing consultancy work during her time-off from journalism and remains immersed in the Korean Wave, in particular with BTS, actor Ji Chang Wook, and K-drama.

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