'We cannot wait for tomorrow': BTS fans gather on eve of K-pop group's Love Yourself concert
About 200 fans were already gathered outside the National Stadium a day before the concert kicks off.
It is the night before K-pop sensation BTS' Love Yourself show in Singapore but already, fans are having a mini "concert" outside the National Stadium.
Around 200 BTS fans or ARMYs were gathered at the venue on Friday evening (Jan 18), some queuing to buy official merchandise hours before the stall would actually open. Others took photos and flaunted their K-pop paraphernalia, including earlier edition light sticks (known as "ARMY bombs") and fashion items.
Ms Nurul Aina Aqilah, a 23-year-old student from the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan, said it was her first time abroad, as well as her first BTS concert.
"I booked the flights to Singapore before I had even asked my mother if I could go. She was angry when she found out, but I knew I had to come regardless. This is the craziest thing I've ever done," she told Channel NewsAsia, adding that she was eyeing the latest ARMY bomb, as well as shoes featuring the BTS Line characters, BT21.
One Indonesian fan Channel NewsAsia spoke to even had her nails painted with BT21 characters.
"We booked the flights here before we even knew for sure that we'd get the concert tickets," said Ms Renadya, who works as a travel agent.
"This is my heart. BTS owns and holds everything inside my heart. I like other groups, but only for their music. My main group is BTS," the 23-year-old added.
A common practice in K-pop culture, Ms Renadya had prepared "fan packs" to be given to others for free. Her pack includes picture cards, biscuits and sweets, secured in a Ziploc bag.
A photo wall also drew a long queue of fans, who enjoyed a special treat at around 8pm, when the K-pop group began soundchecks inside the stadium. ARMYs pointed their light sticks in the air, crying and chanting to the hit song Fake Love.
"We cannot wait for tomorrow. We feel nervous and cannot believe we are attending the concert," said 18-year-old Indonesian student Gilda Shakira.
"THEY MOTIVATE ME"
A 19-year-old full-time national serviceman who only wanted to be known as Stephen, said he went home briefly after booking out of camp before heading to the venue.
"I'll be waiting here for the whole night because this is my first concert and I want to get the merchandise to remember this moment," he said.
Asked why he liked BTS, Stephen said: "I tend to do a lot of things that normal Singaporeans don't do such as putting on make-up. When I see BTS doing the same, it makes me feel more confident. The name of their tour itself encourages people to love themselves. Their music is also meaningful and catchy.
"V is my favourite - his style, personality and voice are unique. I like to take inspiration from him - he dyes his hair different colours and is very confident about it. I dye my hair a lot myself."
Malaysian student Puteri Nur Najihah, who will attend the concert with a group of friends, shared her admiration for BTS member Jungkook: "He was my first bias. I can see how he strives to do the best for everything. When he tells his fans something, he will fulfill it and I really like how he keeps his promises. It motivates me to do better.
"At the moment, I have love for all seven of them."
(Additional reporting by Hidayah Salamat)