At this point, BTS don’t have to work to conquer America. It’s done. That mission has been accomplished. They pack stadiums over here. But they just released the new album Map Of The Soul: 7 — which, according to my esteemed co-worker Chris DeVille, is their White Album. (I don’t know where that guy learned how to write incendiary headlines.) So they’re on the charm offensive here and everywhere else. These efforts have already included playing hide-and-seek with Ashton Kutcher and James Corden. And last night, Jimmy Fallon dedicated an entire night of The Tonight Show to the group.
For whatever reason, last night’s Tonight Show wasn’t filmed in the usual Tonight Show studio. Instead, Jimmy Fallon took the group on a tour of New York’s decaying public transit system, which does not seem like a nice way to treat out-of-town visitors. Fallon interviewed them on a subway car, and they performed in an emptied-out Grand Central Station terminal — two stunts that must’ve turned thousands of commutes into absolute hell. Fallon also took BTS to eat at Katz’s Delicatessen, where the members of the group revealed that they have never heard of When Harry Met Sally. (I feel like this is an age thing, not a cultural thing.)
Since this is a Jimmy Fallon interview, there are plenty of moments that are tough to watch. There is, for instance, an extended Subway Olympics bit, where everyone is forced to take part in fun-time games that would absolutely disgust everyone on a real subway train if you were to attempt them at any point in the day. Also, when any of the BTS members answer Fallon’s questions in Korean, he has to sit there nodding, like he knows what they’re saying. I did like the bit, however, where the members of BTS all say that they want to meet John Cena, even if this is just a clear setup for a future Tonight Show episode.
The real reason to watch any of this is the one musical performance. BTS do “ON,” a Map Of The Soul: 7 track, in the Grand Central terminal with a whole crew of of scary-precise dancers. It’s a clear sign that they are now the global leaders in grand pop spectacle. Check it out below, and if you feel like indulging the rest, you can watch all the associated interview and comedy-bit videos as well.
Map Of The Soul: 7 is out now on BigHit Entertainment.