By Ashley Cruz

“Love Yourself: Speak Yourself” in Saudi Arabia became a historic moment for culture and diversity as South Korean boy band BTS performed a sold-out concert at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh last Oct. 11.

Despite criticism and divided opinions among fans, BTS successfully delivered electric performances of their top hits including “Boy With Luv,” “IDOL,” “Mic Drop.” They also addressed their 30,000 fans in attendance with heartwarming speeches.

“Wherever you are, we will go anywhere,” SUGA said. “Last night, we did a rehearsal here and there’s that beautiful full moon up in the sky,” RM said. “I just want to say that when we go back to Korea and we see the moon, we’ll be thinking about Saudi ARMYs.”

“ARMY and BTS, we made this!” said V, much to the delight of all fans.

The stadium, known for packed football matches, was filled with fans and locals alike as this was the first sold-out concert by an international artist in the city.

Many fans expressed their admiration for BTS for their high regard of their culture. It was also reported that BigHit staff members and dancers took training sessions to learn about Islamic culture. They also paused their rehearsals during “adhan” (call for prayer), and didn’t bow as they bid goodbye by the end of the concert.

Among the many highlights of the night was the surprise birthday song for Jimin which the members and fans sang in Arabic. Jimin’s birthday was on Oct. 13.

The world tour will continue in Seoul, South Korea on Oct. 26, 27 and 29 at the Olympic Stadium to mark the finale. It will also be livestreamed worldwide on the 26th and in select regions on the 27th.