Riyadh hums as Korean BTS deliver electric performance

1 / 2
BTS setting new standards in the K-Pop music industry. (Social media photo)
2 / 2
The seven-piece South Korean band BTS performed on Friday at a sold-out concert at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh. (Photo/Twitter @Turki_alalshikh)
Updated 12 October 2019

Riyadh hums as Korean BTS deliver electric performance

  • BTS has been collaborating with a number of Western artists such as Halsey, Steve Aoki and Nicki Minaj

RIYADH: In their bid to conquer the world and unite it with music, BTS performed at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh on Friday.

Their fans had been preparing for the concert ever since they heard the news. Twelve-year-old Ahmed Baleegh came to the concert with his older sister who introduced him to the band.

“It was exciting, there was constant suspense, especially when they performed Fake Love.”

He got into them when their track Fire was released. 

“It was my first time attending a K-pop concert and I knew it was going to be the best since it was BTS.”

He continued; “I think shows like this will enable more K-Pop bands to come to Saudi Arabia in the future.”

Army, the name given to the fandom by the band, flew to Riyadh from all over the Kingdom to attend the concert. 

On Twitter, fans showed how they took the time to prepare banners, stickers and more, often specific to each member of the band.

The band is known for their phenomenal music, setting new standards in the K-Pop music industry through their constant hard work. The band’s members remain humble and loving to their fans.

BTS debuted on the Big Hit Entertainment label in 2013; their songs were mostly based on the problems of society and following your dreams. Debuting with the song “No More Dream,” the band has been steadily climbing the ladder of success.

BTS has seven members, three rappers and four vocalists. Its rapper line is made up of Kim Namjoon, known as Rap Monster, Min Yoongi (Suga), and Jung Hosoek (J-Hope). 

The vocalists are Park Jimin, Jeon Jungkook, Kim Seokjin (Jin) and Kim Taehyung (V).

The concert was held at King Fahd stadium, where fans came equipped with their BTS light sticks, fan merchandise and BTS-themed clothes and makeup to have the time of their lives.

The buzz in the air determined how exciting the night would be. 

Fans meeting each other for the first time did not seem like strangers. 

They helped each other out, donating light sticks and merchandise to those who couldn’t afford it. The whole stadium felt like a gathering of friends.

With fans filing into the stadium and connecting their light sticks to the central control, BTS finally appeared on the stage in what looked like a sea of lights. 

It was a grand entrance and the fans showed their enthusiasm by screaming the entire first number, “Dionysus.” 

The song kick-started an emotional journey for the fans, who laughed, cried, screamed, and sang along with the boys they have seen on tiny screens for years.

After performing their first song with their trademark tight choreography, the seven boys introduced themselves. 

Their leader Kim Namjoon conducted their signature greeting “2,3 Bang Tan, hello we are BTS.”

Each of the members introduced themselves and spoke Arabic lines that they had practiced beforehand especially for the fans in Saudi Arabia.

Then they performed songs such as “Boy with Luv,” “Mic Drop” and “Dope.” They also performed as subunits and solos. 

Their youngest member, Jeon Jungkook, performed “Euphoria,” Kim Taehyung performed his captivating song “Singularity,” and Jung Hoseok performed his “Just Dance.”

They even interacted with the fans while performing, asking their crowd to sing along and help complete the lines.

BTS bade farewell to their fans, who clearly wanted more, and promised to come back to Saudi Arabia.

The fans left the stadium with twinkling eyes, discussing their favorite parts of the concert, and saying how they would remember this day for the rest of their lives.


Saudi artist reimagines Jeddah through ’80s pop art

The illustrations are figments, romanticizing the streets people know well. They expose the genuine fondness Jeddawis carry in their hearts for the city, says the artist, who goes by the name of ZHA on social media. (Supplied)
Updated 09 August 2020

Saudi artist reimagines Jeddah through ’80s pop art

  • Zaina Hassan feels that love and belonging we feel toward the coastal city are very real and deserve to be illuminated
  • Deep Blue is an artwork that portrays a girl walking along the new Corniche with the sea as her background. It speaks of moments when you feel melancholic or blue for reasons unknown to you

JEDDAH: Every Jeddawi has an obsession with their city; the elderly reminisce about historic Jeddah in the old days, while the youth romanticize the modern city through photography and social media.

One Saudi artist, Zaina Hassan, 23, who goes by the name ZHA on social media, chose to express her attachment to Jeddah by reimagining it through ’80s pop art.
“To many of us, Jeddah is a city too familiar for words, for beautiful odes and formal praise. Yet, the love and belonging we feel toward it are very real and deserve to be illuminated,” she told Arab News.
She added: “My deep affection toward the city only grew while I was away, and all its beauty that was previously hidden in plain sight became visible to me in my nostalgia.”
The artist has completed eight pieces; the first artwork, shared on Instagram is called “Show You the World” and portrays two people walking toward the Globe Roundabout in northern Jeddah.


• Re-Imagine Exhibition opened on July 27 at Medd Cafe, and will continue until August end.

• Zaina Hassan’s artwork will be available for purchase.

“This piece is dedicated to people who dream of seeing the world but find themselves stuck in one place. A gentle reminder that there is much to see and feel, even without getting on a plane and traveling thousands of kilometers,” she said.
The other pieces follow the same idea, where the location reflects certain feelings or emotions of the characters in the artwork.
“Deep Blue” is an artwork that portrays a girl walking along the new Corniche with the sea as her background. “It speaks of moments when you feel melancholic or blue for reasons unknown to you,” Hassan said.

“Rosie” is another artwork that shows a couple standing together lovingly, with the old Saudi airplane monument behind them. The monument symbolizes how every relationship is a journey, she added.
Hassan chose ’80s pop art as her medium because it combines youthful content with a vintage appearance, which she is very fond of.
“For the love of everything vintage. Comic book art or ’80s pop art has a nostalgic yet youthful and modern look to it, so it was the perfect artistic style to merge the old with the new.”
The artist began sharing her work on Instagram during the difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
“I first thought of the theme behind the first few pieces in the midst of the COVID-19 avalanche, when isolation and uncertainty were still unexplored territories to most of us; the main incentive behind the theme was homesickness,” Hassan added.
She said it was not artwork by other artists that inspired her, but things from her daily life such as songs, movies and stories.
“I found that listening to certain songs inspires me so much more vividly than looking at or studying actual art pieces. Obviously, comic book illustrators have inspired me enough to use this specific style and guided me with regard to colors and composition, but I believe that the real inspiration behind my artworks’ ideas come from songs, as well as movie scenes, pictures and stories,” she said.
“Basically, anything that is able to transport you to an alternative reality for a period of time. So many things inspire me and influence me daily, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact source.”
Hassan said the illustrations were figments, romanticizing the streets people know well, but they exposed the genuine fondness Jeddawis carry in their hearts for this coastal city.
To many people, she said, the landmarks portrayed in Hassan’s artworks carry many memories of their youth — their favorite childhood place, where they used to hang out in their teenage years, or even a place they used to pass by on their way to their loved ones’ old houses. “It’s amazing how memories connect people to places on such a deep level.”
The main theme of her collection is not solely romantic as much as it is soulful, and it encompasses romance, friendship, adventure, and even melancholy.