[Review] Agust D Proves Why He’s the King, He's the Boss in Newark, NY

Kirsty Bright
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April 29th Newark saw the stage set ablaze with a whirlwind of an opener by rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer Min Yoongi/Suga. The BTS rap line member is known for his powerful and commanding stage presence, yet his alter ego Agust D raised the bar to another level.


The first of the BTS members to embark on an 11-date USA  solo tour, with two dates in South Korea, Indonesia, and Singapore. As expected demand for the show was at an all-time high with Ticketmaster only handling army presale code. Selling out within minutes, ARMY was ready to hear many favorites live. With an impressive two albums and a new album ‘D-day’ released just one week before the tour, the sky was the limit with Setlist choices. 


After a dramatic build-up with a VC filled with the arc storyline of who Agust D is an artist, living side by side with Suga. Opening with the brand new single “Hageum” from the third album ‘D-Day’, dancers brought the rapper out in an angelic statue. Seamlessly transitioning into “Daechwita” a fan favorite, it’s become almost the anthem that associates with Agust D as an artist. The debut did not disappoint, and the crowd participation alone fielded Suga’s adrenaline-fuelled performance.


One clear thing was Newark gave as much energy back to Suga as he did them. A sea of army bombs encased him perfectly. Explaining he had finally gotten over a cold that he developed on the flight to the USA his enthusiasm and energy radiated brightly throughout. Looking at home on the stage and for his first solo tour, not a shred of nervousness arose.


Photo credit: Bighit Entertainment


A story arc was the template for the setlist starting strong with his anthems, and proceeding to get out his beloved guitar decorated with messages by his fellow BTS members.  Telling the audience how he planned to sing a love song, his guitar had other ideas as a lone string pinged rebelliously to the laughter of the crowd and Suag. A swift change to an electric guitar and “Interlude: Seesaw” acoustic was next on the agenda. Known as a rap line member, what was most surprising is how his vocal range is staggeringly strong, clear, and powerful standing alone without his fellow members. The work put into holding a huge stage production alone was a foreign concept to him. Proceeding to tell the crowd it was lonely without his members, however saying today he had his brother in the crowd: Park Jimin. Supporting from the sidelines Jimin enthusiastically waved and bowed to screaming armys. 


The middle part of the show went back to full Agust D mode, ramping back to the savage, and fast-paced tongue-twisting rap numbers. My favorite segment of the night was witnessing a medley of BTS rap line songs. As a rap line enthusiast, the incredibly well-put-together medley is compiled into a firey segment complete with backing dancers, flames, and crowd favorites. Banging into “Cyphers Pt.3: Killer” and “Cypher Pt.4” which leader Namjoon famously said would be retired after the Busan concert. Excitement skyrocketed amongst the crowd singing word for word and hyped up alongside Suga you could tell this was the night he had finally found his footing. Accelerating into “UGH!” and the unexpected and iconic “DDaeng”(the wait for it to be on Spotify continues) the screams alone showed how excited the fans were. Rounding off with Huh? from ‘D-Day’ with member J-Hope “Huh?” This segment cemented the anger from the early days as a band, easing into the confidence of letting it go and laughing. 


Photo credit: Bighit Entertainment


Mini-movie VCRs led to the final segment, the journey of him being Agust D, past flashbacks filled with easter eggs from music videos, with his members, into the present day as SUGA and Min Yoongi. Throughout the show, the mini VCRs acted as well-executed moments that tied the next segment seamlessly. What remains is the man behind the alter ego, Min Yoongi - who has found peace and can go through the next chapter with less burden and anger. 


What followed was a beautiful and touching tribute paid to his idol and mentor Japanese piano player Ryuichi Sakamoto who featured on “Snooze” with Woosung (The Rose.) Clips of his meeting with the star feature on his Road to D-Day documentary now on Disney+. Sitting at his piano the beauty of this moment was breathtaking, emotional and you could hear the crowd focused. 


Photo credit: Bighit Entertainment

Before rounding off the show with tracks “Nevermind” and “The Last” his endments explained his appreciation, thankfulness, and humble words towards the fans for being there for him and his members. After doing the whole show in English, his endments were in Korean. Proceeding to explain the need to do the tour and ask that the crowd still be there for them when they return for their comeback. Of course, the answer from the crowd was clear; ARMY is in this Bangtan for life. Agust D may be put to rest, but the production value, passion, and hard work that this show has is palpable and highlights just how unstoppable he has become. 


Agust D continues his tour dates with the final shows in Chicago and LA before making his way to Singapore, Indonesia, and finishing in the home of Seoul, South Korea. 


Setlist: 

Haegeum

Daechwita

Agust D

give it to me

Seesaw (Acoustic Ver.)

SDL

People

People Pt.2

Moonlight

Burn It

Interlude: Shadow

Cypher Pt.3 + Cypher Pt.4 + UGH + Ddaeng 

Huh?

Life Goes On

Snooze

Polar Night

AMYGDALA

D-Day

Intro: Nevermind

The Last


Have you been to an AGUST D show, or attended any? Let us know, and Follow KpopWise on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with the latest Kpop news and for more exclusive interviews!

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