BTS Set the Bar Once Again With Their 2020 MMA and MAMA Performances

The 2020 Melon Music Awards (MMA) took place virtually from Dec. 2 to Dec. 5, with the main ceremony being held on Dec. 5. The next day on Dec. 6, the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) aired. BTS performed at both award shows, and just like 2019, their performances stood out.

BTS on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

A look at BTS’ MMA performance

It is no secret that BTS go hard when it comes to their MMA stages. Every year, fans wonder how BTS will top the previous year, and then they somehow always manage to exceed the already high expectations.

Last year, BTS performed “Intro: Persona,” “Boy in Luv,” “Boy With Luv,” “Mikrokosmos,” and “Dionysus.” The stage was 37 minutes long, featured dance breaks, comeback hints about their album Map of the Soul: 7, and showed BTS’ growth and versatility as artists over the years.

For their 2020 MMA performance, BTS performed “Black Swan,” “ON,” “Life Goes On,” and “Dynamite,” combining their Map of the Soul: 7 and BE eras. While the Korean band’s 2020 MMA stage was less than half the time of the 2019 stage and Suga was absent because he is recovering from shoulder surgery, the group’s performance was still remarkable.

RELATED: Everything BTS Just Accomplished With ‘Life Goes On’ — It’s Too Much to Fit in a Headline

‘Black Swan’ and ‘Dynamite’ were standouts

The “Black Swan” performance was only a dance performance, but it proved to be the highlight of the set. “Black Swan” featured a water stage as the members of BTS danced to the orchestral version of the song.

Jimin and Jungkook completed a pas de deux ballet move, and the members danced with urgency as they transformed into black swans. Without words, Jin, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook brought the vulnerabilities of their song “Black Swan” to life.

For “Dynamite,” the members transformed their hit disco-pop single into a dedication to Michael Jackson. The end of the song featured a dance break reminiscent of the late pop superstar’s most iconic moves.

RELATED: BTS: Suga Will Miss ‘BE’ Album Promotions Due to Shoulder Surgery

BTS went big for their 2020 MAMA performance

For 2020 MAMA, BTS performed “ON,” “Life Goes On,” and “Dynamite.” The group filmed the “ON” performance at Seoul’s World Cup Stadium. The large venue was needed to accompany the marching band, backup dancers, fire, fireworks, and the members’ dance break.

The band’s “Dynamite” performance ended up being another allusion to Jackson. For ARMY, the real treat of 2020 MAMA proved to be BTS’ performance of “Life Goes On.”

At the start of the performance, the members sang while walking through a grayed street as actors stood frozen behind them. For Suga’s verse, a portal opened, and a hologram of Suga joined the six other members. Toward the end of the song, the sky opened and the city street was filled with color. The actors began interacting with each other while wearing masks.

While Suga has been absent due to his surgery, the members have been doing their best to include him. They have carried photos of him, mentioned him in speeches, left an empty space for him in group photos, and called him during an acceptance speech. Including Suga in their MAMA performance was just another way for BTS to show that through and through, they are a septet.

The staging and concept of the “Life Goes On” performance further emphasized the message of the song. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic feels as if the world has stopped, but life is still continuing.

While it may feel like “there’s no end in sight” as the lyrics of the song say, there will be a day when it feels like a distant memory. Until then, the only thing we can do is continue on with life the best we can.