Los Angeles Times

BTS, the new kings of pop, conquer a deafening, sold-out Rose Bowl

PASADENA, Calif. - The first thing you saw were the lines.

As queues for pop-star stadium shows go, they were orderly and patient. But from the moment the trees parted on the way into Pasadena's Rose Bowl on Saturday night, and the building-sized banners for K-pop conquerors BTS emerged, the crowds waiting outside were staggering.

An estimated 52,000 fans - from preteens to bemused dads, many Asian American but also Latino, black, and white - wound along the Rose Bowl grass. Some had camped out for days to save their spots.

In a few hours, BTS would play the first of its two largest shows in America to date, a crowning achievement for a band that sings primarily in its native language. For the genre, it's a commercial peak that's been a decade in the making. God forbid you let the occasion pass without a souvenir.

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