“Beatles-Mania” took over the entire world in 1964, but today, “BTS-Mania” has set in, and it’s not going away anytime soon. The K-pop boy band make their first appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Wednesday, May 15. To mark the occasion, BTS paid tribute to The Beatles in the same venue where the legendary British group made history over 55 years ago, and you’re not going to want to watch anything else today.
On Feb. 9, 1964, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr made their American debut as The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, which was shot at the same theater where Colbert’s show is currently filmed, and changed the course of pop culture. Over 50 years (plus five more years, three months, and six days) later, as joked in the intro, BTS took the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater and delivered a very retro performance of their hit single “Boy With Luv” (sans Halsey), just as they're making history themselves.
Suited up just like their predecessors, the boys turned back time and gave an energetic rendition of the track, with their usual boyish charm and smooth choreography, but shot in black and white, complete with stand-in screaming fans in adorable ‘60s gear and a drumset that said "BTS" in the Beatles' signature font.
Before they hit the stage, Colbert channeled the late Sullivan in the show's cold-open to introduce the band, proclaiming them as a "new batch of mop-top heartthrobs," saying, “You can call them the Fab Seven. It has a nice ring to it. A sweet nod to the Beatles' "Fab Four" moniker, before presenting the boys by their respective nicknames, which were all "the cute one." The crowd went wild regardless.
The boys also took part in an interview with Colbert, where they opened up about their loud fans, their long-term career goals (facial hair), and talked about the Beatles, even singing an impromptu rendition of "Hey Jude."
BTS’ comparisons to The Beatles are not as far-fetched as you may think. The group first made history by landing a number one album on the Billboard 200, a feat no other K-pop act has accomplished. They later reached the top of the chart two more times within a year, most recently with Map of the Soul: Persona, totaling three number one albums in one year, a landmark achievement no other traditional group has done since the Beatles themselves, as reported by Billboard. And of course, the level of pandemonium that BTS can ensue among fans might only be matched by the chaos that John, George, Paul, and Ringo caused back in the ‘60s.
If you want even more proof, check the boys out on their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself stadium tour, which made them the first K-pop band to sell out London's Wembley Stadium and to perform in large stadiums stateside. BTS is blazing their own path, but it's one perhaps no band has done as well as the Beatles.