In just under a week, Tomorrow X Together (TXT) will return to Chicago’s Lollapalooza to make history once again. Last year, they became the first K-pop act to perform at the festival while, this year, they’ll be the first K-pop group to headline. Ahead of their triumphant return, the band have looked back at their first appearance in Grant Park and their first world tour in the new Disney+ documentary, Tomorrow X Together: Our Lost Summer’, giving fans an insight into the preparation and experience of finally getting to meet MOAs worldwide for the first time.
Here’s five things we learned from the documentary.
There was an element of sadness to the group’s first world tour
Before the pandemic halted Tomorrow X Together’s momentous rise in its physical form, the five-piece were only able to embark on a short showcase tour of the US. It wasn’t until three years after they debuted that they were finally able to hold their first world tour, ‘Act: Lovesick’. While they were happy to finally be out on the road and free from the “gloomy” awkwardness of online concerts, there was also an element of sadness to the tour. “At the time, I felt like we were finally doing something we should have done a long time ago,” Taehyun said. “So as much as I felt relieved, it was also a little sad as it felt overdue.”
Beomgyu thinks TXT’s existence is like that of cicadas
Comparing themselves to noisy insects like cicadas might seem like an interesting choice, but the singer’s analogy has depth to it. If a cicada only lives for up to four weeks before succumbing to the circle of life, then TXT’s cycle of practicing and performing is similar. “We don’t have seasons, we’re always in the studio,” Beomgyu explained. “We’re like cicadas – we practice for six to seven months, then it’s two weeks before performing.” He continued to reason that, due to the pandemic prohibiting them from stepping out of the studio to meet their fans, they “lost track of the seasons”. With touring back on the table, though, “now we have our seasons back”.
TXT’s bond is something special
The five members’ close relationship has always been obvious in their interviews and content, but Our Lost Summer highlights just how strong their bond is. While in the US, Beomgyu suffered an illness that caused him to miss part of a show in Atlanta and, although leader Soobin notes he wanted to just “act normal” to his bandmate instead of making a fuss, the footage shows how the rest of the band rallied around him, even in small ways.
“Usually, we jokingly say we can’t stand each other,” Beomgyu said. “But when one of us gets sick, we gather up even though we all have our separate rooms. When times get tough, we’re always there for each other. We become a family.” While there might be obvious signs of their camaraderie with each other on stage, TXT support their bandmates during performances in ways that MOAs are unaware of too. During ‘Opening Sequence’ – the end of an 11-song stint with no break – the members talked to each other through their microphones when they’re not being channelled through the PA, willing them on for the final minutes.
The idea of winning over new fans at Lollapalooza excited them
As much as all artists love performing in front of crowds full of their own fans, festival sets present a different opportunity and challenge – that of winning over the uninitiated and welcoming them into your fanbase. When TXT made their Lollapalooza debut last year, they revelled in that facet of the performance. “I get more excited in front of other fans,” Beomgyu said. “It’s just a different feeling […] On a stage with non-fans, I have a chance to turn them into my fans.”
But they weren’t sure they should be there – and not all of the members left the festival on cloud nine
Despite welcoming new challenges, the group weren’t convinced they should be on the line-up. “Did we deserve to be there?” Yeonjun questioned. “We were worried that we might ruin the vibe.” Although their set proved exactly why TXT deserved to be given that history-making slot, not all of the members were elated after the performance.
“I cried so hard in my hotel room,” Soobin shared. “All the members were saying it was their happiest day since their debut as singers, but I didn’t feel the same.” Concerned about his self-described awkwardness on stage when there was no choreography to get stuck into, the band’s leader said he found it hard to enjoy himself and let go.
Tomorrow x Together: Our Lost Summer is out now on Disney+