“For Tomorrow – The Documentary” is the movie we all need to see today.
It’s been almost 3 years since Tomorrow X Together, or TXT, made their NYC debut at the Time Square showcase. During that show the boys, Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, Taehyun and HueningKai, showed off their individual talents and skills that their label Big Hit Music so rightly scouted and tapped. Now, the boys returned once again to the big apple, but this time to showcase their evolution as a cohesive group as well as share the love with their super fans, MOA. The performance certainly showcased how much the boys had really missed performing in front of their fans.
The second USA stop on their first world tour, ACT: LOVESICK, kicked off in Madison Square Garden’s Hulu theater in NYC on July 9. The show began with a quick video intro that highlighted the wonderment, mystery and self exploration that TXT has become known for and those sentiments were mirrored throughout the show. Fog filled the theater as the boys emerged on to the stage for a powerful and emotional rendition of their hit song, “0X1=Lovesong (I Know I Love You).” As the boys performed the song they were surrounded by huge movable LED lighted performance panels that shared images of blue ice and pink jewels that chilled the audience and warmed the soul. The performance had an extended choreo and highlighted how the boys have evolved not only as vocalists and dancers, but as a unit and cohesive group moving as one to convey strong and powerful emotions.
TXT then performed “Wishlist” and “Blue Orangeade,” before taking a break to chat with fans. The opening set of songs was chocked full of cuteness and charms as well as vibrant colors and flavorful fruit imagery. It literally was positivity overload. One might think that it was the end of the show given how joyful it was, but for TXT it was just the beginning. The group loved getting feedback from their MOA on their performance of “Blue Orangeade.” It was obvious that the group delighted to be back in the presence of their American MOA after such a long break from performing in the US.
It was evident that the boys really enjoyed performing in front of the crowd as they chatted with fans. Yeonjun admitted that the boys really mould over what songs they would perform and wanted to highlight and show off songs that had never been seen before on American soil. He admitted the group wrecked their brains picking out songs. The boys went on to perform their upbeat English song, “Magic” and jumped off the stage and walked amongst the crowd to perform “Ghosting,” while shaking hands, waving, and taking pictures. The moment was so magical and intense that even the in-house camera crew couldn’t keep track of the boys as they became one and merged with Moa.
The boys continued with a new set that was certainly rocking as they were decked out in vintage T-shirts that highlighted groups like Nirvana, AC/DC, and the Rolling Stones. They performed in front of yellow caution tape graphics to begin this set with “New Rules” and then “PUMA” as well as “Balance Game. The boys finish the set by climbing onto a Jeep for “Lo$er=Lover” and “Trust Fund Baby.” As the crowd sang a long, Taehyun’s vocal prowess was on full display for these performances as the boys’ lit up the starry night backdrop just as if the boys were inviting the audience to a warm campfire glowing in the summer night.
After a video break, the boys return to the stage decked out in Sailor Moon-inspired shirts to perform classic monster hits songs like “Crown,” and “9 and Three Quarters (Run Away)” and “Blue Hour” as well as an emotional rendition of “Magic Island.” It was clearly evident that the boys really had matured when it came to their stage presence and ability to perform. Their craftsmanship was on full display along with their development as artists but what really set the tone for the show was how much the boys truly missed and delighted with interacting with their fans.
After a short video break, the guys changed into another outfit that mirrored this set’s darker tone. With a wicked red forest behind the guys and wearing white and black outfits they performed, “Frost,” “Maze in the Mirror,” and an epic performance of “Eternally.” The boys then stopped to chat with fans and share how much it meant to them to perform “Eternally.”
For the next set the boys continue down a path of exploration and were not afraid to confront their Darkside with songs like “Can’t You See Me? (Rock remix)” and “Opening Sequence.” They were clad in blue and black outfits. For this set long gone was the cheerful music that had started the show. Now the boys took on dark imagery with authentic emotional expression. Then only Yeonjun and Hueningkai stayed on stage to perform their song, “Lonely Boy” as TXT’s first subunit. After this song, all the boys united on stage to kid and tease Yeonjun and Hueningkai about their song. After some funny jabs, the whole group performed a touching rendition of “Anti-Romantic.” They finished out this set with their current chart-topping hit, “Good Boy Gone Bad.”
As the boys disappeared off stage fans were left wanting more which of course TXT delivered. For their encore performances they performed “Thursday’s Child Has Far To Go” and “MOA Diary (Dubaddu Wari Wari)” and “Sweat.” During their performance of “MOA Diary (Dubaddu Wari Wari)” fans were asked to hold up signs sharing how much they loved the boys of TXT. The boys seem generally touched by this moment.
It was clear from the show, that the boys took the audience on a journey, not only of their own development as artists but as young adults maturing into adulthood. The show started with warm, upbeat, cheerful, and innocent songs that only TXT can deliver to the world of K-pop, but eventually morphed into a much darker moodier, and more authentic tone with songs that the group has become known for. However, the most touching part of the entire concert was seeing how much the boys delighted in seeing, entertaining, and connecting with their fans that they have clearly been longing for and waiting to entertain.
Tomorrow X Together and the ACT: LOVESICK tour will continue in the US for the rest of this month before TXT heads overseas. Their North American dates are as follows:
- Thursday, July 7, 2022. Rosemont Theatre, Chicago, IL
- Saturday, July 9, 2022. Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
- Tuesday, July 12, 2022. Fox Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia
- Thursday, July 14, 2022. Texas Trust CU Theatre, Grand Prairie, Texas
- Sunday, July 17, 2022. Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, Sugar Land, TX
- Thursday, July 21, 2022. Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
- Saturday, July 23, 2022. Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, CA
- Sunday, July 24, 2022. Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, CA
TXT also will be performing on Good Morning America on July 11th, 2022.
Lollapalooza takes place from July 28 to July 31 in Chicago’s Grant Park.
K-pop has begun to sweep the world as the “Hallyu wave” or “Korean wave” (the idea that South Korean pop culture has grown in prominence to become a major driver of global pop culture) has finally cemented its place in the west. After almost two decades of k-pop, the world has finally started to pay attention to the astounding accomplishments being made by k-pop idols and groups. Everyone is aware of who BTS are, but not many people know how astounding their accomplishments really are. In their recent years as a group, BTS has broken world records, been nominated for a Grammy, gotten Teen Choice, MTV, VMAs, Daesangs, Bonsangs, iHeart Radio Music Awards, American Music Awards and much much more. With BTS being the number one k-pop artists in the world, having just become the first asian act to win Artist of the Year at the AMA’s, it is finally time for people to begin to recognize these global powerhouses and pay attention to how incredible these groups really are.
(Seo Taiji and The Boys left to right: Yang Hyun-suk, Seo Taiji, and Lee Juno)
K-pop can be broken down into “generations”. Each generations designates a certain time period a group has debuted and attempts to define the genre and culture as k-pop evolves over time. The first generation took place from the 1990s to the early 2000s with notable acts like Seo Taiji and the Boys, H.O.T., and Sechs Kies. This first generation designated the official start of k-pop and acted as a stepping stool for many other groups to follow. Not long after came one of the most globally influential generations, the second generation of k-pop.
(Girl’s Generation left to right: Yoona, Sooyoung, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Taeyeon, Sunny and Seohyun)
The second generation took place from 2003 to approximately 2010. In this generation we saw groups like SHINee, Big Bang, Girl’s Generation, 2NE1, Super Junior, and so many other talented groups make their mark and help the spread of the ‘Hallyu wave”` with world tours and the introduction of “fanservice”, these idols began to drop the mysterious untouchable celebrity act and introduced the friendly approachable idol image.
(Seventeen left to right: Wonwoo, Jun, S. Coups, Seungkwan, Dino, Joshua, Hoshi, Jeonghan, Woozi, Vernon, DK, The 8, Mingyu)
Groups that began the generational transition shift in the early 2012’s became known as the third generation. Some groups from this notable era are Twice, Seventeen, BTS, Red Velvet, EXO, BLACKPINK, and NCT and tons more. Third generation had a very heavy emphasis on a global audience. Before the third generation many international fans had to rely on other fans to add subtitles to clips of their favorite groups, but the third generation introduced more content for the international fan through social media platforms, like Twitter and Instagram, along with streaming platforms, like YouTube. K-pop also began to expand and add more of a story telling element through the introduction of “universes” or the group’s “concepts”. The end of the third generation is a bit less conclusive, but many agree it ended sometime in 2018.
(Stray Kids left to right: I.N., Changbin, Lee Know, Felix, HAN, BangChan, Hyunjin, Seungmin)
Any group who made their debut in 2018 or 2019 was considered to be a part of the current fourth generation. The fourth generation shows k-pop at an unprecedented scale that we have never seen before. Groups are debuting and immediately gaining millions of views on music videos and going on showcase tours around the world. Groups like TXT, Aespa, Stray Kids, ITZY, Enhypen, ATEEZ, LOONA, P1Harmony, STAYC are among many other powerhouse groups debuting almost weekly. This new generation are showcasing their individual talents through k-pop to the world while showing there are no barriers and their possibilities of success are endless.
With the influx of new groups and the lack of “boy bands” and “girl groups” in the west since notable acts like One Direction and Fifth Harmony, k-pop has been able to take over and found a new sense of popularity throughout the global pandemic. Something that differentiates k-pop from the typical “teenage pop group” is the amount of time and production that goes into it. Some idol groups like Stray Kids and Seventeen are also labelled as self producing because they take part in writing, producing, mixing, choreographing, and doing many other things. These all rounder groups are insuring that they cement a place for themselves globally and need to be recognized for their hard work and legitimate artistry instead of just a “teenage craze”.
Needless to say there are many more layers to the K-pop universe and learning about what differentiates it or makes it appealing is only the beginning. Until then, here’s some of our favorites that you should definitely add to your playlists.
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