Tomorrow x Together

TXT's World Tour "ACT: PROMISE"


Talent: TXT @txt_bighit


- --- -- --- .-. .-. --- .-- This Morse code opener marked the kickoff of Tomorrow x Together's (TXT) U.S. leg of their third world tour, "ACT: PROMISE." It translates to “tomorrow,” echoing the thematic resonance of their latest April album, "minisode 3: TOMORROW." TXT fans are called MOA, which stands for Moments of Alwaysness. For them, the morse code represents the hopeful tomorrow they can build alongside TXT. For me, the morse code was a mystery and symbolized my own hope to learn more about them during our over two hours together at the Tacoma Dome.

Admittedly, I stepped into the venue with scant knowledge of TXT beyond their affiliation with HYBE, specifically Big Hit Music. They affectionately earned the moniker of BTS's “little brothers” before their March 2019 debut, but have carved their own groundbreaking path since then. The quintet of Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Hueningkai made history in 2022 as the first K-pop act to perform at Lollapalooza. They broke another record the following year by being the first K-pop ensemble to headline the festival.

Their discography includes “Do It Like That,” a catchy collaboration with a boy group of my childhood, the Jonas Brothers. While they didn’t perform that during the concert, TXT commenced with “Deja Vu,” the hypnotic title track from their recent EP, minisode 3: TOMORROW. Tossing their ornate white cloaks, they launched into a melodic groove before golden sparks rained down upon them, a signifier of more robust stage production to come. The original release of “0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You)” featured Seori, but her absence was ameliorated by how well the expansive pop rock jam thrives in a live setting. Meanwhile, “Devil by the Window” is less an earworm and more aptly, a seductive snake, where smoky vocals and a binding bass can ensnare the entire audience.  

Next up was undoubtedly the highlight of the evening: a mesmerizing rendition of "Sugar Rush Ride," infused with traditional Korean instrumentals. The track underwent a captivating transformation as the rhythmic pulse of the drums elevated its anti-drop, enriching it to new heights. Bedecked in exquisite blue hanboks and gracefully wielding handheld fans, the members executed a beautiful buchaechum, exuding sheer sartorial splendor with every sashaying step. The stage was adorned with a cascade of pink confetti, reminiscent of cherry blossoms in full bloom, evoking scenes straight out of a picturesque K-drama. This iteration undoubtedly stands as the definitive version, a sublime mix of contemporary flair and cultural roots.

The new arrangement of “Sugar Rush Ride” illustrates TXT’s commitment to fans. Throughout the evening, each performance was supplemented with personalized flourishes, adding an extra layer of sweetness to the night. Utilizing a dynamic 360 platform, the fivesome effortlessly fostered an atmosphere of openness and intimacy, ensuring every corner of the venue felt included. For instance, with the performance of “LO$ER=LO♡ER,” each member used their own mic stand and serenaded different sections of the crowd with heartfelt precision. During “Ghosting,” they each were equipped with a confetti cannon to blast out into the crowd.

In a refreshing twist, TXT opted to forgo a translator, allowing their interactions with the audience to flow naturally, brimming with sincerity and playful banter. During their introductions, Soobin shared tidbits about Tacoma, referencing iconic films like 10 Things I Hate About You and Sleepless in Seattle. When MOA weren’t screaming at the top of their lungs, they were barking or stomping their feet loud enough to be detected on a seismometer. “Magic” truthfully almost knocked me off my bar stool seat as everyone was encouraged to jump along to the falsetto-driven funky bop. Even the parents, perhaps begrudgingly brought along by their kids, found themselves swept up in the infectious energy of the stomping and clapping chant that echoed throughout the venue. It wasn’t “We Will Rock You,” but “TXT! I love you.”

It's the ultimate win of a concert experience when an artist can unite a diverse array of individuals. Whether young or old, diehard fan or newcomer, there should be something enjoyable for anyone. In that regard, TXT are peerlessly protean performers. They demonstrated killer combos with a couple of unit songs. Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Hueningkai came together for the youthful angst anthem “Quarter Life,” while Soobin and Yeonjun dueted on the alluring Afrobeat coated “The Killa (I Belong to You).” United, the five can dazzle in sequined jackets in the swanky Latin-inspired pop ditty “Back for More” and bring the dome down with thundering rebellious sonic booms like in “Good Boy Gone Bad” and “Growing Pain.” The thunder must have jolted me to my core as my friend glanced over, concern etched on their face, asking if I was okay. My mouth hung open in mesmerized awe as I witnessed these impeccably synchronized K-pop stars completely transform into hardcore rockers. The pyrotechnic machines erupted in flames for what must have been a solid minute. If TXT were to fully embrace rock concepts, there wouldn’t be any protest from me. One amusing bit came from Hueningkai swinging his electric guitar pretending to shred. Utilizing a live band for this rock-oriented segment of the show would have delivered a knockout one-two punch.

"Dreamer" and "Deep Down" provided tender interludes, though a part of me wished they had preceded the fiery rock anthems. They gently eased the audience before the grand finale, "I'll See You There Tomorrow." For those who lingered for the encore, TXT treated them to the beloved English rendition of "Cat and Dog," igniting a frenzy of cheers echoing "I just wanna be your dog."

From the outset, TXT vowed a thrilling two-hour spectacle, a promise they undeniably fulfilled. As the curtains closed, they implored fans to be MOA forever. Yesterday I wasn’t all too familiar with TXT, but today that’s changed. As for tomorrow? It gleams brighter because of my fond memories with them.