TXT Make History as the first K-pop group to headline Lollapalooza in Chicago 

By: Mayra Peralta and Valentina Reni
08/06/2023
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Thumbnail courtesy of BIGHIT MUSIC 

From topping music charts to dominating pop culture conversations, South Korean acts are constantly breaking barriers and achieving headline-worthy milestones. On August 5, global Gen Z icons TOMORROW X TOGETHER — better known as TXT — unlocked another feat for K-pop groups by headlining the 2023 Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago. The history-making performance followed their first appearance at the festival in 2022, where Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Hueningkai became the first K-pop group invited to perform at the celebrated music event. 

Photo courtesy: BIGHIT MUSIC 

Youth and Rock 

TXT made their highly-anticipated return to Chicago as first-time headliners on the Bud Light stage of the Lollapalooza Music Festival. For the occasion, the group took a live band onstage, kicking off the set with “0X1 LOVESONG (I Know I Love You)” The group then brought the heat to Chicago’s most famed festival with “New Rules,” “LO$ER=LO♡ER” and “Anti-Romantic.” 

Crafted with the themes of youth and rock as its foundation, the set included hit singles such as “Cat & Dog,” “Good Boy Gone Bad,” and “Blue Hour,” which delighted both fans and festival-goers. The quintet also offered a one-of-a-kind surprise for fans by presenting unit performances of “Lonely Boy” and “Thursday’s Child Has Far To Go.”

Photo courtesy: BIGHIT MUSIC 

Another highlight of the night was the special guest appearance of rapper Coi Leray, who joined Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Hueningkai to perform “Happy Fools” and a brief reprise of the rapper’s hit “Players.”

Photo courtesy: BIGHIT MUSIC 

As they had anticipated, TXT’s headlining performance included a live premiere of their collaboration with The Jonas Brothers, “Do It Like That,” released in July. The single swept iTunes charts worldwide, quickly resonating with fans of both music groups. After an exciting number spotlighting the dance crew, the group announced that a remix of “Do It Like That” by Jax Jones will be released next week.

Closing out the show was “Sugar Rush Ride,” the group’s February 2023 release. With a spectacular fireworks display accompanying the hypnotic melody, TXT rang the night in successfully, proving to be worthy headliners for Chicago’s biggest music festival. 

Lollapalooza’s History  

Spanning over three decades,  Lollapalooza Chicago is one of the largest music festivals in the world and one of America’s most anticipated music events. First launched in 1991, the festival features a star-studded lineup across music genres. The show’s reputation has transcended frontiers, reaching cities such as Santiago de Chile, São Paulo, Paris, and Berlin, which have set up their own editions of the event. Nevertheless, the oldest and most recognized edition remains in Chicago, where the festival has found its home at Grant Park, with Lake Michigan as the backdrop. 

Despite Lollapalooza’s beginning as a rock festival, the event is now recognized for bringing together a motley lineup of stars. In 2022, the festival introduced its first K-pop headliner (BTS member J-hope) and its first K-pop group performers (TXT). In 2023, the festival further consolidated the presence of South Korean acts, with performances by The Rose, NewJeans, and TXT — all groups that have captivated global audiences with great success. 

Photo courtesy: BIGHIT MUSIC 

K-pop Icons

As headliners, TOMORROW X TOGETHER put together a performance that justified the explosive hype on social media  — tags related to the group’s Lollapalooza return trended on X for hours. Tightly choreographed dances, killer vocals, and inherently Gen Z fashion came together to prove why TXT have reached K-pop icon status. 

For fans and onlookers, the group’s genuine excitement and appreciation for the crowd didn’t go unnoticed.  As seasoned performers, doted singers, and consummate K-pop aces, TXT showcased the best of their discography, engaging with Lolla’s audience from beginning to end.  “I am so grateful that I got to see all of you at Lollapalooza as a headliner. This is truly a dream come true,” said rapper Yeonjun before wrapping up the show. “Thank you, everyone, for giving us a night to remember,” he added. 

While their Lollapalooza performance is undoubtedly a new highlight for the group, TXT are in no way strangers to setting high bars and breaking records. Just a day before their headlining set, the group received a gold certification from RIAA for selling over 500,000 units of their album The Name Chapter: Temptation in the United States. With this achievement, the group became the second K-pop act to receive this certification — following the steps of their labelmates BTS. Additionally, TXT released a music collaboration with The Jonas Brothers and premiered a documentary on Disney+ in July.

With so many accomplishments under their belts, and if the group’s latest appearance at the Lollapalooza Music Festival is any indicator, TXT is ready to write a new chapter in their career — one that has already started with a history-making performance. 

Interested in more music content? Check out EnVi’s exclusive interview with K-pop group PIXY here