Credit
Article. Kim Jieun
Design. paperpress.kr
Visual Director. Jeon Yurim
TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s second world tour, ACT: SWEET MIRAGE, is in full swing. The appropriately titled ACT: SWEET MIRAGE has been captivating audiences with a set list telling the story of temptation leading up to personal growth, immersive videos, high production value and a more mature performance from the group. The concert halls are filled with unique scents specially designed for the tour, inviting fans into a magical, unforgettable place as they enjoy the show. With the tour soon coming to a close, we decided to publish this report on ACT: SWEET MIRAGE and detail the process that went into each concert and other behind-the-scenes looks, including words from the members themselves, with hopes that the fragrance of the concert experience will linger with MOA a long time.
​1. Tour dates
TOMORROW X TOGETHER kicked off ACT: SWEET MIRAGE with two concerts in Seoul at KSPO DOME on March 25 and 26, then headed out to Singapore and Taipei, four cities in Japan during April and six U.S. cities in May. Thanks to the massive response from fans, TOMORROW X TOGETHER was able to add additional dates: They’re playing Kyocera Dome in Osaka on both July 1 and 2—the group’s first concert in one of Japan’s fabled dome stadiums—and making stops in Jakarta and Bulacan in August, making for a total of 27 concerts across 15 cities worldwide. Notably, the final stop on the U.S. leg of their tour was LA’s BMO Stadium. Not only that, but the tour comes in the wake of the group’s first time at the top of the Billboard 200, with their recent album The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION. With their first Japanese dome concert and first true stadium concert on the tour list, ACT: SWEET MIRAGE marks a huge milestone for TOMORROW X TOGETHER.
​2. The set list
When choosing the set list, “we aimed to construct a compelling and cohesive narrative that would captivate even those unfamiliar with the music,” said Eum Hye Jeong, a lead professional with the HYBE 360 Concert Production Studio that directed the concert. ACT: SWEET MIRAGE achieves its cohesive listening experience with performances and pre-recorded videos that interweave the four different sections of the concert, each with connection to the HYBE original story The Star Seekers. The first section “expresses youthful happiness” and opens with a magical mise en scène where a merry-go-round descends from the ceiling and confetti fills the air, accompanied by an orchestral version of “Blue Hour.” Eum said the song had been the “sole candidate” for the tour opener from the planning stages, since it expresses the concept of isekai, making it the most suitable choice for instantaneously transporting the audience to another world. By wrapping the first section up with “We Lost The Summer” and “Can’t You See Me?”—two songs that contrast greatly with the opener—the set list suggests that the happiness and friendship introduced earlier have begun to break down. The second section tells the story of “what was once believed to be a savior of the world being actually its demise” and is full of rock songs like “0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You)” feat. Seori and “Eternally.” It’s what TAEHYUN calls “the rockstar section.” The group members lean into the rock festival spirit by moving to all corners of the stage and having fun with the audience.

The third section revolves around “an encounter with the devil and succumbing to sweet temptation,” showcasing “TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s distinctive musical style and giving audiences a powerful, captivating performance.” Songs spanning different albums are woven into one narrative as the boys leave their decrepit hideaway (“Good Boy Gone Bad”) to wander the streets [“Tinnitus (Wanna be a rock)”] and end up seeing the devil’s reflection in the window of an abandoned building (“Devil by the Window”). Eum said they paid special attention to this part of the story. The final section starts off with “Farewell, Neverland,” a song about the group members breaking free from temptation, then moves into “Blue Spring”—the group’s first song dedicated to their fans and which they revealed for the first time on this tour—and finishes with “Our Summer.” Eum explained that the reason for concluding the concert with these songs was to symbolize “TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s  triumph over temptation, followed by progress and growth —not as just the five of them, but with MOA, too.” The TOMORROW X TOGETHER members lock eyes with their audiences while singing “Our Summer,” which they said is “the moment we reassure the fans that we all feel the same way.” The boys have MOA with them at all times throughout the three story-packed hours—right to the end. “Our Summer” encapsulates how, even as the venue changes and the seasons transition throughout the tour, TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s feelings are unwavering: “No matter where we are, no matter what season it is, as long as we’re together, it feels like summer.”
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​3. Behind the scenes
“We wanted to show how we’ve improved since the last tour and that the bigger the stage is, the better we are,” BEOMGYU said. Since ACT: SWEET MIRAGE is the group’s second world tour, the goal was to show improvement in every possible aspect. So every part of the show—from the direction, the outfits, to the musical arrangement—was scaled-up. Most notably, the group used all five stages at the Seoul KSPO DOME to perform in stunning 360 degrees. By “extending the magic summoning circle of TOMORROW X TOGETHER” across a larger stage area, Eum said, they had much more freedom in designing the stage. An added bonus was that the members could see MOA up close, according to HUENINGKAI. The stage designers made liberal use of special effects like firecrackers that, when combined with the merry-go-round, the train and larger-than-life LED display, all contributed toward what TAEHYUN called “the highest-quality in-person concert possible.”

TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s growth is further reflected in their outfits and the song arrangements. According to BIGHIT MUSIC’s visual creative team who were in charge of costumes for the tour, the choice to have the group wear “gold-embroidered dark teal suits” in the opening as opposed to “the pink suits with heart-shaped cut-outs they wore in ACT: LOVE SICK, the previous tour,” was to project “an image of real, more mature princes.” In addition, Kim Boram, a member of the BIGHIT MUSIC A&R team that arranges songs for the concerts, explained that “‘Blue Hour’ was given an orchestral arrangement to convey a grand, majestic feel,” and “the arrangement for ‘Cat & Dog,’ originally a cute song, had its marimba removed to make it sound more mature.”
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“We worked in a lot of surprises throughout the choreography to accommodate the whole ‘magic moment’ concept of the tour,” explained Kim Subin, a director with the performance directing team that works on TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s performances. They worked to make sure the performances were filled with never-before-seen elements, as with how the song “Drama” was reworked to include a basketball, how HUENINGKAI was given his first solo dance, or how the existing dance break in the intro to “Opening Sequence” was changed up to include SOOBIN and BEOMGYU dancing together, TAEHYUN and HUENINGKAI as another unit, and YEONJUN dancing solo. MOA in the audience were particularly enthusiastic about the first live performance of “Tinnitus (Wanna be a rock).” “When we first made that choreography, the focus wasn’t on being sexy—rather, keeping with the groove of the Afrobeats rhythm was,” Kim said. However, “it naturally ended up being sexy as the members got their hands on it.” The TOMORROW X TOGETHER members’ efforts to breathe life into the new performances continued throughout the tour. As one example, TAEHYUN showing off his abs wasn’t planned in advance—he “thought it up at home after the first concert in Seoul,” because he felt “some sexiness was necessary for an extra OOMPH.”

Many MOA said the group’s incredible performance of “Farewell, Neverland”—another live first—was the “highlight of the concert.” “They couldn’t just be standing there for a song that’s about leaving Neverland,” Eum explained. So the members start the performance sitting on a shipwrecked boat, and as they get up and start to sing, they make their way to the ends of the thrust stage and finish out the final chorus with heavy-hitting dance moves. Kim Subin explained that the idea behind the performance was to “show the members pushing through the currents of the stormy sea as they wrestle with their whirlwind of emotions,” which is why “it was made to appear as if they’re dancing on water.” True to Kim's words, the TXT members are seen banded together, their dancing feet evoking a stampede. Their determination is evident when they jump, hands reaching out, living out the words to the song — “afraid but I’ll keep going down … heading toward the ground at full speed.” BEOMGYU explained how he wanted to express “the regret and melancholy but also the resolution of the person leaving Neverland” in the performance, while HUENINGKAI said his “goal was to get MOA emotional.” And through the combination of the choreography, the set, the boys’ outfits and the fog effect, TOMORROW X TOGETHER gave fans in the audience an immersive experience that left them looking forward to the next phase in the boys’ journey after leaving their Neverland.
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“What a person looks like plays a big part in remembering them, but we also tend to associate our memories with smell,” Eum said, explaining that the idea behind using scent was for “TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s concert to be remembered through olfaction too.” The performances for both “Blue Hour” and “Farewell, Neverland” incorporate smell, Eum said, with the team using an orange blossom spray for the former, owing to its lyric about “orange-glowing magic” as well as the antique atmosphere created by the orchestral arrangement and the princely uniforms the boys wear. Meanwhile, the scent used during “Farewell, Neverland” invokes the smell of dewy wood from the shipwreck on stage and the impression of being on the ocean in the very early morning. “Still, since they’re just boys, we wanted them to be youthful fragrances, not anything too mature,” she added, showing the careful thought that went into evoking specific images. “Itsmelled like we had just come out of the forest and were setting off for the sea,” TAEHYUN said, saying he was pleased with how the “Farewell, Neverland” scent turned out. What makes these all-encompassing aromas so powerful is that they keep the concert experience from being limited to existing only within the venue. “Smell slowly fades from memory,” Eum explained. “We wanted that to be another part of our expression of the  sweet mirage.” As Uhm explained, "ACT : SWEET MIRAGE" experience extends beyond the concert venue, as long as the fans can reminisce on the concert and the scent of the venue lingers with them. 

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​4. MOA
“The three hours in that space together belong entirely to MOA and us,” SOOBIN said. “We wanted it to feel like we were crafting that time and space together.” For the TOMORROW X TOGETHER members, communicating with MOA is an especially important part of the tour. “The group members had a lot of stellar ideas involving communication,” Kim Subin said, explaining what the members were focused on while preparing for the tour. “‘I know it might be difficult, but is there any way for us to walk over to the fans on the sidelines too?’” The performance for “Happy Fools (feat. Coi Leray)”, the choreography for which YEONJUN wrote, went beyond communication – it was a performance created in tandem with MOA. YEONJUN, Kim said, asked if he could make the choreography for “Happy Fools” for the concert. “When I was making the choreography,” YEONJUN recalled, “I had this image of everyone dancing all together at the concert— I wanted to have a fun time with MOA.” The “Happy Fools” portion of the concert feels like a festival, with everyone dancing together in unison just as YEONJUN had envisioned, and the part where the TOMORROW X TOGETHER boys suddenly single out audience members to dance along has become one of the most anticipated parts of the concert for artist and audience alike. The group members thanked MOA for being a key part of the performance. “It’s so cute the way MOA gets more and more into dancing the further into the tour we get, and it makes us really happy.”
TOMORROW X TOGETHER performed the unreleased song “Blue Spring” for the first time during the concert, a song that’s near and dear to them because it’s dedicated to MOA and all five of them worked on the song together. “With the increasing scale of the tour and the number of fans coming to watch, we thought it would make for a touching display of sincerity for the members to sing a song of their own creation this time around,” Kim Boram explained. And thus “Blue Spring” was born, with BEOMGYU working on the music, TAEHYUN on the theme and all five of the members on the lyrics. They started on the lyrics by “writing down the things they wanted to convey to MOA at this moment in time,” said Kim. “We didn’t want to say the usual things like ‘I love you’ or ‘let’s be together always,’” TAEHYUN explained, which led to them coming up with a narrative: how TOMORROW X TOGETHER were feeling “blue” before they met MOA, who represents their “spring.” The two words together form a homonym for “youth” when written in Korean. The lyrics also reflect, in YEONJUN’s words, “how we don’t take it for granted that MOA with us no matter whether we’re high or we’re low,” as well as how, as SOOBIN said, “our self-esteem has improved thanks to our fans seeing even our weaknesses as strengths.” HUENINGKAI revealed that the lyrics were written like “a letter to MOA for always sending us their love, even when it’s been a long time since we could see them in person.” As for BEOMGYU, he “kept the chords simple because we wanted a song that MOA would have no problem singing along to.”  The members were “worried whether or not they’ll be able to sing along to an unreleased song,” but it turned out they had nothing to fear: when TOMORROW X TOGETHER performs “Blue Spring,” the venue is filled with the voices of MOA singing all together. And with that, the song they had made for MOA had become the song they can sing with MOA.

5. BMO Stadium
“I thought, ‘I won’t forget this as long as I live,’” HUENINGKAI said as he recalled the moment he walked on stage where he would perform for 20,000 MOA. TOMORROW X TOGETHER was scheduled to perform one night only at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles and bring the U.S. leg of their world tour to a close, but they added a second show thanks to the overwhelming support from their fans, who sold out both concerts. And thanks to LIVE VIEWING, fans across the world were able to join in the group’s first proper stadium concert in movie theaters worldwide. “It was like being in a movie,” SOOBIN said. “For three hours, it felt like the whole world was a movie set for us. The concert started when the Sun was out and shining bright, then it became nice and cool in the evening as the Sun set, until eventually it was completely dark and the only thing left shining was us.” It was an entirely novel experience for the group to perform in the open air, where they continue to feel the day’s weather and where “it’s impossible to just cut the lights, making the time we had to prepare for each song a little bit shorter, but it was also something new and fun.” On the second day, Coi Leray, who’s featured on TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s song “Happy Fools,” made a surprise appearance and joined the group on stage for the first time. “I enjoyed all these surprises on stage,” YEONJUN said. He was also particularly impressed by the fireworks that lit up the sky over the stadium during “Sugar Rush Ride” and “Our Summer,” a feeling which was shared by BEOMGYU. “I got this big, almost magical burst of energy when I saw those fireworks go off during our performance,” BEOMGYU said. YEONJUN also felt that “the sky looked beautiful with the fireworks going off. I was so happy and emotional sharing that moment with so many of the people I love.” The two-day concert and the huge turnout from MOA both served as a testament to TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s status and painted a picture of where they’re headed.
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6. Bonus for all the MOA who came out to see the group on tour
SOOBIN: Being on this tour made me feel that the connection between fans and singers is quite romantic. I invited a friend to the Seoul concert, and they said, “If you’re just going to come back out for an encore anyway, why say your goodbyes and pretend it’s over? The fans all know what’s up.” So I said, “of course they know. But isn’t there something romantic about how they all act disappointed, then pretend to be surprised and cheer their heads off when we come back out?” That’s when I realized we have a truly romantic connection. So we tried our best each and every second, and we cherish each and every one of your voices singing together and the look of happiness on your faces. So I hope you show us a lot—and I mean, a lot—of love at our concerts. (laughs)

YEONJUN: I know how difficult it can be for MOA to come to our  shows, so I’m extremely grateful for you coming. But it feels like we’re the ones getting more from you every single concert we put on. I think the only way we can repay you is to keep pushing ourselves to bring you even better songs and amazing dances. I want to keep showing you what we’re made of and make lots of great memories together.

BEOMGYU: To be honest, even as an expression of love, cheering for three hours straight is really physically demanding. So I’m really grateful that you cheer for us until you lose your voices. I kept watching for all the MOA who came with their moms and dads for this tour and I found it really touching. Maybe it’s because I have so many good memories of spending time with my dad when I was younger too. I kept thinking how much I hope everyone will hold onto the memory of our concerts and that it was a happy time for them. I hope it was an unforgettable experience for everyone who came.

TAEHYUN: I tried my best during the concerts to look at each and every MOA out there. I wanted you to feel like we’re all one. I hope you all felt as happy as I did. And it’s kind of scary to make a promise like this, but I feel like I should: I’m going to take everything I learned from this tour and be back with an even better, even more amazing concert next time. And as long as the opportunity’s there, I want to visit every single place where there’s MOA. I’ll keep working hard, so stay tuned!

HUENINGKAI: We just did a world tour last year, and now we’re on our second. And it’s been just as memorable as the last one! It’s been absolutely full of laughter, emotions and singing with MOA. I’m pretty sure all of you enjoyed it just as much. (laughs) I’ll work hard to make the next concert even more memorable than this year’s!