Article. Myeongseok Kang

TOMORROW X TOGETHER: OUR LOST SUMMER is a documentary that follows the group on the US leg of their ACT: LOVESICK world tour last year. The first stateside concert took place in Chicago on July 7 after which the tour continued on in New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles before the boys returned to Chicago to play Lollapalooza on the 30th.


Twenty-three days isn’t a particularly long period of time to be on the road, but fans had been waiting close to three years for those few weeks to come. After TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s debut song, “CROWN,” came out on March 4, 2019, it already had over 100 million views just one year later. A bright new star had entered the sky. And then, right on the heels of their impressive debut and just as they were about to set out on their first world tour to see all their fans, the COVID-19 pandemic brought everything to a halt. Now the group couldn’t even go out to see fans in Korea, let alone around the world. The documentary’s subtitle, OUR LOST SUMMER, is a nod to TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s song “We Lost The Summer,” which itself is about how the group felt being isolated from fans and friends during the pandemic: “A day or two, a week, month, year / Walking alone in place, going nowhere.”

TOMORROW X TOGETHER: OUR LOST SUMMER documents the first emotional steps the group took out into the world after two long years of “walking … in place” through the pandemic as they set off on their ACT: LOVE SICK world tour. The documentary encapsulates their journey from debut to throughout the pandemic, highlighting how ACT : LOVE SICK serves as a significant milestone in the history of TOMORROW X TOGETHER. With the release of minisode 2: Thursday’s Child in 2022, in their fourth year, TOMORROW X TOGETHER became the fourth K-pop group to go platinum in the first week in Korea, and just ahead of their tour. But the tour they were embarking on came with unforeseen problems. For one, the group had amassed a huge catalog of albums during the pandemic; the set list for ACT: LOVE SICK was 22 songs long, not including the encore, and 11 of which were performed back to back. There was also Lollapalooza and the whole press junket in the US to contend with. The documentary also shows scenes from the US showcase they performed just as they were debuting. They were new to the scene and eager to promote themselves and the songs off their debut album back then, but by the time they reach US shores a second time, they come to find that everything’s changed.

HUENINGKAI suffers a nosebleed in the middle of singing “Frost” off their album The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE, but he keeps it hidden and makes his way through three songs to keep the audience from worrying about him. The group’s status had flourished during the pandemic—far more than they ever realized—and everything was more involved and bigger in scale than they expected, but they never had the opportunity to develop the know-how required to properly handle the changes. The show must go on, and their only recourse is to push through in much the way HUENINGKAI did. At one point, with their energy beginning to wane under the demand of putting on concert after concert, the members of the group begin to worry if they’ll lose concentration while on stage too. And while each of them has slightly differing opinions on how the concert should go, they ultimately come to an agreement, keep each other perked up and make sure that the show goes on. As the tour presses on, the TOMORROW X TOGETHER members are treated to brief glimpses of the American landscape outside the venues and grow ever more reflective about their work, like when SOOBIN muses on all the love they get from MOA, their fandom, and how “the relationship between idol singers and the fans is really interesting.” TOMORROW X TOGETHER: OUR LOST SUMMER stands as a record of how they prove themselves through their shows, demonstrating their ability to live up to all the attention and excitement that swelled during the pandemic.

Lollapalooza, TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s last stop in the US, was an event unto itself, and a milestone one at that, with sales of the group’s then-latest album increasing after the festival. Given the focus of the documentary is on the experience the boys undergo throughout their US tour, however, the significance of Lollapalooza goes beyond a mere driver of a bigger success. Their performance of minisode 2: Thursday’s Child’s lead single, “Good Boy Gone Bad,” isn’t just the highlight of their festival concert but also the whole documentary because it’s an explosive display of how much the boys grew and achieved as a group during their US tour. The TOMORROW X TOGETHER that emerges after their first world tour is completely different from the recently debuted group that was performing just before the pandemic struct. There’s a highly symbolic scene where j-hope—Lollapalooza’s headliner—and Jimin, there to support his fellow BTS member, both give words of encouragement to the members of TOMORROW X TOGETHER. BTS underwent a similar period of growth and development when they overcame the many unexpected challenges that faced them throughout their own world tour, as seen in the documentary Burn the Stage: The Movie. And what TOMORROW X TOGETHER gained on their first world tour wasn’t much different from what BTS did. Now, one year later, TOMORROW X TOGETHER is the one headlining Lollapalooza. Who knows what new things we’ll see from them as they’re walking out to take the stage this time?