Tomorrow X Together on third US tour, Madison Square Garden shows: 'Where I live my dream'

It's the afternoon of June 2 and Manhattan is buzzing beyond its normal hustle-and-bustle. And no wonder: Tomorrow X Together is in town for two sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden, becoming the first-ever K-pop group to achieve this.

The quintet's third US tour, "Act: Promise," is well in-progress, having kicked off May 14 in Tacoma, Washington and wrapping June 8 in Washington DC. Tomorrow X Together made its way to eight cities across America and as they reflect over their experience, feelings of happiness and gratitude fill the venue's backstage.

Particularly for tonight, it's a thrill to perform somewhere as iconic as Madison Square Garden, Hueningkai, 21, tells USA TODAY. "We worked especially hard for this tour to bring performances that are just as iconic," he says.

It's been about a year since the group's last US tour, but there's still the same passion, says Taehyun, 22. One notable change is venue size as Tomorrow X Together is now performing at stadiums, an upgrade from the mostly arena locations before. That means even louder cheers from more fans – known as MOA – says Yeonjun, 24.

"I think it's the first time for me to realize that they are stomping feet in the theater, and it was special," he adds. The tour's first stop was especially memorable since the crowd set the tone that would follow from city to city.

"It was really loud to the point that we all, after the show, our ears got a little bit numb," Yeonjun shares.

"Sometimes, when they cheer in the middle of a song, it's so big to the point that I can't really hear the music in the background. And sometimes to the point that I miss the beat," says Taehyun.

Soobin (from left), Yeonjun, Hueningkai, Taehyun and Beomgyu of Tomorrow X Together.
Soobin (from left), Yeonjun, Hueningkai, Taehyun and Beomgyu of Tomorrow X Together.

Reflecting on the 'Act: Promise' tour

Tomorrow X Together has released new music since last tour, and in Yeonjun's eyes, the setlist has gotten better. Standouts for Taehyun include "The Killa (I Belong to You)" performed by Yeonjun and Soobin and "Quarter Life" by Taehyun, Beomgyu and Hueningkai from recent album, "minisode 3: TOMORROW."

"My favorite point is our unit performances because those unit performances are helpful to really showcase our different aspects, different features of each member," he says.

Soobin points to the setlist's section featuring "LO$ER=LO♡ER", "Thursday's Child Has Far To Go" and "Ghosting" since it lets the guys move around stage to dance and interact with fans. "I can see the fans smiling all the way, so my favorite is that," the 23-year-old explains.

Throughout the tour, the fan reaction has been great and each stop has brought its own energy and memories.

"It's really hard to pinpoint any specific city, because everywhere you go, you see your fans being really happy and enjoying the moments," says Beomgyu, 23.

Hueningkai has noticed that fans pay attention to even little and subtle details of performances. "I just find it so grateful to see that," he adds.

With a nearly three-hour-long show, TXT members have grown as performers. "After each show, we also have a little bit of feedback session. We share feedback with each other, and also, as an individual, you find yourself (thinking) where to improve and things like that," says Taehyun.

"With each show, we bring in something special, so it expands our spectrum of the things that we do on the stage," says Beomgyu.

Hueningkai (from left), Beomgyu, Yeonjun, Taehyun and Soobin of Tomorrow X Together at Arena on May 21, 2024.
Hueningkai (from left), Beomgyu, Yeonjun, Taehyun and Soobin of Tomorrow X Together at Arena on May 21, 2024.

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Yeonjun says he finds more free time on tour in comparison to when he's in Korea. "Some members prefer to stay in the hotel room. I prefer to go out," he shares. "I go shopping. I go take a walk and take some pictures."

Each member uses his personal time differently. For Taehyun, he goes to the gym "almost every day" on tour. And if there's a pool at the hotel, he'll go for a swim.

Hueningkai will also hit the gym. "I'm so much into exercise workouts these days," he says.

Beomgyu and Soobin are more inclined to stay in, though they like to explore a bit too.

"Sleeping is really important, so I like to sleep in after the show," says Beomgyu. "But sometimes, I do find it helpful to go out. I sometimes go out to take a walk."

"When you're on a tour, you're traveling different cities, so I do try to explore the city. I try to experience the culture," says Soobin. "But I'm a homebody, so I sometimes stay in the hotel room for the day sleeping."

Once the members get to a venue, stretching is a must before every show because they do a lot of choreography, says Hueningkai. Another part of TXT's pre-show routine is chanting their slogan before hitting the stage.

Taehyun will also watch some performances by other artists from that venue. And for Yeonjun, "I zone out," before a concert, he says with a laugh.

Winding down is key, and sleep is major part of this. Yeonjun tries to go to bed early when the group has back-to-back shows. "But if it's the last night in that city, I grab a beer and wind down," he says.

"After the show, I am so hungry, so I eat when I come back to the hotel," says Beomgyu. One of his favorite meals is fried chicken and if there's a Korean restaurant nearby, he'll order pork belly.

Taehyun (from left), Soobin, Yeonjun, Hueningkai and Beomgyu of Tomorrow X Together at Capital One Arena in Washington DC on June 8, 2024.
Taehyun (from left), Soobin, Yeonjun, Hueningkai and Beomgyu of Tomorrow X Together at Capital One Arena in Washington DC on June 8, 2024.

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Importance of performing and TXT's hopes for future

Taehyun calls performing "life" for the group, and his fellow members agree.

"As a musician, I find it absolutely essential," Hueningkai says. "We get closer to our fans through those performances and also we grow a lot."

"If you don't do those performances, I almost find it meaningless to be a musician because it's all about connecting with the fans and doing music for them," Yeonjun adds.

"The performances are where I live my dream," says Beomgyu. "Whenever I go on a stage, I just remind myself that I can do this."

Concerts are not only important to the members but also to their fans, Soobin explains, and he's very grateful for each tour as a result.

"It'll be a such an honor if we get to be able to perform in a bigger stadium," Hueningkai says. "We're learning a lot from MOAs (on) how to enjoy the show and how to enjoy the moment together."

Moving forward, Tomorrow X Together will continue to work on new music for MOA, says Taehyun. And hopefully, the group can come back to the States with an "even cooler" tour next time, Hueningkai adds.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tomorrow X Together: Members reveal concert rituals, tour essentials