Hoseok backstage after his performance at Lollapalooza

A Full Recap of BTS Member J-Hope’s Epic Lollapalooza Solo Performance

IT'S HOSEOK'S WORLD AND WE'RE JUST LIVING IN IT!

Ever since BTS announced their group hiatus during their 2022 Festa dinner—an annual celebration of their debut and a cherished tradition for both the members and fans alike—ARMYs all over the world have been holding their breath to see what Namjoon, Seokjin, Yoongi, Hoseok, Jimin, Taehyung, and Jungkook have in store.

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And let me tell you—if their upcoming solo projects are anything like what J-Hope has been doing these past months, we better clutch our pearls and our Army Bombs and be prepared. Because our dearest Hoseok has been showing us a side that’s completely different than his usual sunny self—and that includes absolutely tearing down the stage at this year’s Lollapalooza.

The Hiatus

But let’s bring it back a little. So, BTS announces that they’ll be going on a group “hiatus”—I put it in quotes because it concerns their music, but they’ll still be doing plenty of other group activities like bringing back their reality show Run! BTS. Then, both J-Hope and HYBE confirm that he’ll be the first member to release his solo project.

And that solo project is Jack in the Box, inspired by the concept of Pandora’s Box and featuring two lead singles—”More,” which acted as a pre-release single to the entire album, and “Arson.”

Now, technically, J-Hope’s solo debut happened in 2018 with his mixtape Hope World. Before the hiatus, all three members of BTS’s rap line tried their hand at solo work by releasing mixtapes—Namjoon released RM in 2015 and Mono in 2018, while Yoongi published Agust D in 2016 and D-2 in 2020.

As a rule, however, the rapine mixtapes had no physical copies and received very few promotions beyond the music videos for the title tracks (everyone, let’s take a moment to contemplate the grandeur that is “Daechwita”). They don’t even appear in the discography section of BTS’s official site.

Jack in the Box, however, is considered a full-on comeback, and it received the appropriate amount of promotions—the chiefest of all being the Lollapalooza stage.

The announcement that J-Hope was going to be one of this year’s headliners arrived around the Festa week at the beginning of June—an already historic feat since that made him the very first South Korean artist to headline one of the main stages in one of the United States’ major music festivals.

Lollapalooza 2022

Fans have been gearing up for his July 31st performance for the best part of two months, fighting tooth and nail over tickets—after all, is it really a BTS ticketing event if it isn’t an absolute bloodbath?—and exchanging Twitter advice on whether making a run for the barricade was worth it or not.

But despite all this, nothing could have really prepared us—and that includes all of us since the entire set was also live-streamed on Weverse for ARMYs all over the world to enjoy—for what actually happened the moment Hoseok walked on that stage.

Not only did Hoseok absolutely stun everyone (giving his 110% performing the songs off of his new album), but we also got to listen to “Chicken Noodle Soup” live and with Becky G on stage, after having heard it only through our screens as BTS performed it during their 2021 Muster. 

The two embraced on stage after their performance with a short—but meaningful—comment by Becky G, who said that “as an artist, this moment right here means so much to me because I’m not only so honored to be here, but also so proud. I’m so thankful for our friendship and for this opportunity,” and later remarked in a Twitter post that everyone speaks a universal language, music.

And then! Hoseok finally had the chance to sing his Outro off of the Map of the Soul duology, Ego, live with ARMYs.

It was probably going to be one of the main features of the Map of the Soul tour, also known as the-tour-that-never-happened, and it has been performed only via live-streamed performances so far. But not anymore. If you’re assuming I’ve been replaying that clip of Hoseok realizing that the crowd is singing Ego back at him with the most stunned look on his face, over and over again, while bawling my eyes out—you’re definitely right.

So, why has the event been nicknamed “Hobipalooza”?

After such an iconic night, ARMYs were quick to nickname the entire event “Hobipalooza” (because everyone in BTS absolutely takes over everything wherever they go). From Hoseok paying homage to historic names in the hip-hop scene to the bisexual lighting illuminating the stage during “=(Equal Sign)” to a throwback to BTS’s origins with “Cypher Pt. 1” to shouting out swear words which set the crowd on fire—the night was definitely satisfying and emotional for everyone involved.

J-Hope himself remarked on how meaningful the night had been in an Instagram post, where he described it as:

“one of my greatest and unforgettable moments…Lollapalooza was one of the most important challenges of Jack in the Box. Preparing an hour-long show with me front and center was just one dread-filled moment after another, and I whipped myself forward as hard as I could, again and again, to practice for the show. Most of all, preparing every detail with so much attention and care made me learn along the way about who I really am. Yesterday was the culmination of this whole process, and that’s why it’ll be that much more of a treasured memory in my life’s history, and have that much more meaning!!!”.

And let’s not forget the post-show, which delighted us all with a VLive and, in very typical BTS fashion, Hoseok took the opportunity to chat with ARMYs about the Lollapalooza stage and his new album, together with fellow BTS member Jimin, who had flown all the way from Seoul to support him in this very special moment. And who also playfully scolded him asking why “was he cooler than at a BTS concert.”

Adorable.

(via: Billboard; image: HYBE)


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Author
Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.