J-Hope of K-pop mega group BTS became the first South Korean artist to headline Lollapalooza in Grant Park, Chicago, over the weekend.
The BTS member’s set included an impressive 18 songs across a 70-minute performance, with eight of these songs from his recently released solo album “Jack in the Box.”
J-Hope’s setlist was flanked by BTS songs such as “BTS Cypher Pt. 1,” the tropical remix of “Dynamite,” “Trivia: Just Dance,” and “Outro: Ego.” Singer Becky G joined J-Hope onstage for their 2019 collaboration “Chicken Noodle Soup.”
In an interview with Vulture, J-Hope discussed his decision to perform at Lollapalooza and his thought process regarding the setlist.
“When I chose to perform at Lollapalooza,” he said, “it was actually a very bold resolution, but I don’t regret making that decision because that ambition, that thirst to perform here, led me to where I am right now.”
J-Hope also indicated that his new album was the inspiration behind the basis of his set, saying, “That ‘jack in the box’ concept is rooted in the entire set list.”
Dubbed #HOBIPALOOZA on Twitter after one of J-Hope’s nicknames, the BTS member used his time at Lollapalooza to show a more unfiltered side of himself. During his set, he said, “I pour my heart and my soul into my music. Even if we speak different languages, I hope you listen to my story.”
At one point onstage, J-Hope thanked the crowd for their energy and let out a good-natured expletive with a smile on his face, saying, “You guys are f*cking crazy.” He also paid tribute to hip-hop artists he has previously sampled, such as the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard of the Wu Tang Clan.
Never hesitant to use his platform for important messages, statements flashed on screen like “All Our Bodies Deserve Respect” and “Why’s It a Crime to Be Different?” during the rendition of “=(Equal Sign).”
Toward the end of his set, J-Hope spoke in Korean and said, “This is a very meaningful moment for me. I’ve grown so much throughout the whole journey with the album, and seeing the audience at Lollapalooza today gave me a firm belief for myself. I am grateful to everyone who came to watch my performance. I’m embarrassed to say this, but I’m also proud of myself for enduring the challenges up until this moment.”
On Monday, J-Hope wrote about the “amazing opportunity” in an Instagram post.
To support his fellow bandmate, BTS member Jimin flew out to Chicago to watch J-Hope’s performance.
J-Hope’s Big Hit labelmates TXT also made history by being the first K-pop group to perform at Lollapalooza. They notably performed their most recent title track “Good Boy Gone Bad” from their “Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child” album which was released earlier this year. Rapper Iann Dior made a special appearance to perform “Valley of Lies,” their recent collaboration.
In other BTS-related news, the group’s web series “Run BTS” will return on Aug. 16 for a special episode. Meanwhile, South Korea’s defense minister said during a parliamentary meeting on Monday that BTS might be able to perform overseas while completing their mandatory military service.