Blackpink is on a world tour, in what they call, the biggest world tour ever by a female K-pop group. And even if you didn’t know it, you noticed it by walking past the O2 concert hall, the roof was lit up in pink. The subway station of Greenwich showed poetry on big bills made of Blackpink lyrics. The tour started on October 15th 2022 in the KSPO dome in Seoul (from which Maxazine also made a review) and then went to the United States for a 17-day journey. November 30th until December 22nd is the European leg of the tour. The last concert in Europe will be in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on December 22th. Maxazine has sent out again a reviewer to London for the November 30th and December 1st shows.
Blackpink has some impressive statistics. They are the most subscribed music act on YouTube. Lisa is the most streamed K-pop soloist for 2022 on Spotify. In 2022 Blackpink had 2 billion streams on Spotify, with 74 million listeners. There aren’t many countries on planet earth where Blackpink has not been heard, the streams were originating from 183 countries. Blackpink was the first ever girl group in history to have a concert gross of more than 3 million dollars, for their concert in Newark, USA of the Born Pink tour. They get massive support from fans on Twitter who are organized in fanbases worldwide and who are boosting the streams and plays at Guinness World Record levels.
If you didn’t see the O2, you could still have noticed in the city of London, on the streets or in the subway, fans of Blackpink wearing pink and walking around with the official Blackpink lightsticks. The show was sold out for both days in London.
The shows start with a tropical forest movie (“the enchanted forest”) with glowing flora (similar to the How You Like That music video) with the pinks between the colourful flowers and tree leaves. The stage had a traditional T shape. They used a raisable V slope at the back of the mainstage for better and more dynamic visibility of the dancers. The visual focus of the show is on the dance performance, the lighting, the extensive use of graphics at the backdrop, big screens at the side, dazzling laser light and a lot of pyrotechnics.
They started the show with “How You Like That” with the singers dressed in custom-made cream-coloured glitter outfits with only the Blackpink members on stage. The 4 members suddenly appeared next to each other on stage on a high rise and then Lisa was the first member who came in front. The backup dancers performed very dynamic appearances, they came on the lit stage, added power to the songs and then suddenly disappeared again into the darkness of the side-stage. “How You Like That” is one of their most popular songs and the first track of their 2020 album “The Album”. Their choreography on stage was based on the choreography of the chorus of the music video.
The stage performance remains in the same style as Pretty Savage from the same album as “How You Like That”. ”Rrrrrrrrrrr” like predators Lisa, Rosé, Jennie and Jisoo, in between the leaves decorated stage elements stole the hearts of the fans: we hear a very loud ‘Blackpink in your area!’ all over the arena. Then we go back to the debut album with Whistle. The Blackpink members stay in a choreography close to each other. Blackpink makes outstanding choreography look like it’s easy. After ‘Whistle’ the Blackpink members addressed the audience.
From “I don’t know what to do” the members move apart from each other in the choreography. The harmonization of their voices is incredible. In this song, you can hear the individual qualities of their voices very clearly. In the background, hidden in the dark, Band Six, their live band, was giving all they got. The whole concert hall is filled with moving lightsticks in pink and blue. This was the first song in which they came to the front of the T stage. With “Lovesick girls” the people at the front can enjoy the artists from close by now. The show continued at a very high pace.
The second leg of the show starts with “Kill this love”. The meaning of this song was a source of a lot of discussion among netizens. Band Six starts ‘Kill this love’ with a blast with an emphasis on heavy bass guitar and hard hits on the drum. Jennie and Lisa are rapping; Jennie “Cheonsa gat eun hi keut en agma gat eun by” and Lisa “Here I come kick in the door uh” with corresponding body language. The first fireballs shoot into the air and the show continues very intensely with “Crazy Over You”. Band Six becomes visible again.
With the song “Fire” we get a lot of pyrotechnics. “Baby burn” and yes, the audience is getting very heated. At the end of “Fire” Jennie sounded the alarm and said ‘everybody needs to step back’ because the crowd was pushing too much too towards the front. And we saw a backward wave of 10 000 people with lightsticks in their hands stepping back. “Pink Venom” is the most bombastic song of the set, with all backup dancers on stage, the live band more forward into the mix and all the pyrotechnics creating a spectacle on the stage including the fireworks whizzing into the air.
Band Six was presented to the audience. Omar Dominick on bass guitar, Bennie Rodgers on drums, Yung Wurly on the keyboard and Justin Lyons on guitar. The Blackpink members went to change clothes and we got a dance break from the YGX dancers. They dance to a mix of EDM music and trap and we can hear the voices of the Blackpink members through effects weaved into the music.
Jisoo came alone to the stage for a cover of “Liar” (Camila Cabello) with backup dancers and serpentines. Jennie performs the “You&Me” unpublished song with a couple of dances in the spotlight without the front light which changed the view into a mysterious shadow play. Rosé sang with her golden voice “Hard to Love” with a glamour feather jacket on. She changes the feather jacket for a vintage glitter dress and performs the choreography of “On The Ground” like in the music video.
The solo part of Lisa started with dramatic sounds like in an action movie and changed to “Lalisa” being raised to the stage. She moved to the back of the stage and she stood out with her performance on the dance pole. We heard the sound of “Money” mixing in and a spectacular dance performance by Lisa with full-power drums from the live band.
The crowd started screaming to the violin intro of “Shutdown”. The backup dancers changed from black outfits to white outfits while Blackpink members held a fashion show for pret-a-porter fashion throughout the concert. “Typa girl” has that ‘I don’t care what you think of me’ attitude.
They explained how you should dance ‘Ddu-du ddu-du’, their most iconic song. The laser show turned into a stroboscopic show with a lot of red colour and we saw the pyrotechnics flaming again. “Forever Young” was the last song of the show before the encores. It was a good moment to watch all the lightsticks moving in the concert hall. “Yeah yeah yeah”; “Stay” and “As if it’s your last”. they asked the seats also to stand up.
On the show on November 30th, Rosé dropped her microphone accidentally while trying to throw confetti at her band members. Jennie was laughing out loud as a reaction. So Rosé was sharing Jennie’s microphone. Blackpink is very relaxed on stage and they do everything with comfort with their giddy personalities. They get way further in the interaction with the audience than many K-pop bands shouting ‘make some noise’”’.
There are speculations among fans that their concert in Hyde Park in London on July 2nd 2023 will be the last of their career and that Blackpink will be disbanded. So if you still want to see them and don’t want to take a risk you better go watch them now.