×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Blackpink Win Over Coachella With First Full U.S. Concert

Memo to the Spice Girls: Never mind about that whole-group reunion the world has been wanting for the last couple decades. We may officially be covered on girl groups, for a lot of years to come, based on the reception to Blackpink’s first public full-length concert in America at Coachella Friday night.

“I have a few words to say,” said the group’s Rosé, introducing the final numbers. “Us coming all the way from South Korea, we didn’t know what to expect, and obviously we — you guys and us — we’re from totally different worlds. But tonight I think we’ve learned so deeply that music brings us as one. So I want to thank you guys tonight for sticking by to the end of the show,” she added, aware that a large contingent of the audience consisted of the merely curious. “You guys are awesome. And those of you who will be joining us at the concert next week, we’ll see you soon.”

The concert in question is Wednesday night’s headlining show at the Forum in Inglewood, which marks the proper start of their U.S. tour.

But if this was a slightly abridged version of what they’ll shortly be taking to a headlining arena trek, there was little that was condensed about the audience’s enthusiasm as the K-pop quartet managed to speed through 13 songs in a set lasting just over 50 minutes. They performed three of five songs from their recent “Kill This Love” EP, while also finding time to gush over a massive Sahara Tent audience that, ingenuously or not, they claimed was bigger than they expected.

BLACKPINKCoachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1, Day 1, Indio, USA - 12 Apr 2019
CREDIT: Christopher Polk/REX/Shutterstock

Lisa stood out as a surprisingly commanding bilingual rapper. While the pony she rocked gave her a slight resemblance to Sunday night’s headliner, Ariana Grande, no one would have mistaken her for that other Coachella star once she tore into the live premiere of the recent EP’s “Kick It.” Other songs in the set included “DDU-DU DDU-DU” as show opener, Jennie going solo with (naturally) “Solo,” and their 2017 “Kiss and Make Up,” minus Dua Lipa, but no worse for it.

It wasn’t always easy to tell who in the audience was a hardcore fan and who was in the process of discovery, given that the enthusiasm levels often matched. On the way to the Sahara Tent, frat-type bros could be seen screaming “Blackpink,” and whether it was out of some sense of intended irony or serious wasn’t immediately apparent. But if already knowing the words was any indication of fandom, the faithful in the crowd didn’t always break down along obvious demographic lines. Punk-looking kids (a rare commodity at Coachella in these post-rock days) sang along, and so did a white, late ’50s-ish couple who seemed to already know all the words, right alongside the expected throngs of Korean Americans and the younger women who might have been expected to have discovered Blackpink through having BTS as a gateway drug.

The choreography might be more of a selling point than the music — and it was seamless enough among the four that the addition of a half-dozen or more other dancers seemed superfluous — but the music, too, was well crafted, and right in the pocket for Coachella’s late-’10s bent toward optimism.

“We had so much fun. I think I’ll remember today for the rest of my life,” said Lisa, suggesting that, although they had every practical reason to expect America to fall into line, too, maybe they hadn’t taken it as a complete given after all.

More Music

  • Concert Review: Lady Gaga Dazzles Pride-Week

    Concert Review: Lady Gaga Dazzles Pride-Week Crowd With Hit-Packed Show at Apollo Theater

    “It’s been a decade since I played to an audience this size,” Lady Gaga said, in one of many look-how-far-I’ve-come moments during this invite-only hometown concert. “I went from playing for 30 people to 300 people to fifteen hundred people,” she continued, adding on even more zeroes before concluding, “and that’s down to one thing: [...]

  • Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard Announces Debut

    Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard Announces Debut Solo Album, Fall Tour

    It’s been a long wait for new music from Alabama Shakes, whose second release, “Sound & Color,” debuted at No. 1 in 2015 and went on to win multiple Grammys and be nominated for album of the year. But while the group itself has been dormant of late, its singer/songwriter, Brittany Howard, has been busy [...]

  • Lil Nas X arrives at the

    Lil Nas X, Young Thug, Jamie XX Highlight Adult Swim Festival Lineup

    The second annual Adult Swim Festival is set to take place on Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16 at Los Angeles’ Banc Of California Stadium. Music acts on the bill include Lil Nas X (pictured), Jamie xx, Vince Staples, Young Thug, Dethklok, Captain Murphy and Tierra Whack, among many others. Additional offerings include comedy [...]

  • Katy Perry clock ticking

    Looking for a Summer Hit? Put a Ticking Clock in Your Song, Plus Other Pop Signifiers

    With the summer officially under way, it’s time to ponder what stands the best chance of becoming that anthem blasting out of car radios, dominating streaming playlists and capturing earbuds coast-to-coast as the weather heats up. According to Hit Songs Deconstructed’s David Penn, who founded the music data and analytics company in 2011 with his [...]

  • Rihanna at the BET Awards, Show,

    Rihanna's 2019 Album: Everything We Know So Far About 'R9'

    Rihanna clearly hasn’t spent all her time “day drinking” lately. There was a method behind the madness of seeing her in seemingly carefree mode as she downed shots with Seth Myers last week on late-night TV. She was in full promotion mode — but for the Fenty fashion line, a new designer label she’s launching [...]

  • James Blake

    James Blake Signs Publishing Deal With Pulse Music Group

    James Blake has signed an exclusive global publishing deal with Pulse Music Group. Scott Cutler and Josh Abraham, co-CEOs of Pulse Music Group, and Maria Egan, president and head of creative, announced the signing for future works. Already a Grammy winner earlier this year (for “King’s Dead” with Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar and Future, from [...]

  • Singer-rapper Psy performs during the 70th

    YG Agency Boss Quits as K-Pop Scandals Expand

    Yang Hyun-suk last week resigned from his remaining positions at YG Entertainment. The talent agency he co-founded is deeply mired in a series of inter-linked scandals that stretch from drugs to prostitution. Problems started with the band Bigbang and its star Seungri, but now also encompass other YG artists. Hwang Bo-kyung was appointed as the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content