How can I describe the “historic” Black Pink performance, the first Korean (KPOP) group to perform (surprisingly not BTS) at one of the biggest music festival in the world, Coachella. Frankly my expectations were set on low, seeing how Black Pink has been involve in many “concert” scandal where they play a lot of songs on repeat or just mash it up a little bit. Also I feel like this performance was being overhyped by many news outlet, I mean it is a big momment but maybe it’s being overhype a little too much (I do not like how Black Pink was described at these sights as one of the most successful KPop group of all time, I’m sorry but No…. There are SNSD, 2NE1, Girl’s Day, K-ara, Mamamoo and Sistar etc. Heck Black Pink is not even the top of this 3rd Generation KPop wave, that throne belongs to TWICE). I’ll be the first one to admit Black Pink isn’t my favorite KPop band, their concept of girl crush is ok, but part of me was cheering for them because their agency, YG Entertainment, has taken many L’s lately thanks to Seungri from Big Bang and Black Pink popularity must have definitely suffer unfairly due to their sunbae fault.
So without expecting much, I turn on my computer to Live Stream the performance at around 11:26 PM EST. I was sleepy, but I like many others wanted to tune in for this “historic moment”. I thought I would use this as my marker for how successful I think the performance was, if they get me wide awake then it was pretty successful but if I just wanted to snore more then ehhh not so much. Finally after hearing the end of Jaden Smith little autotune performance, it was time for the Quad to hit the stage.
After a brief graphic introduction of the members out came Jennie, Rose, Lisa, and Jisoo. I was honestly expecting half of the members to be wearing Black- Jisoo and Rose both did- and the other half to be wearing Pink, but sadly Lisa and Jennie chose to wear white instead which I guess an interesting choice. Their clothing choices was weird but stylish (espcially Jisoo), but I can’t say much on it cause I’m not a fashion major. I tore open and began to drink my defrosted can of Lugi’s Raspberry Sherbet from the school’s cafeteria, I would definitely need some quick glucose energy. I expected a brief introduction before their start perform but right away, they pull their guns and then Du-Du-Du, I was shot by surprised. Really out of pocket guys…..
My first instant impression was the vocals wasn’t quite as good as the other Coachella performers, no offense I like Rose singing, but it didn’t strike me as very powerful. But it was alright, not a lot of idols have powerful voice of actual Korean singers, KPop groups is more known for their performance rather than epic singing voice. I was surprise to hear mostly girls cheering in the stands, I would think they were a part of the Army or something not Blink, I expected to hear more male cheering. For the most part the crowd didn’t seem that hype, which was surprising because Coachella is set in California and like a lot of Asians are at West Coast. The song was OK but the opening act didn’t really energize the crowd. They cheer weakly at the shooting “du du” part, which is suppose to be the “cheering part” of the song. The background music did more singing for the opening act then Rose, Jennie, Jisoo, or Lisa, they were more focus on dancing.
The first song didn’t really wake me up, the crowd energy was so weak I could feel Black Pink trying to also draw energy out of the crowd throughout that first performance. As they prep for the next song, Forever Young I said in my mind, that was probably the only other song I know beside Dudu and Kill this Love and is the only Black Pink song I have downloaded on my phone.
BINGO! I won the bet with myself. At this point I was getting disappointed, most concerts that I see, they usually talk a little and try to hype the crowd after the opening act, it seem like Black Pink just was going to go straight through without talking which basically would be like listening to an album and not a live performance. That past quickly, Rose carrying most of the song and finally they began to introduce themselves. They just mostly said “thank you” and “thanks for coming out tonight we saranghae you”. It was very limited communication though, Rose definitely speak the most expressing her surprise at the huge crowd. I guess that was to be expected since she was born in New Zealand/British COLONY! Jisoo had terrible english, now I can see what the other member meant when they said Jisoo really don’t like speaking english.
The next few songs Stay and Whistle was almost the same thing, an almost silent crowd and singing. The dances were not bad (I prefer TWICE) and the singing was alright. After Whistle, Rose tried to run around the stage to hype up some energy with didn’t really work. She also said that the crowd was very big and expresses her love for them for coming all the way here like the other members.
Then the members did their collab song with Dua Lipa, the Kiss and Make Up. I honestly like the original version with Dua Lipa in it better, she provides a sort of like missing part of the song. Without her it just felt like something was missing. After that Jisoo, Lisa, and Rose walk off the stage for a bit for Jennie’s single Solo. This was probably the most funny moment of the night, it seem like when she was singing the chorus she was saying “Bitch now I’m solo”, I don’t know if I was sleepy high, but I laugh at that part like pointing a big middle finger to the rest of her band members who was off stage. The member reunited for Kill This Love after Jennie and the backup dancer Solo act. I know Kill This Love broke some Youtube records, but it seem very mediocre. Then Black Pink play their more less well known songs like Don’t Know What To Do and See U Later, first time hearing it for me. Playing with Fire and after that a final talking session where Jennie express her apprieciation for everyone that came and stay for their show, advertising that they would be playing in LA next week for their North American Tour (I think they have one more Coachella performance? Not sure). Rose thanked them in her british accent and so did Lisa and Jisoo spoke literally like three words. They were thank the crowd and hope their enjoy the final two songs “Boombayah” and “As if It’s your last”
That went from a 0, ALL THE WAY TO A 10. OMG THE TURN UP, these final performance broke the uneventful tone of the previous songs. There were running, there was more team up between the four, there was wild dancing like swinging their arms around and around. There was light and it seem like Black Pink seem really interested to be at Coachella now and it really infected, the crowd finally perked up at the final two performances!
For me I feel like Rose standout the most from this performance. Not only did she got most of the singing lines, I mean she is the main Vocalist, throughout the performance from beginning to end she seem to be very into the performance. She seem to be like a person that had a Eureka performance and tried to explain her brilliance to the crowd. Although many of her attempts to hype up the crowd failed, even when she hold her mic to them (should have scoot closer to the crowd) she tried at least. I heard from friends that in recent years, Coachella has not been so lit with many of their crowds being very dry so maybe it wasn’t Rose fault. Add that in with Black Pink being relatively more on the unknown side during this whole music festival (their name recognition did improve with the historic performance branding though). Rose seem willing to take more risk than the rest of her fellow bandmates, running around the stage back and forth twice after the song Kiss and Make Up. She had energy, and I felt it. Her expressions were natural and she seem to have fun while delivering her music and dances. Her little speech with the “we came from different worlds…. and music connect us” was probably the most inspiring thing said in the night (I did not stay for Childhouse Gambeatzie Donald Glover I bet he had some phrase to say too)I would say her hair was the most mess up at the end of the hour-long performance due to dancing and jumping around.
Could have been a little better….
I felt like it wasn’t Jisoo day. She spoke little-not at all when the members were speaking. I know her english wasn’t great, but she seem to be restraining herself from having fun. I felt like even if her english wasn’t the best, she should have just tried her best to pronounce the words. Over here if I have taken anything from my days as an immigrant and an ESOL student, if the audience is friendly, they will eat it up. I make tons of people laugh when I mispronounce WASP, or Trapezoid (I say Traper Zoid). Maybe that’s just me, but I feel like she should have tried to connect with her audience and show a bit of “self-depriciating” comedy to cheer up the crowd by literally speaking English. It’s probably harder than I think speaking in front of crowds of literal thousands. All the english aside, there were some parts of performances I felt like Jisoo didn’t enjoy being on stage and performing in front of probably the biggest crowd yet. While Rose, Lisa and to some extent Jennie ate some of it up, she didn’t seem to be having fun. I felt like the time where she warmed up to the crowd was near the end, that was when I felt like she was finally in to it. Jisoo wasn’t bad, her vocals could use some work (I mean I can’t sing like that so…) but it wasn’t bad, she perked up at the end.
Espcially the end. Maybe this book did not have a good beginning or middle, it had a super strong ending. Starting with Boombayah and the hand circular dances, the members seem to tap into a sudden surge of energy. They choose a really good ending song, As if It’s Your Last, the crowd was probably most energize here. Maybe it was the pressure of being label a “historic performance” that made the members nervous at the beginning. Maybe it was the huge crowd size (Rose gaped that the crowd must have been computer digitalize), but at the end it seem like all of the four members put all of that behind them and do the things they love, dancing and singing. Everything clicked at the end, and the crowd probably notice it too because they were jumping up and down. At the end of the night, I definitely think Black Pink left the audience with something strong to take away, KPop wave is here and NOW in America. For me, the ending is the most important part of any performance for it is usually the ending that people remember the most and Black Pink definitely knew that and made it memorable.
I’ll give the performance an 7.5-8/10. I came in with some pretty low expectations hearing how Black Pink likes to perform the same thing over and over, but they didn’t do any of that this time. They should have say their “best” song DUDUDU towards the end when they have high energy and not the beginning but it is what it is. It was a good performance, not going to lie, could have been better between the middle and beginnning and could have had more talking and interactions with the crowd in between but it’s honestly fine. The ending matters the most and Black Pink totally “Du DU DU” it there.
Playlist for Black Pink At Coachella
Kiss and Make Up ft. Dua Lipa who wasn’t there
Kill This Love
Don’t Know What To Do
See U Later
Play With Fire
As If It’s Your Last