Blackpink Review: Manchester Arena (21.05.19)
The biggest female K-pop group in the world treated us to an array of bangers and ballads
Blackpink are the latest girl group set on world domination. Considering they haven’t released a full-length album yet, their success is impressive.
Despite their small discography, the fabulous four-piece have been smashing records all over the world since they debuted in 2016. From being the first K-pop group to perform at Coachella to breaking YouTube records left, right and centre, they’re truly making their mark on the pop music landscape.
Manchester was their first ever show the UK and they brought confetti, choreography and costume changes aplenty. Far from being generic, bubblegum pop, their songs deliver a combination of catchy choruses, punchy rap verses and velvety vocals which definitely keep things interesting.
From start to finish, Blackpink proved that they’re a force to be reckoned with. Straight from the opening track Forever Young, the audience was hyped and the arena glowed pink thanks to their official love heart lightsticks. They performed the slick, seamless dance routines but also seemed comfortable playing around and having fun too.
The setlist was jam-packed with anthemic crowd-pleasers, from the thunderous Kill this Love to poppy Boombayah and DDU-DU DDU-DU, namely due to their irresistible hooks and dance moves. Even their new tracks like Kick It and Don’t Know What to Do had the crowd going wild. With the added pizazz of a live band, their songs were brought to life in a refreshing way that made them so much fun to see live.
Each member had their own time to shine, showing their talents and allowing us to get to know them as individuals. Rosé kickstarted the proceedings with a cover of The Beatles’ Let it Be combined with You & I and Only Look at Me. Lisa transformed Jason Derulo’s Swalla into a feisty dance number, getting the crowd riled up. Jisoo lent her silky smooth vocals to Zedd’s Clarity and Jennie performed her hit Solo to deafening cheers.
Before starting their set, Blackpink displayed a touching message dedicated to everyone affected by the Manchester Arena bombing 2 years ago today. This wasn’t their only tribute to the attack, either. They also dedicated their final track, Stay, to the friends and families of the victims, firmly ending on a positive message of strength and courage.
Pop groups come in and out of fashion, many of them splitting up before they really take off. Female groups still face misogyny and are often belittled, but these girls aren’t to be underestimated.
They’re fun, fabulous and full of attitude and I have the feeling we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. It’s clear that there’s room on the scene for another kick-ass group and this fierce four-piece really brings the attitude. I can’t wait to see what they do next.