Courtesy of YG Entertainment
In 2016 BLACKPINK debuted. By 2019, the act — consisting of Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé, and Lisa — became the first K-pop girl group to perform at Coachella — a set that also marked the foursome’s first full US concert. And tonight, in 2023, the global superstars became the first Korean act to headline the festival.
“So…let me start by saying four years ago we were invited to perform here for you at Coachella in the Sahara tent and it’s etched in all of our hearts,” Rosé fondly tells the crowd. “I have to say this is a dream come true… the reason all four of us are here is because of you.”
“We’re so happy to be back,” adds Jennie. “It’s crazy in the four years that we’ve made it from the Sahara to the main stage…we love you Coachella.”
Despite an early technical issue that pushed the start time back, fans’ glowing wristbands began glowing pink at 9:24, alerting them that the show was indeed about to begin. At 9:28 a.m., a single “BLACKPINK” echoed through the speakers. And at 9:30 the stage went dark. At last it was time.
“Try the pink poison, get ’em, get ’em,” the girls demand, opening with the scathing “Pink Venom,” while their faithful blinks devoured every word. Next is “Kill This Love” with heavy pyro and sparks, followed by “How You Like That”. Each song feels like a grand finale in its own right – and that same energy permeates the entire historic set, spanning BLACKPINK’s tight discography of an EP (square twO – EP) and three full-length, BLACKPINK NEAR YOU, THE ALBUM and last year BORN PINK.
After a high-energy string of hits like “Pretty Savage” (for which the famous “prrr” was met with thunderous cheers) and “Kick It,” which saw girls strut down the runway, Rosé couldn’t help but make an observation : “It’s going to be… absolutely… hot. I think it’s the blinks, it’s so hot that’s why Her.”
The foursome then dive into “Whistle” – his debut song and a No. 2 hit – as he makes his way back to the stage. They each subtly disappear during the dance break that follows, signaling both the end of the set’s intro and the beginning of its next phase: highlighting each member’s burgeoning solo career.
Jennie makes first appearance, swinging sky-high pigtails with a top draped in diamonds and pearls while singing a remixed version of her single “You & Me” with a new rap verse. Next up: Jisoo, who wears a red asymmetric plastic flower dress and matching elbow-length red gloves — a fitting look to perform her debut single, “Flower.” As the confetti falls from the sky, the name of the next artist flashes on the screen: ROSÉ. Wearing a chain-metal dress, she turns things upside down by performing from center stage, seated with her legs dangling and swaying as she sings “Gone / On the Ground.” Their performance ends with a blast of streamers hitting the floor as the fourth and final member prepared to take the stage. For Lisa’s set (introduced under her birth name, Lalisa), she wears a textured mirrored metal body with matching gloves to deliver an explicit version of “Money” and close this chapter of BLACKPINK’s set on an energetic climax.
Another short dance break gives the girls time to change back into relatively fitting suits before stepping out again for “BOOMBAYAH”, their first No.1, to which they beg a sing-along – as if the crowd hadn’t already done so that all night. And for “Lovesick Girls,” rainbow snakes color the night sky.
What follows is a fast-paced session of hits like “Playing With Fire,” a burlesque-inspired “Type Girl,” “Shut Down,” and “Tally.” The penultimate song of the night is one of BLACKPINK’s earliest sensations, “DDU-DU DDU-DU,” while the true finale is the sentimental and uplifting “Forever Young,” which the girls first perform from the center stage on a platform, grappling with as many blinks as possible one last time before finally landing in their rightful place at the front and center of the main stage while fireworks explode behind them.
Throughout the historic and celebratory set, Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé and Lisa used what they do best as BLACKPINK: making blinks feel seen. And by allowing each member their own moment to shine, they allowed it her also individuality – and that on one of the biggest stages in music.