On Saturday night or Sunday morning — depending on the time zone — Blackpink fans finally got to experience the closest thing to an in-person concert from the group with “The Show.” While the K-pop titans — Lisa, Jennie, Rosé, Jisoo — had intended to be on tour supporting their debut full length, “The Album,” which dropped in October, this arena-scale concert, livestreamed from Seoul, showed that the foursome haven’t missed a step, despite the pandemic.
An otherworldly theme filled the soundstage throughout the nearly one-and-a-half-hour set, as the quartet were accompanied by LED lights, mirrored walls, neon lasers and confetti. Seemingly emerging from outer space, the four members burst into a pink-hued post-apocalyptic backdrop, where they took the stage with a bombastic “Kill This Love.” They carried that same confidence throughout the show with performances of hits like the sassy “How You Like That” and with a rock rendition of “As If It’s Your Last.”
“The Show” (rescheduled from its original date of Dec. 27 due to pandemic concerns) is presumably a rendering of what the tour would have looked like had we not been in a pandemic, which made their performance feel more like an in-person experience. From the group’s choreography to their flashy costumes of tulle, feathers and corsets, the production made the audience feel like they had an actual seat at the Seoul venue.
In-between outfit changes, neon stills flashed across the screen and showcased each of Blackpink’s members performing on their own: Jisoo delivered a stripped-back cover of Tove Lo’s “High” on a velvet couch; Lisa put a deft spin on Doja Cat’s “Say So” on an illuminated dance floor; and Jennie charmed with her 2018 single “Solo.” But perhaps the most striking moment was when Rosé shared her debut solo track “Gone,” a vulnerable breakup anthem that she performed on a swing, interspersed with lovesick vignettes from an accompanying music video.
The four also rolled out their playful Lady Gaga collaboration “Sour Candy,” fierce kiss-off “Playing With Fire” and fizzy dance-pop anthem “Lovesick Girls” — with the help of some cascading glitter confetti. But one of the most visually exciting moments of the night was during a dazzling transition from “Pretty Savage” to “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du,” where the group literally heated up the stage with fire and danced on water. But even the quieter performances were cinematic: After roaming the soundstage’s metallic tunnels, the group emerged with the towering ballad “Don’t Know What to Do.”
Despite the intensity of the show, the group was carefree during interludes where they giggled and shared their enthusiasm for being back onstage — and, in K-pop tradition, shared how much they miss their “Blinks.” (fans).
“I hope everybody felt our presence because in our minds we’re there with everyone,” Rosé told the audience before the finale of “Forever Young.” “Watching our concert, I hope you get the feeling we’re all together.”