1) The Members Have Never Been Better
Whilst the mega popularity of all four members has seen them grace billboards around the world and lock down huge brand sponsorship deals, watching the group live showed clearly how the four of them are even more fantastic performers than their videos show.
Fans have long-raved about how watching the group in person offers the viewer the ability to appreciate much more Rosé’s full vocal ability and range, Lisa’s unstoppable dance skills, and Jisoo’s enigmatic charisma. However, props also go to Jennie, who has had to deal with many an online media and privacy storm this year, and yet came out fighting on stage with an electric stage presence and vocals to arguably present the best version of herself we've ever seen.
Watching all four perform live on The O2 stage took the group’s work to new heights.
2) Strong As A Group, Strong On Their Own
From the beginning all four members have brought different facets and elements to the group's output: not just when it comes to their personal style, but also their skills, artistic preferences and personal ambitions. Given their busy schedules and (relatively) long gaps between albums, sometimes it takes months for fans and casual listeners alike to see the group together again. Whilst their cohesion did not falter one step to the delight of the London crowd, the members' solo stages in the third act of the concert were a treat for Blinks hoping to celebrate each members' individual achievements as well.
From showing off the music that the members feel connected to, as with Jisoo’s joyful Camila Cabello cover, to the chart-topping hits by Lisa and Rosé, and (hopefully) promises of fabulous new music to come with Jennie’s solo stage: BLACKPINK as a whole have never been stronger by remaining distinctly themselves.
3) Iconic Songs Stay Iconic
Before the group’s encore, it was interest that the group did not end the show with any of their more recent hits, but with two of the most beloved and appreciated songs in their discography: 'DDU-DU DDU-DU' and 'Forever Young'.
Though both songs were released a world away in their 2018 EP Square Up, even just the opening beats of both tracks saw lightsticks back in the air and people on their feet. Other vintage songs such as 'Playing With Fire', 'WHISTLE' and 'As If It's Your Last' received just as rousing a response from the thousands in attendance.
BLACKPINK’s newer songs may continue to send the group into ever-higher stratospheres, but their old classics age fabulously too.
4) Music For Love, Music For Strength, Music For The Sake Of Music
As manufactured as pop of any language is often accused of being, there was not a moment when the group did not seem to enjoy and connect with every song they performed, most notably in moments when the setlist slowed in tempo to allow the members to wander the stage.
A particular highlight from the show was seeing the crowd singing along to the song 'Tally' from the group's newest album. With the song’s lyrics encouraging self-empowerment and doing whatever the hell you please, it was fun to see that idea used its performance as the members sang earnestly to the crowd, to each other and to everyone they felt should hear their sentiments.
Two special mentions must go to the members attempting to speak in a British accent specially for their Blinks this side of the pond, and a poppy remixed version of their emotional song ‘STAY’, which helped to slowly wrap up the concert with a promise that the Pinks would return to London soon.
5) The Pink Ocean Rises
“The Pinks, The Blinks & The Power Of The Pink Ocean” should probably be the title of whatever BLACKPINK autobiography we might get one day, for all the beauty and dazzle the lit-up pink ocean (due to the group’s black and pink lightstick) brought to The O2. During the concert Rosé and Jennie even continued to encourage audience goers to stop filming on their phones in the name of dancing along with their fans and making sure all those that had shown up for them would get the best and most interactive concert experience possible.
All the elements needed to make a great show: well-loved hits, fan favourite tracks, as well as strong stage presences and vocals, came together to create an undoubtedly unforgettable concert experience. But the pink ocean that lit up all the entire venue in a stunning swathe of deep pink reinforced the depth of love felt by the passionate fans that queued for hours outside the concert venue just to pick up merchandise and mementos of the group's return to the UK.
It had been three years before the group were finally able to touch down in the UK and Europe again. Hopefully it will not take quite so long for them to return.