On Saturdays, we wear pink, especially when South Korean girl group BLACKPINK is performing its headlining set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
The quartet, consisting of members Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa, followed up its Weekend 1 performance with another equally impressive and well-oiled set Saturday on the Coachella Stage. The four women stuck to the same set — which might have been a bit of a disappointment for those who were hoping for a surprise appearance from Selena Gomez or Cardi B — but they still kept the energy just as high for the new slate of festivalgoers.
BLACKPINK has been taking the music industry by storm ever since the band’s debut in 2016. The four have been referred to as the “biggest girl group in the world” and are the highest-charting female Korean act on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, landing at No. 13 with their song “Ice Cream,” and on the Billboard 200 chart, reaching No. 1 with their second album, “Born Pink.”
Those impressive stats are one possible reason why the four were picked to be a headliner this year, but their sheer showmanship is most likely what earned them a place on this year’s ticket, becoming the first K-pop group to achieve the feat. It comes just four years after the four ladies made their Coachella debut in 2019.
BLACKPINK’s performance was not only about the music but also about giving the audience spectacular visuals. After a nearly 10-minute colorful drone show that displayed images of a caterpillar, butterfly, the Coachella astronaut and more in the sky, the fierce quartet kicked off their set with echoes of “BLACKPINK” leading into their first song, “Pink Venom.”
Right off the bat, audiences could tell they were in for a well-choreographed, well-rehearsed and perfectly pink set, as LED wristbands specifically made for the concert lit up. Not to mention the girl group wore the signature color on stage.
The energy the four women brought to the stage with their dance moves was infectious, as festivalgoers swayed and screamed out “BLACKPINK in your area,” their signature phrase, whenever given the opportunity. And as if the festivities on stage weren’t enough, audience members got to witness pyrotechnics, flames and fireworks lighting up the night’s sky.
“It feels absolutely surreal to be here,” Rosé said while addressing the crowd. As each member of the group introduced herself, they were met with louder and louder cheers.
The group’s songs typically blend Korean and English lyrics together, but language posed no barrier for fans to sing along and enjoy themselves. The first third of their set included hits such as “Kill This Love,” “How You Like That,” “Pretty Savage” and “Whistle.”
After finishing up “Kick It,” the women kindly asked the audience to give them just a few moments to catch their breath and take a quick sip of water, showing just how much of themselves they were giving to the performance.
As they did Weekend 1, and in what ended up being the most endearing moment of the singers’ set, they let each member shine and sing their respective solo singles.
Jennie started it off with “You And Me,” which features an insanely catchy chorus. It was followed by Jisoo’s recent single “Flower” and a burst of confetti, along with more confetti following Rosé’s rendition of “Gone” and “On the Ground.” It was Lisa, though, who really got the crowd cheering as she began “Money” by showing off her moves on a dancing pole, and later showcasing her rapping skills.
While the energy on stage during this section wasn’t quite as high compared to when all four are together, it’s pretty great to see them support each other’s solo careers and have each member take center stage. In an industry that can fuel jealousy and turn people against one another, it was so refreshing to see this set give the four women a chance to lift each other up.
Once the ladies returned for their third act, now donning black, white and silver outfits, the infectious energy from the beginning was back. The blast-it-loud “BOOMBAYAH” kicked off the section and got people jumping up and down, along with the ultra-poppy “Lovesick Girls,” which they dedicated to those who are sick of love — but also addicted to it.
In moments when the quartet was doing a costume change, all eyes were on the male and female dancers who worked every inch of the stage. Not only were they all perfectly in sync, but they managed to keep the crowd’s attention, which can be a difficult task with people who’ve been standing in the sun and listening to music for hours. In particular, pink-suit-clad men who strutted their stuff with big white feathers like burlesque dancers were a true highlight to welcome the ladies back for “Typa Girl.”
Before closing out their historic headlining set for the second time, the women took a moment to reflect on how far they’ve come since their last Coachella appearance and even before then.
“Are we headlining Coachella? Can you believe this?” Rosé said while sitting down and embracing Lisa. “This is a dream to us, we’re completely shocked.”
“Us girls, we’ve worked really hard all the way from Korea, so thank you so much,” she added.
Jisoo, speaking in Korean with Rosé translating, said the evening was “unbelievable.”
“When we came here four years ago, we couldn’t really tell how many people were in the crowd. This time, we definitely feel the amount of love you’ve given us,” Jisoo said.
In one more beautiful sisterly act of love, the four performers embraced in a group hug.
Ema Sasic covers entertainment and health in the Coachella Valley. Reach her at email@example.com or on Twitter @ema_sasic.