Intro: Planets. Smoggy abandoned city. Shooting lights travel to Rome, Chicago, Paris, Tokyo, London, Sydney, Seoul… Seoul is alive with traffic and lights. Wheeeeee! Meteors!! Shooting beams of light. Blackpink in your area! Let’s get to it.
Let’s Kill This Love: The girls open with Let’s Kill This Love! I am not crazy about this as the opening number. They used to open with “Ddu-du Ddu-du” which was perfect, but obviously they have to mix it up. I gave it some thought as to what song would be better and came up blank. They need to record some new material.
Anyway, the girls are backed by a live band called The Band Six. (Interesting bio of the band’s history here.) They are Omar Dominicke on bass, Bennie Rodgers on drums, Yung Wurly on keys, Justin Lyons on guitar and Brandon Finklea on programming. Why The Band Six when there are only five members? There used to be six altogether, but there was a line-up change. They kept the name.
Stage set? Post apocalyptic world. Lots of red lighting and run down structures. I think the COVID epidemic really freaked the set designer out and he (or she) was envisioning a dark future.
Choreography? You know. The same as the videos. The same as it has been for years now. I wonder if the girls are sick of it or are glad that that they have it committed to muscle memory. I don’t imagine that they would love to learn over an hour’s worth of brand new choreography for the stage show, but maybe they might. Who knows?
Outfits? I am not feeling Lisa’s dress. It’s green sequined fabric, which is great, but there are two giant feathers attached to it, one at the bodice and one at the hip. There are also green feather-y things all over the skirt. The big puffy feathers are distracting.
Towards the end of the song the girls are joined by CRAZY, their back-up dancers. That is their official name as a group, CRAZY. Just so you know. They are wearing strange head pieces and I don’t know why. Much of CRAZY’s costuming will confuse me during this concert so I will just roll with it.
The song ends and we go straight into…
Crazy Over you: Mostly lip synced. The choreography does not allow for singing live, no way. It’s either fast moving or they’re dropping down to the ground then slowly rising up. Their arms never stop moving. I tried to capture a good pic, but I wasn’t able to. The choreography is really good, I will say.
Oh wow, I stand corrected. The girls are singing and rapping live when they can. You can tell the difference if you’re paying attention.
I had to play it real, real smooth
And once I finally made my move I went crazy over you (ah, ah)
Over you, only you (ah, ah)
I went crazy over you
Is “eee-eee-eee-eee” universally known as the sound of knife wielding psycho killers? If so, that’s pretty funny.
Break: The girls bow and say hi. Jisoo says that it’s been a year since they have performed before an audience so they are a bit nervous, but they will do their best to put on a good show.
Rosé is reading from some cue cards so Lisa decides to read along with her. It’s funny. I wasn’t paying attention to what Rosé was saying, because I got distracted by Lisa. No big deal. Onto the next song…
How You Like That: Like with all the songs, the girls sing live when they can. This song is so different with the accompaniment of a live band. It works well for a concert performance, imo. The back drop is still post-apocalyptic red with burned out trees and branches. While the stage design is unique and well done, it’s the wrong vibe for this song. Kind of killed the mood. This is just my opinion. Don’t flame me, Blinks!
Pre-recorded break: It’s the girls giving smoldering looks to the camera. They look really beautiful, of course.
Don’t Know What To Do: Outfit change! Jennie starts the song and is walking down what looks like an icy tunnel. It’s an interesting construction. Her outfit is a two piece made out of vintage t-shirts.
Rosé’s outfit is the same as Jennie’s only using different t-shirts. Lisa is wearing what is basically loose fitting black suede fringe chaps with jean shorts. I honestly don’t know how to describe Jisoo’s dress. I’m not crazy about it.
What’s different about this song is the girls walk up to their microphones and just sing. No dancing to accompany a relatively slow song. It’s a nice change of pace. You might say to me, why would there be choreography to accompany a song that isn’t suited for it? To which I would reply, don’t ask me. Just watch a live performance of Rosé’s “On the Ground.” and tell me if the choreography works for that one. (Read: It doesn’t.)
The song ends and the screen blackens for a only a second or two. Then we see the girls (with a bizarre backdrop) as we hear the opening chords for…
Play With Fire: They changed the opening choreography for this song, I think? I don’t like it. It’s not a big deal, but I am just curious about the reason for the little change. CRAZY joins the girls and they have changed their outfits, too. They’re wearing berets! Apparently they just flew in from France, circa 1964.
The song ends and the screen blackens again. Then we hear the opening to…
Lovesick Girls: Oh, my favorite song! Not at all actually. I was being sarcastic. I’m just not a huge fan of this one. I think the chorus is very cheesy. Don’t hate me, Blinks!
Shiny confetti comes down at the end of song. Probably in an attempt to make this dark and weird backdrop a bit more lighthearted.
Tove Lo’s Habits (Stay High): Jisoo’s solo! We see a very short black and white clip of Jisoo with her name typed across the front. Then we cut to the pre-recorded segment of Jisoo singing her solo song. She is wearing a pretty purple two piece dress. It’s very American southern belle with a sexy twist. The vintage 1940’s stage set doesn’t make a lot of sense to me and I don’t even know how it’s supposed to go with the song or Jisoo’s outfit.
The lyrics have been changed so that she is singing in Korean with the chorus staying the same. I have some opinions so brace yourself.
I love Jisoo’s lower voice and tone. But her singing on this one is somewhat nasal and at times a little strained, which is usually an indicator that the singer is possibly 1) not lifting their soft palette when they sing 2) not using their diaphragm properly or 3) not singing in their vocal range. I think sometimes Jisoo is given stuff to sing that doesn’t respect her lower singing voice and that bugs me.
I am not saying Jisoo or the other girls can’t sing–of course they can– or that they all should be Kpop Ariane Grandes. I just think they deserved to have quality vocal training while trainees and I am not entirely convinced they did. I could be wrong about that part but regardless, they should be given stuff to sing in the ranges that suit their voices.
Doja Cat’s Say So: Lisa’s solo. Each solo song will be introduced by a very short black and white segment of each girl with her name then typed across the front. So Lisa is introduced that way. Then onto the song. I really like the set design for this one.
Lisa’s wearing a gold and black shimmery corset style dress with a tail skirt. She’s joined by CRAZY wearing shimmery flapper-style dresses, some black, some gold, so they match Lisa. They look good. Oh, screw it. I’ll just include a pic. How is Lisa’s voice you ask? It’s absolutely fine! Though she, too, has a nasal sound. But I look forward to her solo work.
The floor lights up at the dance portion of the song, as if in a disco, and changes colors. It’s cool. The song ends and fade to black.
Sour Candy: Oooo, it opens with male dancers! The set design is completely different again. Sort of shimmery with light purples and blue lighting and some sort of neon pole thingies.
Jennie is wearing purple-y pink sequined hot pants and a silk top with puffed sleeves. Lisa has second verse and she has completely changed her outfit which tells me that her previous number was pre-recorded. She’s wearing ripped red tights with a pink and black lacy lingerie style top with some kind of texture. Argh, it’s feathers again. Her hair is in pigtails. I don’t really like this overall look either, to be honest. Rose is wearing a sequined 2 piece outfit with a fuchsia shrug made of tulle it looks like. I really like it. She has been nailing her outfits thus far.
Jisoo is wearing an unusual outfit. It almost resembles a figure skater’s dress combined with a ballerina tutu. I saw this dress on a runway, but I don’t recall the designer. I like the color pink on her even if I am not crazy about this look overall.
Lady GaGa’s voice booms out. It’s fine. The song works without GaGa actually being there. It’s a pretty good song. Fade to black
Break: When the lights come back on the girls are sitting on stools wearing the same outfits from the “Sour Candy” clip. They chitchat and compliment Jisoo and Lisa on their solo performances. “That’s our Lisa,” Jisoo says about Lisa’s solo. Unnie Jisoo is always so supportive. I love that.
They talk about how fun performing “Sour Candy” was. Then Lisa says they are going to change the vibe to something a bit slower.
Love To Hate Me and You Never Know: All the girls sound great on this one. I don’t want to be naive so let me just say I honestly can’t tell if they are singing live. It certainly seems to me that they are.
These songs work really well for the accompaniment of the live band. “Love to Hate Me” has this almost jazzy undertone at the beginning that works with the acoustic guitar Justin is playing. Then it shifts into “You Never Know” and then the sound from the band builds. It flows well. Fade to black.
Solo (with new rap): Jennie’s solo! This performance has been pre-recorded? Fuck it, I can’t tell what has been pre-recorded and what was actually a live stream performance. Who cares? Everything I am watching now is just a recording of the live stream anyway.
Jennie’s solo song is called “Solo” so that’s easy. It’s a good song and she really works it. It’s so funny how different her stage persona is from her off-stage personality. Anyway, she looks great and her hair looks really cute.
The song has a new rap section and then has the big dance finish with all of CRAZY. Fade to black…
Gone: Rosé’s solo! Pure… Poetic… Utmost passionate… Tangible… blah blah blah. We hear Rosé say these words in voice over as we, the viewers, read them on the screen. Not the blah blah blah part. That was just me getting a bit bored.
Ohhhh, it’s the intro to Rose’s song which is about a passionate couple that break up abruptly, because the last words she says are, “And then it all just stopped.” Then we hear the opening chords of her song “Gone.” This part starts off with a pre-recorded bit like a music video before it fade cuts to Rosé sitting on a giant swing singing live with Justin sitting next to her playing acoustic. Very cool look to the set and I really like this song.
My only criticism is that Rosé rarely makes eye contact with Justin. In settings like this, where there is an intimacy between musician and singer, showing connection can be effective. But I also noticed that Rosé is, most of the time, looking down when she sings this song. I wonder if she feels shy. Or maybe I am making a big deal about this, lol. Let’s move on.
Pretty Savage: Pre-recorded bit with really deep red lighting as the girls look sultry for the camera. It’s not the full song, just a short segment with the beat slowed down. It is kind of a surprise and disappointing they opted to not perform this one. There must be a reason why they didn’t, but I was not able to find any information on the web.
The segment ends and we cut to…
DDU-DU DDU-DU: Whoa. This one gets crazy. They are with a bunch of male dancers and there is a fiery back drop behind them. The set lights change colors from reds to blues and so on. Also, the color is super saturated as it has been throughout the show.
This song sounds great with the live band and the male dancers are a great add, too. It would be way too many dancers, I would think, to actually go on tour with both the female and male dancers, but for a live stream, why not?
Towards the end, the male dancers and the girls have a big finishing dance stomping around on a floor filled with water. This number could work as a closer in my opinion.
My only complaint is that the lighting was at times too dark which I have been bitching about throughout the show. It could be the recording I am watching, but at times it’s just hard to see everybody clearly.
Break: Pre-recorded bit where they are in an empty stadium talking about their memories of their first concert performance in front of a huge crowd. Jisoo talks about her pre-show feelings and the things the girls did to get ready for their performance. Rosé talks about her pre-show jitters and how much the girls dreamed of performing during their trainee days. Jennie and Lisa talk about how pretty the crowd looked with their Blackpink hammer things lit up. I have no idea what those hammer thingies are officially called.
Jennie talks about how emotional she got at the finale of the first(?) concert and that she was embarrassed. All the girls express love for the Blinks (the official name for Blackpink’s fan base) because they are terrified of them like we all are. I kid! I kid! Don’t kill me, Blinks!
The girls conclude that though the live stream concert is not the same as actually being in person, hopefully we will all feel connected to them anyway.
Whistle: We are back to the show! The theme for the outfits is white, fluffy and puffy. Lisa is wearing white jean shorts and fluffy knee high boots. Jisoo is wearing a fluffy short skirt and a corset that is very Art Deco in style. Rosé is wearing white puffy knee high boots, a puffy white shrug and skirt. This is the same outfit she wore in the snowy section of the music video for “How You Like That?” I can’t even describe what Jennie is wearing so I will just include a picture. CRAZY are wearing white overalls which makes no sense whatsoever.
What I notice is how different the set looks now. It’s all shiny and nickel plated. It’s a cityscape—Art Deco style—like Jisoo’s corset. The set designer is over his/her COVID freak out and wants to end on an optimistic note. No more blackened trees and run down buildings. Anyway, the girls are almost entirely singing live and you know this because they have to practically shout over the backing track of their own vocals.
The song ends and we quickly go straight into…
As If It’s Your Last: The mood seems lighter in a way. The girls are probably thrilled they have the end of this show in sight. I kid! They love doing what equates to over 80 minutes of cardio! Love you, Blinks!
I’m still not understanding Jennie’s outfit.
Justin gets a killer segment during this song where he shows off his electric guitar skills.
Boombayah: Blackpink in your area! All of CRAZY join the girls for this number. My favorite part of this song is always towards the end when there are ad libs from the girls saying “Woo!” or whatever. It punches up the song and makes it sound less pre-recorded.
At the very end of the song, shiny confetti streamers start pouring down. A lot of streamers. The girls seem almost surprised and start giggling a bit. The song ends in silence and the last of the streamers pour down in a big mass. “Whoa!” say the girls. It’s a bit weird with no crowd cheering.
They chat with us viewers though they are still breathing hard. It’s easy to forget how aerobic some-or really all-of the dancing is. Jisoo hopes we are having fun. Rosé hopes we felt their presence even though they are not in person. “We are like, totally out of breath,” Jennie says. Then she brings up Rosé’s solo song. She says the half video/half-live performance was really cool. “I loved it. I loved the song so much,” says Lisa sincerely. Rosé says that as long as her fellow members liked it, she is happy. They also compliment Jennie’s remix of her song “Solo.” Jennie said she had fun performing it, because the song felt new.
Jisoo expresses happiness that despite the show being delayed and having to go remote, no one has gotten hurt or sick. She hopes the Blinks were able to enjoy the show in comfort. “Thanks for your support always,” she says.
Lisa says “hi” to her mom and dad first in Thai and then in English. Then Jisoo, Rosé and Jennie say “hi” to Lisa’s parents also. Lisa gets teary eyed and says she hopes we enjoyed the show. She is talking to her parents, too, when she says that. It has probably been awhile since she has seen them since the pandemic broke out. Lisa concludes with, “Blinks, I love you.”
Rosé thanks the staff of people that helped make the show happen since there were some hiccups along the way. Then Jennie says they have one more song to perform.
Forever Young: We cut to a printing press making Blackpink posters it looks like. Oh okay. They are actually poster sized print outs of fan messages to the girls. We see the stage crew post them as the back drop creating a big wall of them.
We cut to the girls sitting on some steps as Jennie opens the song. They are in a silly mood now.
“Jisoo!!” Jennie shouts as Jisoo starts to sing. Then the girls walk over to read some of the messages. “Wow!” they say. Jennie starts to hammer Jisoo on the head to the rhythm of the beat with a pink hammer thingie. Jisoo bends down a bit so Jennie can have a better shot, which is pretty funny.
Then Jisoo pins something to her top while Lisa is singing. It’s funny too, because she’s totally focused on that instead of dancing around.
The girls continue to joke around as they sing. They walk over to read more of the fan signs.
There is a bit of faked frivolity to all of this without the crowd pumping them up but they definitely have a genuine friendship that you can see. That is one of their biggest strengths as a group. The song concludes with “Blackpink is a revolution!”
Rosé then says they have a lot of people they need to thank for making the show possible. The girls introduce the band members and each musician plays a mini solo on their respective instruments.
Rosé introduces Bennie on drums. “Bennieeeeee!” the girls shout.
“On bass, we have OMARRRRR!” Lisa says. “Omar! Omar!” says Jisoo.
“Let’s not forget guitar, Justiiiiinnnnn!” says Jennie. All the girls shout “Justiiiiinnnnn!” as he bows to them.
“And keyboarrrrrrds!” says Jisoo. “Yuuuuunnnnnnng!” say all the girls. They boogie as he plays a jazzy bit.
Then the girls say “thank you” to programmer Brandon who is backstage doing his thing so, no pic. “We love you, Brandooooonnnn!” says Jisoo and the other girls.
Then Jisoo thanks back up dancers Unnie and Oppa which presumably are the leaders of each dance group. Then she introduces the female dancers who she calls “Our everlasting Unnies, the CRAZY!” All the female dancers run out on stage. Then they thank their beauty staff, YG and last but not least, Bliiiiiinnnnnnnks!! Thank you!! They do a big bow.
The musicians keep playing and the girls dance out the finish.
Then it fades to dark and you hear the girls say, “Bye!” You then hear Jennie say something, but you can’t make out what she says. Whatever it is, it made Jisoo crack up.
The credits roll over clips of the girls in rehearsal for the show.
Awww, this was fun to recap. It was a great idea for Blackpink to do this virtual concert. Good on you, YG management!! Bye!