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Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

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Blackpink lights up Bay Area

Blackpink+kicks+off+their+concert+in+San+Francisco+with+their+pre-release+single+%E2%80%9CPink+Venom.%E2%80%9D+Blackpinks+Born+Pink+tour+began+in+Seoul+in+October+2022%2C+concluding+in+the+same+city+this+September.
Young Min
Blackpink kicks off their concert in San Francisco with their pre-release single “Pink Venom.” Blackpink’s “Born Pink” tour began in Seoul in October 2022, concluding in the same city this September.

“BLACKPINK IN BAY AREA” echoes throughout Oracle Park while cheers erupting from the crowd illuminated by pink lightsticks let San Francisco know Blackpink is in their area.

The cloudy mist separates and four figures emerge, emanating undoubtable confidence. 

K-pop group Blackpink opened their “Born Pink” tour on Oct. 15, 2022 in Seoul, Korea following the release of their latest album, “Born Pink.” The tour visited 34 cities in 22 countries over the course of a year, ending on Sept. 17, 2023 back in Seoul.

They visited San Francisco, my home town, on Aug. 22 as one of their final encore concerts. 

A common opinion is that getting ready for concerts is the highlight of the entire experience, whether you take out pre-concert jitters by pretending to record a Vogue Get-Ready-With-Me or jamming out to the concert’s setlist. Pink eyeshadow palettes, blushes and lip tints covered the bathroom sink while my friend and I unsuccessfully attempted to karaoke to main rapper Jennie’s life-changing “DDU-DU DDU-DU” rap. 

Right as I exited the car, I was met by a sea of black and pink outfits, the unofficial uniform of Blackpink concerts. The smell of hot dogs coming from the street vendors hit my nose as the bustling crowd, full of people taking selfies, started heading into the stadium. 

Some people waited in the merch lines which snaked alongside each other while others waited in an absurdly long line for a picture with a ginormous Blackpink lightstick. The excited chatter and laughs added even more to this hectic atmosphere.

Jennie and Rosé from Blackpink perform their song “Stay.” As a song dedicated to their loyal fandom, “Stay” holds a special place in both Blackpink and their fans’ hearts. (Provided by Khanhlinh Tran)

Just as I settled into my seat, the music videos playing on the big screens ceased as the crowd shushed with anticipation, sensing the true beginning of the night. Despite a few hiccups, Blackpink’s concert displayed their electrifying energy while also showcasing their undeniable talent.                       

“Pink Venom” started the concert with the mixture of the gayageum, a traditional Korean string instrument, and the crescendo chant of “Blackpink”, stirring an eruption in the audience just as Jennie began rapping her iconic line: “Kick in the door, wavin’ the coco.” 

Hype concert songs like “How You Like That” and my favorite “Whistle”  followed, inviting the crowd to dance and sing along before they performed solo stages. 

All of the members’ solo stages highlighted their own strengths and embodied their personal charisma well, but there were some disappointments. I expected little from Jennie’s performance due to her infamous lazy dancing. In TikTok clips I had seen before the concert, she wasn’t thrilled about being on stage and performing in front of her fans.

Thankfully, she proved these allegations wrong. 

Energy exploded from the stage and spread throughout the entire stadium, as Jennie started the dance break of her second solo song, “You and Me”. But for me, her performance peaked when she began with her very first solo song, “Solo.”

As the song began, a wave of nostalgia washed over me. I found myself transported back to my middle school days when I idolized Jennie. Back then, I did not fully grasp the song’s deeper meaning about literally going solo, but it was a constant companion throughout my middle school journey. Even now, I occasionally revisit it, casually humming along to the familiar tune that once played in my ears for hours on end. 

Jisoo proceeded with her segment of the concert, featuring her two solo tracks , “All Eyes on Me” and “Flower”. Throughout the entire show, her dancing and stage presence were notably lacking. Every time the camera zoomed in on her, the deficiencies in her dance technique and the general lack of energy in her performance became evident. The slow and less thrilling songs failed to conceal her weaknesses. 

The concert picked up its pace again with Rose’s performance of her two songs, “On the Ground” and “Gone.” Although a ballad with a slower tempo, her performance of “Gone” entranced the crowd, and her emotion-packed vocals elevated the quality of her performance. I do wish that they used brighter lighting during this stage, as the shadows made it hard to see her melancholy facial expressions.

Lisa’s solo performance unquestionably stole the show. It struck the ideal balance of excitement, stage charisma, and sincere delight, culminating in a performance that left the entire stadium utterly captivated. The most thunderous cheers of the entire concert erupted following her mute challenge, a moment that occurs during her song “Money” just after the lyrics: “Everyone silent.”

Jisoo and Lisa create a hand heart while smiling at the camera during their concert in San Francisco. Blackpink visited the Bay Area in late August this year for an encore concert. (Provided by Khanhlinh Tran)

After taking a quick break while the band and dancers performed on stage, the members returned and performed more of their iconic songs like “Boombayah” and “Playing with Fire”. I was, however,  disappointed to see that they changed some of their original, harder choreographies to easier, less-entertaining ones.

“Typa Girl” was the highlight of the second half. First showcased at Coachella earlier this year, this stage garnered the attention of not only Kpop fans but also “locals” (non-K-pop fans). Ginormous white fans billowed as the punky bass of the song’s intro echoed, garnering even more hype and excitement from the crowd. 

 “As If It’s Your Last” ended the concert on a bittersweet note. The choice of this song proved to be remarkably bittersweet given the uncertainty surrounding the group’s future. With rumors circulating that the members were not renewing their contracts with YG Entertainment, the performance of “As If It’s Your Last” took on a poignant significance. The lyrics, filled with a sense of spontaneity and living in the moment, mirrored the emotions of both the members and their devoted audience. Their Born Pink tour became a testament to their incredible journey and left everyone with a heartfelt reminder to cherish each moment, as it might be their last tour together.

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About the Contributor
Young Min, Co-A&E and Lifestyle Editor
Young Min (11) is the co-arts and entertainment and lifestyle editor for Harker Aquila and the Winged Post, and this is her third year on staff. Young hopes to build more connections within the journalism team and attend more school related events. In her free time, Young enjoys to dance, listen to music and read books.

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