May 27, 2024

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BLACKPINK’s ingenious Coachella 2023 collection turned me into BLINK

BLACKPINK’s ingenious Coachella 2023 collection turned me into BLINK

There’s no denying K-pop’s global influence, but for those listeners who didn’t take notice during its rise as a world-dominating genre, Coachella may have brought them into the fold. The BLACKPINK ceiling liner collection turned me from K-pop curious to one of the many new BLINKS.

BLINK, an abbreviated version of the band’s name, is what the group’s loyal fan base calls themselves, and I now count myself among their ranks. Generously, they welcomed me with open arms on social media, with over 200 comments on a tweet declaring my loyalty to Jennie, whose solo part of the group was a dizzying mix of bombastic EDM pop and early hip-hop provided by a live drummer. Benny Rodgers II, who sneaked in with an octopus weapon fills in just about every measure.

The set was preceded by a stunning display of drones that referenced iconic installations from Coachella’s history, from a giant caterpillar that transformed into a butterfly in 2015 to the astronaut that appeared in 2014 and 2019.

There was a 10-minute lull between the drone show and the start of Blackpink’s set, which for the moment seemed like a missed opportunity to pick up momentum, but by the time the video screens were flooded with gushing pink waves, the break had been forgotten. . The BLINKS Corps were ubiquitous on the polo grounds, dressed more than any other performer I saw this weekend. They erupted into “Blacccckpink” chants on the opener “Pink Venom,” which began with a corny melody over the strings of a traditional Korean instrument called geomungo.

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BLACKPINK’s Jennie, Jisoo, Rose and Lisa perform on the Coachella Stage during the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 15, 2023.

Fraser Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella

The four members of BLACKPINK — Jennie Kim, Jisoo, Lisa, and Rosé — were larger than life, exuding infinite pop-star appeal and proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that they deserve top billing; They are the first K-pop group to headline Coachella. Unlike the Bad Bunny group, which was plagued by technical difficulties, BLACKPINK’s group was flawless. Every choreographed dance move landed effortlessly, and her backing band was also a highlight. The band barely appeared on video screens except for a glowing confession near the end of the set, but their presence gave the group the energy of a live rock show. Rodgers, who has also played with Childish Gambino and Mariah Carey, sounded almost like the fifth member of BLACKPINK, providing an inimitable backbone I could have listened to on his own.

After playing the hits “Kill This Love”, “How You Like That”, “Pretty Savage”, “Kick It” and “Whistle”, the show entered its second act with each of the four members performing a solo track.

BLACKPINK's Jennie performs on the Coachella stage during the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 15, 2023.

BLACKPINK’s Jennie performs on the Coachella stage during the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 15, 2023.

Fraser Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella

It was hard to deny Lisa about “Money,” which evolved from a Missy Elliott-style club member into dark techno territory, but something about Jenny’s “You and Me” turned me into a Jensetter (the official term for Team Jenny). Jennie debuted in 2012, revealed by K-pop powerhouse YG Entertainment, simply as “Mystery Girl”, and in 2016 she was chosen as the first member of BLACKPINK. As a fan of boozy pop production and hip-hop drums, it was a standout for me, in part because of the obvious Neptunes influence, with Rodgers dancing to his set as Pharrell and Chad Hugo banging out a beat on an ASR-10 sampler.

Not to disparage the power of the full set, but for starters, the solo part of the set was a move of pure pop music marketing genius. Show off each singer’s personality, and let everyone on the polo field not already BLINK with a favorite member (or two).