In 2016 BLACKPINK debuted. By 2019 the act — composed of Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé and Lisa — became the first K-pop girl group to perform at Coachella — a set that also marked the foursome’s first full U.S. concert. And tonight, in 2023, the global superstars became the first Korean act to headline the festival.
“So… let me start off with, four years ago we were invited to perform here for you at Coachella at the Sahara tent and that made a mark in all of our hearts,” Rosé affectionately tells the crowd. ”I must say, this is a dream come true … the reason all four of us are here is because of you.”
“We are so so happy to be back here,” adds Jennie. “It’s crazy within the four years we made it from Sahara to main stage … we love you, Coachella.”
Despite an early technical issue that pushed the start time back, by 9:24 fans’ light-up bracelets started to glow pink, alerting them the show would in fact soon begin. By 9:28, a single “BLACKPINK” echoed throughout the speakers. And by 9:30, the stage went dark. It was finally time.
“Taste that pink venom, get ‘em get ‘em get ‘em,” the girls demand as they opened with the biting “Pink Venom” as their loyal Blinks eat up every word. “Kill This Love” comes next, featuring heavy pyro and sparks followed by “How You Like That.” Each song feels like a grand finale in its own right — and that same energy carries throughout the entire historic set that snakes through BLACKPINK’s tight discography of an EP (Square Two – EP) and three full-lengths, BLACKPINK IN YOUR AREA, THE ALBUM and last year’s BORN PINK.
After a high-energy string of hits like “Pretty Savage” (for which the famous “prrr” was met with thunderous cheers) and “Kick It” during which the girls strutted down the runway, Rosé couldn’t help but make an observation: “It is getting… absolutely… hot. I think it’s because of the Blinks, it’s so hot because of you guys.”
The foursome then dives into “Whistle” — its debut song and a No. 2 hit — while making their way back to the stage. They each subtly disappear during the dance break that follows, signaling both the end of the set’s intro and beginning of its next phase: highlighting each member’s burgeoning solo careers.
Jennie performs first, rocking sky-high pigtails with a top draped in diamonds and pearls as she sings a remixed version of her single “You & Me” with a new rap verse. Next up: Jisoo, who’s wearing a red asymmetrical dress made of plastic flowers and matching elbow length red gloves — a fitting look to perform her debut single “Flower” in. As confetti finishes falling from the sky, the next performer’s name flashes across the screen: ROSÉ. Wearing a chain metal dress, she switches things up by performing from the middle stage, seated with her legs dangling down, swaying as she sings “Gone / On the Ground.” Her performance ends with an explosion of streamers, which touched ground as the fourth and final member gets ready to take the stage. For Lisa’s set (which is introduced using her birth name Lalisa) she sports a structured mirrored metal bodysuit with matching gloves to deliver an explicit version of “Money,” closing out this chapter of BLACKPINK’s set on an energetic high.
Another quick dance break allows the girls time to change back into relatively matching fits before stepping back out for “BOOMBAYAH,” their first No. 1, for which they request a sing-along — as if the crowd hadn’t already been doing just that all night long. And for “Lovesick Girls,” rainbow streamers color the night sky.
What follows is a rapid fire session of hits including “Playing With Fire,” a Burlesque-inspired “Type Girl,” “Shut Down” and “Tally.” The second to last song of the night is one of BLACKPINK’s earliest sensations, “DDU-DU DDU-DU,” while the true finale is the sentimental and uplifting “Forever Young,” which the girls perform first from the middle stage on a platform, engaging with as many Blinks as they can one last time, before ultimately ending at their rightful place front and center on the main stage as fireworks explode behind them.
Throughout the historic and celebratory set, Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé and Lisa tapped into what they do best together as BLACKPINK: making Blinks feel seen. And by allowing each member a moment of their own to shine, they allowed their individuality to be seen, too — and on one of music’s biggest stages, no less.