O2 Arena, London
Mixing trap with europop and R&B, as well as precision-tooled dance moves, the South Korean superstars put on a hugely entertaining show
Even if you had never heard of them or their record-breaking statistics – most-streamed girl group on Spotify, most-subscribed to music artist on YouTube – you could work out that Blackpink are a very big deal just by strolling past the O2. The roof glows pink, illuminated in their honour; the queues for the merchandise concession are so vast you would think they were giving stuff away for nothing, which they’re definitely not. Security have been sent in to stop any more Blackpink fans (AKA Blinks) joining the lines, presumably out of fear they’ll still be queueing long after the band have taken to the stage.
Inside, it’s the same story. The audience is older than you might expect but the bars are deserted, while anywhere selling a T-shirt is absolutely mobbed. The whole arena is lit by the rosy glow of theofficial Blackpink light stick, an item shaped like a kids’ toy hammer that squeaks when you hit something with it, with pink hearts on either side. When the object of their affections finally arrive on stage, there’s a lot of screaming and a crush at the front that causes a pause in proceedings. Higher up everyone remains decorously seated, the better to capture smooth cameraphone footage: everyone films everything all the time.