MANILA – “Blackpink is the revolution,” a voice declares abruptly towards the end of “Forever Young.” The song then devolves from an animated dancehall track into chants that build up before blowing up into party music that brings back the festive mood.
With their light sticks – hammer-shaped toys with glowing pink hearts – up in the air, Filipino “Blinks” or Blackpink fans also declared “Blackpink is the revolution” during the South Korean girl group's first-ever concert in the Philippines, Saturday night.
It was apt for Blackpink to open the show with “Forever Young,” back to back with their recent single, the edgy “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du.” Both songs aroused relentless energy from the thousands of Blinks that trooped to the Mall of Asia Arena.
For two hours, Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé and Lisa sang and danced while fans screamed and waved their light sticks, creating a stunning ocean of pink hearts.
The quartet also performed their singles “Whistle,” “Stay,” “Playing with Fire,” “Boombayah” and “As If It’s Your Last.” They also sang “See U Later” and “Really” (which was given a reggae remix), which are B-sides from their Korean debut extended play “Square Up.”
With very few songs under their belt, Blackpink managed to stretch the show to a good two hours, thanks to dance numbers, covers, and even a performance of “Kiss and Make Up,” the group’s collaboration with English singer Dua Lipa.
Each member was also able to shine in their individual stages.
Jisoo showcased her powerful vocals with a cover of Zedd’s “Clarity,” Rosé serenaded the crowd with a medley that included the Beatles’ “Let It Be” and Park Bom’s “You and I,” Lisa wowed with a sultry dance number, and Jennie owned the stage with her solo song “Solo.”
Filipino Blinks also left quite an impression on the girls.
At one point in the show, Rosé’s attention was suddenly caught by a fan-made plush toy with her baby photo on it. “This is so cute. You guys are so creative,” Rosé said as she held the toy that was brought to the stage. She then spotted plush toys with the other members’ baby photos, which were also brought to the stage for the girls to take a photo with before being returned to the fans.
Blackpink capped the evening with a reprise of “Stay,” an acoustic song that pleads “stay with me.” The audience responded by flashing banners that read “We’ll stay forever.”
Filipino Blinks can only hope that when the quartet returns to the country, they would be able to perform more original songs.