My First Time at a Kpop Concert – My Love Affair w/ Blackpink

I’ll never forget my first time at a K-pop concert. Learn all about my first time watching Blackpink perform live in New Jersey in August 2023!

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It was my birthday weekend in August of this year and I crossed not one, but two first time experiences off my list of things I’ve never done before. Watching a K-pop concert live, and watching Blackpink live too! 

Attending the Blackpink concert in New Jersey was the ultimate birthday celebration for me. As soon as I walked into the arena, the energy was electric. Their fans, known as “Blinks,” were decked out in black and pink and ready to cheer on their favorite girls.

Some people went all out with their costumes and outfits. I kept it semi-simple with a Blackpink “Pink Venom” shirt, handmade black and pink necklaces, and a pink jeweled crown.

* Photos via Blackpink store on Amazon, and the TOBATOBA Store Page on Amazon respectively.

I bought them along with my concert tickets in May, and then spent the entire summer memorizing as many of the lyrics as I possibly could. I even tried to learn some of the choreography from their music videos.

Who is Blackpink?

In case you don’t know, Blackpink is a South Korean girl group formed by YG Entertainment in 2016. The group consists of four members – Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa. They are considered one of the most successful K-pop girl groups internationally and leaders of the Korean Wave. 

Blackpink debuted in August 2016 with their single album Square One and rose to popularity quickly with hit singles like “Playing With Fire”, “As If It’s Your Last”, and “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du”. They have broken numerous records, including for the most-viewed music video in 24 hours on YouTube.

The group is known for their “girl crush” image and messages of female empowerment. Their music incorporates genres like EDM, hip hop, and pop. They have collaborated with artists like Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa.

Blackpink became the first K-pop girl group to perform at Coachella in 2019. They have also embarked on several successful world tours. Their 2020 album The Album was the first million-selling album by a Korean girl group. 

The members have been recognized as global fashion icons and ambassadors for luxury brands. Blackpink has broken numerous records and won major awards, including MTV VMAs and Billboard Music Awards. They continue to make a major global impact with their music and artistry.

How I Came to Know About Blackpink

Before Blackpink, I had never really gotten excited by K-pop. In fact, when people would go nuts over the various K-pop artists on social media, I just didn’t get it.

How could anyone become so obsessed with a group – guys or girls. And then, I heard those trumpets in the opening of Kill This Love. I was watching Chester Lockhart and Todrick Hall a couple of years ago and they were dancing to Kill this Love. First -I LOVE me some Chester Lockhart dancing videos, and hearing the song they were dancing too made me want to watch the original to find out who Blackpink was.

The moment those trumpets started…I was hooked. I had to know more. I fell down a rabbit hole of Blackpink videos and was instantly turned into a K-pop fan.

The fashion, the colors of their clothes, the catchy tunes – I didn’t even care that most of their songs were in Korean and I couldn’t understand any of the words! I was quickly becoming a Blackpink addict, and began playing a playlist of their songs on the regular!

My fave of the group? Lisa. Love her!

My Birthday Weekend

We drove to New Jersey to watch Blackpink live. Not only was it the closest city they were performing in, but I figured we could make it a doubly awesome bday weekend by taking in Wicked the Musical too!

But first, was the Blackpink concert and let me tell you when those four girls took the stage, the crowd went wild. Their dance moves were flawless and their vocals stunning as they performed hit after hit.

My favorite part was when they sang and the entire arena lit up with twinkling lights from thousands of concert light sticks. Everyone was so friendly too! I had an amazing night singing and dancing along to Blackpink’s catchy songs with a stadium filled with strangers that all came together with a common goal – see the K-pop sensation rock the house!

Getting to see these global superstars perform live was the best birthday gift I could have imagined. This concert is a night I’ll never forget!

Lessons Learned from My First Time at a K-pop Concert

Here are some tips for attending your first K-pop concert:

Learn the fan chants. 

K-pop concerts involve a lot of fan chants where the audience coordinates cheers, chants, and singing along. Brush up on the fan chants for your favorite songs so you can participate. 

This is actually a regret of mine. I wish I had learned the fan chants – especially for Jisoo’s solo song Flower!

Get a lightstick. 

Lightsticks are must-have items for K-pop concerts. Fans will wave their group’s official lightstick during songs to create a synchronized light show. 

I don’t regret that I didn’t have one, but it sure would have been cool to have had it. The lights blinked in sync to the music, and that was really cool to watch.

Dress comfortably. 

K-pop concerts involve a lot of cheering, dancing, and jumping. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing you can move around in. Though I dressed up a little, I was SO glad I had on tennis shoes!

Arrive early. 

Merchandise and lightstick booths tend to get busy right before the show. Not to mention the concession stands! Arrive early to avoid long lines. 

And, by arriving early, you can dance along to the music that plays before the show begins. You can meet fellow fans too! This was so much fun!

Be prepared to stand. 

Most K-pop concerts feature a LOT of standing because everyone wants to dance along to the songs. Wear supportive shoes and take breaks if needed.

Learn the choreography.

K-pop idols will often pause during songs for fans to dance along. At the concert, they even panned cameras around the stadium to showcase people that knew the dances! You’ll have more fun if you know the moves. I chickened out even though I DID know a lot of the moves lol.

Charge your phone. 

You’ll want to take lots of pictures and videos to remember the amazing experience. A portable charger can be handy too.

Have fun! 

Sing, dance, and engage with other fans. K-pop concerts are high energy celebrations of music and fandom.

Let loose and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing your favorite idols live!

Blackpink is really the only K-pop group I listen to right now, but after such an amazing show, I confess I kind of want to listen to other groups and see if they will give me that same spark of excitement.

If nothing else though, I’m happy as can be as a Blink for life! And, with the recent announcement that all four members have signed new contracts to keep working as a quartet, well, I look forward to more music and hopefully another concert experience in the future!

* Blog Banner Photo via the Blackpink Facebook page