Blackpink dances to Vietnamese hit "See Tình" by Hoàng Thùy Linh. VNS Photo Ollie Arci

Saturday, July 29, was a night of high energy, high humidity, and high-pitched screams in Hà Nội. Despite the weather gods opening the skies with a traditional Vietnamese downpour, 30,000 resilient Blackpink fans thronged the capital city’s Mỹ Đình Stadium.

Mercifully, by the time the K-pop queens hit the stage, the rain had stopped, the skies had cleared, and the only waterworks were the tears of joy from their dedicated fanbase.

The 'Born Pink’ World Tour has become synonymous with 'global sensation', and the first-ever show in Việt Nam certainly lived up to the hype. Making their fashionable entrance at 7.50pm, the girls – Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa – kicked off the night with the firecracker of a track, How You Like That, following it up with Whistle and Pretty Savage.

The group displayed their linguistic prowess by greeting the audience with a warm "Xin chào," much to the crowd's delight. What followed was an electrifying performance of Lovesick Girls and Don’t Know What to Do, with thousands of fans screaming and jumping for joy.

After a break and a costume change, during which the audience was able to catch their breath, Blackpink reignited the stage with their mega-hit Kill This Love. As the concert moved towards its climax, Blackpink served up another showstopper with the performance of Pink Venom. Starting in monochrome, the stage was a black and white canvas that exploded into a riot of pink as the beats dropped, bringing an exhilarating burst of energy that enveloped the entire stadium.

Smoke and fireworks exploded and so did the screams from the crowd, young and old, almost matching the decibel levels from the arena’s impressive speaker system.

Hà Nội's Mỹ Đình Stadium is filled with a stunning light show to welcome the K-pop megastars. VNS Photo Ollie Arci

As the concert shifted into its third act, the shared spotlight gave way to individual brilliance.

Each member of Blackpink got their moment to shine in a series of solo performances that added a deeply personal touch to the spectacle.

Rosé's rap in Playing with Fire had the crowd going wild, and when the members called out "hét lên đi!" or "shout it out!" in Vietnamese, the collective response was deafening.

In a moment of culture-meets-cute, Blackpink danced to Vietnamese hit See Tình by Hoàng Thùy Linh and donned conical hats. The sight of the international stars embracing local tradition and pop was an Instagrammable moment, had everyone's hands not been busy clapping and waving the ubiquitous Blackpink-branded light sticks.

Returning for the encore in their own merchandise – because nothing screams 'marketing genius' like modelling your own product line – Blackpink gave stellar performances of Yeah Yeah Yeah and Boombayah. The conclusion came with As If It's Your Last, where fans swayed, some of them probably wondering how to get a lift home that could compete with the band's cool exit on a lowering stage lift.

Painted pink

No Blackpink concert is complete without an eye-popping light show and this was no exception. The sky was ablaze with vibrant neon lights that painted the stadium in hues of pink, purple, and blue. Every beat, every lyric, every dance move was punctuated with a carefully choreographed play of lights that made the performances truly mesmerising.

As if that wasn't enough, the climactic firework display, accompanying the mega-hit Kill This Love, turned the stadium into a kaleidoscope of sparks and colours. It was a spectacle that even the most cynical of spectators couldn't help but admire.

Fans were overjoyed to see Blackpink for the first time in Việt Nam.VNS Photo Ollie Arci

Another remarkable facet of the evening was Blackpink's evident appreciation for their Vietnamese fans. Despite this being their first visit to the country, they were visibly moved by the sheer volume of the crowd and the intensity of their fans' love. The rapport between the band and the audience was heartwarming and genuine, affirming their deep-rooted connection with their Vietnamese fanbase.

Their visit underlined the potential of Việt Nam as a host of large-scale music events, which are still a rarity in the country. The successful staging of this show, combined with Blackpink's global star power, could certainly help put Việt Nam on the map as a regular stop on international tour schedules, attracting both tourists and global music acts to the country.

True to their name, Blackpink painted the town pink with a fusion of pop, dance, and a heady dose of girl power that left no one in doubt about their genre-bending prowess.

The evening turned out to be an explosive carnival of music, lights, and endearing moments that challenged even the fury of the elements. Drenched or not, the fans left the stadium with spirits soaring higher than the night's humidity, their hearts brimming with memories that would outlast any monsoon season.

In the end, even the rain couldn't dampen the dazzling parade that Blackpink put on. If anything, the elements seemed to bow in respect to these queens of K-pop, and Hà Nội, drenched in music and rain, sparkled all the brighter for it. VNS