MANILA, Philippines - Korean pop group 2NE1 held its first concert in the US on Aug. 17 (Aug. 18 in Manila) at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
The US concert is part of the "2NE1 Global Tour: New Evolution," which kicked off in Seoul, South Korea last month.
2NE1 performed the group's hit songs before 7,000 fans, including "Fire," "I Don't Care," and "Don't Stop the Music."
In a concert review, the New York Times said, "2NE1 is a girl group in the Destiny's Child or Spice Girls mold, but it also incorporates plenty of rapping and some reggae for good measure, as well as production that's indebted to arena-size dance music."
It said 2NE1 "has become a huge success" in the last three years, thanks to the "efficiency by entertainment conglomerates."
"K-pop moves at a speed faster than late capitalism, hybridizing styles and sounds at will and pivoting quickly," the New York Times said.
The newspaper said, "During the two-hour show this fuzzy center held up impressively, hitting a lull only late in the night during an ill-advised ballad run."
However, the New York Times said the concert was more about visuals.
"Despite all the pageantry there was still something slightly unfinished about this performance, with its emphasis on scale and spectacle, not on polish and finesse," it said.
It described CL as the "spark plug," who sought "the spotlight more aggressively."
"During her solo turn, she mock-D.J.'ed Rihanna's 'We Found Love' on a platform high over the stage, fooling no one though enjoyable to watch all the same," reviewer Jon Caramanica wrote.
Caramanica praised Minzy for being 2NE1's "anchor, singing with confidence and a rich tone, and even dancing in a way that kept up with the hyperactive backing troupe."
He described as Sandara Park as "the most coy of the group. She sings in a thin, velvety tone that's best as an accent."
The New York Times, however, criticized Bom's singing.
"Bom, for her part, aimed higher, with ambitious vocals that didn't always hit their marks. She appeared less and less steady as the night progressed," it said.
There were bright spots during the concert though.
"It shined on the restrained pop-house of 'In the Club,' and also the Kylie Minogue-esque disco of 'Stay Together' and the winning 'I Love You,"' the newspaper said.
The New York Times said of the whole concert: "There were dance moves not quite executed to their finish, sporadic lip-syncing and some vocal parts rendered shakily."
2NE1 will be appearing on Facebook Live at 5 p.m. PDT on Aug. 22 (Aug. 23 in Manila) to chat and answer questions from fans. They will be the first Asian singers to visit the Facebook headquarters in California.
2NE1's next concert will be on Aug. 24 at the Nokia Theatre LA Live in Los Angeles.