From the way fans were screaming when 2NE1's music videos played on the screen at Venetian Macao's Cotai Arena before their All Or Nothing concert even began, you knew expectations were high. And the Korean girl group did not disappoint in the flesh. Gradually dimming lights and a countdown built mounting anticipation until, in a burst of flames, the screen ripped open to reveal the four divas singing the title track of their latest album, Crush.
Those who have never heard 2NE1 live probably wonder if CL, Bom, Dara and Minzy can actually sing, because their mouths barely move in their music videos. But on stage, these girls really bring it.
While CL clearly led the show by doing most of the speaking and performing several rap solos, all the members brought had their own strengths. Minzy was the dance star, Bom's strong vocals reverberated around the arena, while Dara's softer singing added a delicate feel to numbers.
The concert was divided into four parts, each with a theme colour. The first, pink, featured 2NE1 holding laser guns to show off their girl power. After a funky, short version of Don't Stop the Music, the pace slowed down for the second section: innocence, themed in white. The girls took a break from dancing, and sat down at the front of the stage to perform an acoustic version of Come Back Home.
Excitement revved up for the third section, love. Red lights dazzled as they danced around four male fans, followed by a second rendition of Come Back Home, complete with dance moves that were certainly the evening's best.
CL kicked off the fourth section, rebellion - in black - with her solo singles, then Bom, Dara and Minzy joined her for Scream. The audience were thunderous as they obeyed commands to, well, scream.
No 2NE1 concert would be complete without I Am the Best, and of course they had to sing it sitting astride motorbikes. After ending the concert with rock versions of I Don't Care and Go Away, the girls changed into banana-print pyjamas for a five-song encore, a special bonus for this last leg of their world tour.
The girls were clearly sad to leave the stage. Dara was close to tears as she shared how she's grown since their last world tour two years ago. Well, as you sing, Dara, it ain't over 'til it's over. We'll see you again; but how about coming to Hong Kong next time?