PSY made a major announcement last month (March) when he revealed he’d debut the follow-up to his global smash “Gangnam Style” at an April 13 concert in South Korea. While PSY ended up premiering his second single, “Gentleman,” days before, he managed to keep fans on their toes with a handful of surprises through out his show.
PSY’s Happening Concert began at 6:30 p.m. KST/5:30 a.m. EST. The show was livestreamed on YouTube with numbers in the hundred thousands with continual growth throughout. PSY and #Happening trended worldwide on Twitter as did some of the night’s special guests.
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In a black/gold matador-inspired jacket and his signature sunglasses, PSY kicked off the show with his 2010 single “Right Now.” The fans’ excitement proves PSY found success before the release of “Gangnam Style.” With over 100,000 tuned in on YouTube, it was a smart kick-off for PSY to show he’s been rocking this style for years.
PSY moved quickly into feel good tracks like “Celebrity” and “It’s Art” before addressing the audience. “It’s been 13 years since my Korean debut, but one year worldwide,” he told a roaring audience. “I’m PSY, glad to meet you.” It was a humble speech for a star who avoided an ego though his breakout single topped countless charts.
PSY’s newest labelmate, 16-year old Lee Hi who was No. 1 on the K-Pop Hot 100 last week, joined him to sing R&B-inspired ballad, “What Would Have Been?”
As the show continued, the stage visuals became more intense as did PSY’s dance moves. He performed his signature bird moves to a rock rendition of “Bird,” then transitioned into “In My Eyes” with a ridiculous leggy dance.
After the crowd erupted following a fun performance of “I’m A Guy Like This,” with its catchy “Shake it! Shake it! Yo! Everybody!” hook, the first major surprise of the night emerged. The opening zippy synths of 2NE1’s biggest hit to date, “I Am The Best,” began to play as the foursome made their way on stage. The group were bursting with energy. Front woman, CL, focused on the crowd while Minzy twerked behind her. After performances of “Best” and “Can’t Nobody,” it became clear that 2NE1 need to return to K-pop soon. The broadcast peaked to 123,000 YouTube viewers after the ladies’ performance.
PSY began to incorporate more lighting tricks as the sun set, starting with his performance of “Urbanite.” Amongst visuals of cyborgs and robots, PSY and his back-up dancers used full glow-in-the-dark outfits to create the most visually-impressive set of the night.
PSY used the Happening Concert to also showcase his talents as an artist. “My international fans are all about ‘Gangnam Style.’ A lot of my international fans think I’m a comedian,” he said. “No matter what you think I am, I know what I am. To all the fans who [are] watching this concert by YouTube, I want to show you my first dream was [to be a] composer. I can compose slow and R&B songs; I can sing it as well.” He moved into self-written, “Thrilled,” before the stage enveloped in darkness.
Minutes after, the stage lit up with the luminous lettering that read: “I dedicate the next stage to Beyonce.” The video to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” began to play on the big screen, except PSY’s version featured his face on Bey’s body. PSY, and two dancers, re-appeared in body-hugging red bodysuits to perform the Bey’s hit. PSY nailed the dance moves; it was impressive considering he was in go-go booots.
K-pop rap star G-Dragon, leader of boy band BIGBANG, emerged as the last guest performer. The star opened his short set with “One Of A Kind” and a handful of enthusiasm. He performed his 2012 hit “Crayon” before transitioning into BIGBANG track “Fantastic Baby.” Although BIGBANG didn’t join the rapper on stage, he pulled off the performance on his own. Around 145,000 viewers tuned into see him.
The excitement grew as PSY flew over the 50,000 in attendance, strapped to a harness, while performing “Paradise” and “Goose’s Dream.” PSY appeared to be crying tears of joy when taking a brief pause during “Goose’s Dream.”
PSY transitioned into his first live performance of his “Gangnam Style” follow-up, “Gentleman.” PSY donned the black and white jacket from the song’s video. He showcased the sassy dance moves from Brown Eyed Girls’ “Abracadabra” as well as the soccer kicking-like move from “Doing Gangnam Shake.”
After a performance of 2006 single “We Are The One,” PSY ended the night with an enjoyable performance of “Gangnam Style.” One hundred and 56,000 viewers tuned in to watch the finale. While PSY has performed his hit in several countries before, this night’s performance was special for it was performed in his home country with fans shouting out Korea till the last note.