‘Gangnam Style’ Mania: This Is What Happens When Psy Performs a Free Concert in South Korea [PHOTOS]

The 'Gangnam Style' rapper drew more than 80,000 screaming fans to a free show in the South Korean capital, Seoul. And — as promised — he went topless

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Yonhap / AP

More than 80,000 people turned out for a free concert thrown by South Korean rapper PSY, in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012.

Korean rapper Psy promised to give his fans a free concert in Seoul if his song reached the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Well, he hasn’t quite reached that milestone, but he decided that being second best was good enough.

(MORE: Billboard Chart Decoded: ‘Gangnam Style’ Vs. Maroon 5)

Thursday night’s concert lasted two hours — yes, he has many more songs than “Gangnam Style” — and attracted thousands of fans to Seoul Plaza, in the heart of the South Korean capital, with thousands more spilling out into surrounding streets.

Hye Soo Nah / AP

Media reports said the crush of people swelled to 80,000 as Psy took the stage. Oddly, the concert was rather far — a 5-mile, 45-min. train ride away — from Seoul’s now famous Gangnam district, the neighborhood Psy mercilessly mocks.

(MORE: The Wholesome Hidden Message of ‘Gangnam Style’)

Lee Jin-man / AP

At the Thursday show, Psy downed an entire bottle of soju (Korean rice liquor) in one gulp, proclaiming, “This is for Korea!” He also sprinted up and down the runway that stretched out into the crowd. And he even kept his promise to perform the invisible horse dance without a shirt on.

Park Dong-ju / Yonhap / AP

According to his agency, the concert was organized “to return the encouragement domestic fans have been giving to Psy.” He had just returned to Korea after spending several weeks in the U.S. on a rolling media tour that saw him appear on numerous television shows, from the Ellen show to Saturday Night Live — and even within these pages.

(WATCH: New York City Goes Gangnam Style: Psy Rocks the Today Show)

Lee Jin-man / AP

The U.S.-educated musician (he studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston) has been famous in South Korea since 2001, when he released his first album, which also containing satirical lyrics and outlandish dances. Since then, he’s released five more, with another on the way later this year. Many of his songs have been chart toppers in South Korea, but “Gangnam Style” is the first to become a worldwide hit.

MORE: ‘Gangnam Style’ Doubles the Value of Psy’s Father’s Company

9 comments
Disquskurr
Disquskurr

Getting tired of this now. For a while it was funny, but when Time starts putting it on pages every other day, you start asking: Is there a Korean on your staff who is projecting this ??????????

James Carroll
James Carroll

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Sonya Km
Sonya Km

Amazing energy Amazing crowds !!!

ConceptVBS
ConceptVBS

Hi Nick,

Here is the video of PSY's concert for everyone to see:

youtube   .com/watch?v=Ixsn81SqU6E

makelvin
makelvin

The Korean government help sponsored the free concert; but their initial estimate was that there will only be about 4 to 5 thousand people at the concert. Boy... I guess they were just a little bit off. ;)

lazydollca
lazydollca

@Disquskurr You sound jealous and almost racist. Psy is pop culture, that the society we live in. "Gangnum" is as much one hit wonder as "Macerena" and "Mambo #5". You don't like the current trend of things, become a hermit!