On a special stage set up in front of the Coex convention center, Psy put on a heated performance starting at 6 a.m. for some 20,000 people who had gathered to root for South Korea, which drew 1-1.
“I will cheer with the loudest voice in the world. ... If we get tired, we lose. If we go crazy, we win!” said Psy as he took the stage decked out all in red, the signature color of the Red Devils, Korea’s largest supporters’ club.
Kicking off with “Right Now,” Psy delivered spirited live performances of older hits including “Entertainer,” “It’s Art,” “Shake It,” “We Are The One,” “Champion” as well as newer songs such as “Gentleman” and, of course, the internationally all too familiar “Gangnam Style.”
“Despite the song being titled ‘Gangnam Style,’ this is my first time actually singing it in Gangnam,” the star told the crowd with a laugh.
|Psy performs in front of the Coex convention center in Gangnam, Seoul before Korea’s first World Cup match against Russia on Wednesday morning. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)|
Psy also expressed his particular fondness for “Champion,” emphasizing its close ties to the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup.
“I wrote this song after witnessing massive nationwide cheering led by the Red Devils during the Korea-Japan World Cup 12 years ago. No matter how successful ‘Gangnam Style’ may be, ‘Champion’ will always hold a special place in my heart,” the singer said.
“‘Gangnam Style’ came after 10 years of trying to produce a song better than ‘Champion.’ Now I’m trying to make another song that will beat ‘Gangnam Style,’ but who knows, it might take me another 10 years,” Psy added.
Though many fans had expected the singer to perform his latest single, “Hangover” featuring Snoop Dogg, Psy decided that the Wednesday stage was not the right place to showcase the song.
“I know many people were looking forward to hearing ‘Hangover,’ but I will not sing it today. How could I sing a song about being hungover on a stage dedicated to cheering for the national team?” the singer told the crowd.
Meanwhile, as Psy was staging an enthusiastic cheering performance in Gangnam, other popular celebrities also joined the street cheering across the city on Wednesday morning.
In Gwanghwamun Square in downtown Seoul, teams of stars from popular entertainment programs aired by the nation’s three terrestrial broadcasters ― MBC’s “Infinite Challenge,” KBS 2TV’s “Our Neighborhood Variety Sports” and SBS’ “Good Sunday: Roommate” ― joined the sea of fans who filled the plaza.
Comedian and show host Yoo Jae-suk led a squad of celebrities from the “Infinite Challenge Cheering Squad” on a special stage, singing its signature victory songs from 5 a.m.
On the other hand, Kang Ho-dong, Minho from SHINee and Lee Gi-kwang and Yoon Doo-joon of Beast from “Our Neighborhood Variety Sports,” as well as Hong Soo-hyun, Park Min-woo, Cho Sae-ho and Song Ga-yeon from “Good Sunday: Roommate” joined Seoul citizens on the streets, cheering on the team.
South Korea will take on Algeria on June 23 at 4 a.m. and Belgium on June 27 at 5 a.m., Korean time.
By Sohn Ji-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)