Back To Top

[Herald Review] 33,000 fans join Psy for summer night rave

Veteran musician returns with water-drenched ‘Summer Swag’ concert

Thousands of concertgoers flock to Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul to enjoy Psy’s “Summer Swag 2022” concert on Sunday. (Yonhap)
Thousands of concertgoers flock to Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul to enjoy Psy’s “Summer Swag 2022” concert on Sunday. (Yonhap)
Over the weekend, concertgoers at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul were soaked in water as global K-pop star Psy’s signature summer concert “Summer Swag” returned for the first time in three years. During the nearly four hours of pure madness and fun, some 33,000 fans quenched their thirst for the long-awaited seasonal concert with the singer’s numerous hits while being sprayed with water.

The Sunday concert, which was the last day of the singer’s three-day extravaganza in Seoul, attracted a huge crowd. They painted the area blue, as this was the color set as the event’s dress code. Disposable raincoats and waterproof masks were distributed for the water-drenched concert, which used around 300 metric tons of drinking water to be splashed on the audience and the singer himself.

The concert was originally set to start at 6:42 p.m., but was delayed due to long lines at the entrance. Heralding the start of the show, actor Don Lee -- better known as Ma Dong-seok in Korea -- featured in the opening video clip, where he acted as Psy’s personal trainer. Harshly training the “Gangnam Style” star, Ma asked, “Now that you’ve done this long enough, do you think that you’ve become a veteran?” Thousands of audience members replied with laughter.

Psy then bounced up to the stage and kicked off the night with his 2010 hit “Right Now,” which immediately got fans on their feet and dancing. The energy could not stop those in assigned seats from standing up and dancing, as water cannons sprayed over the audience during the first song’s highlights. 

Psy performs on stage at Psy’s “Summer Swag 2022” concert, held at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Sunday. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)
Psy performs on stage at Psy’s “Summer Swag 2022” concert, held at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Sunday. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)
“It’s such good weather to hold ‘Summer Swag’ today,” Psy belted out, introducing himself as a “veteran singer” with a 22-year singing career after performing his 2006 classic “Entertainer.” The born-to-be-entertainer then urged fans to enjoy the music event to the fullest, saying “You’ll lose your voice and legs, but make a good memory today.”

Psy galloped on the stage with hits like “Shake It,” “Gangnam Style,” “Daddy,” “Gentleman,” “New Face,” “Celeb” and “That That.” Throughout his performance, the artist continuously reminded the audience to wear their masks properly by making gestures. The concert had been embroiled in controversy following concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

Psy’s sense of humor unfolded to its fullest as the night went on. He said: “The biggest pride of ‘Summer Swag’ is that it is an event that people from their 10s to 50s can enjoy together.” He also excelled in handling unexpected accidents. As some fans got injured or fainted in the middle of the concert, he stopped his performance and gently asked the crowd to make way.

Between a series of upbeat dance songs, the singer sang sentimental ballad tracks including “Father” and “What Would It Have Been Like,” giving the audience a chance to calm down. The fans sang along with the songs while gently swaying their arms from side to side. He also crooned to “Dream,” a song dedicated to his close friend Shin Hae-chul, who passed away in 2014. The legendary rock star’s performance as a member of Infinite Track was also displayed on the big screens. 

K-pop singer Sunmi perfoms as the guest performer at Psy’s “Summer Swag 2022” concert, held at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Sunday. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)
K-pop singer Sunmi perfoms as the guest performer at Psy’s “Summer Swag 2022” concert, held at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Sunday. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)
Hip-pop artists Simon Dominic, Loco and Gray perform as the guest performers at Psy’s “Summer Swag 2022” concert, held at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Sunday. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)
Hip-pop artists Simon Dominic, Loco and Gray perform as the guest performers at Psy’s “Summer Swag 2022” concert, held at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Sunday. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)
There were also four surprise guest musicians for the Sunday event -- K-pop singer Sunmi and hip-hop artists Simon Dominic, Loco and Gray -- who gave special onstage performances to the excited audience. Singer-songwriter Heize and Dynamic Duo were the special performers on Friday, while K-pop diva HyunA and her boyfriend Dawn, Simon Dominic and BTS’ Suga took up the stage on Saturday.

The audience continued getting showered with water during the concert’s highlights, helping to beat the sweltering summer heat and humidity. As the sun went down, the audience shook their blue-colored light sticks to cheer on Psy. The singer also prepared a “gift” for the fans, where all the water cannons were sprayed on the fans for nearly three seconds, followed by hundreds of firecrackers lighting up the sky. It was truly an unforgettable, beautiful moment.

Before wrapping up the “official” concert by performing “It’s Art” at around 9 p.m., Psy teased the crowd by saying that there was more to come and urged fans to scream even louder. Amid their deafening screams, “DJ Psy” appeared onstage to play and perform another whopping 14 songs as an encore. 

Psy performs on stage at Psy’s “Summer Swag 2022” concert, held at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Sunday. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)
Psy performs on stage at Psy’s “Summer Swag 2022” concert, held at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Sunday. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)
A scene from Psy’s “Summer Swag 2022” concert, held at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Sunday. (Yonhap)
A scene from Psy’s “Summer Swag 2022” concert, held at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Sunday. (Yonhap)
He started with a medley of fan-favorite dance songs of the 1990s, comprised of Jinusean’s “Tell Me,” Koyote’s “Pure Love” and Buck’s “Youth of A Barefoot.” He once again soothed the audience by singing his ballad song “Refuge” and continued with a medley of old-school Korean rock songs including Lee Moon-sae’s “Red Sunset Glow,” YB’s “A Flying Butterfly” and Crying Nut’s “Speed Up Losers.” The finale of his encore performance was Lee Sang-eun’s “Someday.”

The long night did not end there. As fans did not want to leave the concert, Psy continued performing even more. The “real” concert ended around 10:45 p.m. The musician was so professional that he performed tirelessly to the end with a smile on his face.

Finally wrapping up the four-hour music event, Psy addressed fans, saying: “I had no job in the last three years due to the lost opportunities to meet fans in person. ... Thank you for giving employment back to us.” He bowed deeply at the waist to the audience in all directions.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
MOST POPULAR
LATEST NEWS
Korea Herald daum
subscribe