Free Psy Concert in Seoul

So Psy (and his infamous Gangnam Style dance) held a free concert in front of the Plaza Hotel in City Hall, Seoul, last night. I was in the area as I was teaching a class that finished at 8 pm. I think the people in the city centre were divided into two camps last night – weary office workers trying to get home after a long day at the office, and energetic, youngsters (and a few adjummas)  heading into town practising their ‘ride a horse’ dance.

picture: firstpost Psy concert in City Hall, Seoul OCt 4 2012  

Yes. I was part of the first group – I suppose this means I am officially old. (Although I’ve never been one for standing up at concerts.) Anyway, after waiting almost 10 minutes at a bus stop (that’s a long time in Seoul BTW) before being told by the electronic bus sign that I would have to wait at least another 9 minutes for a bus (that’s unheard of) I was outraged and cursing Psy as I headed for the subway in a huff. How dare he hold an outdoor concert right by my place of work causing all kinds of hassle? And a free concert too.


On the walk to the subway I noticed makeshift street stalls had been set up on every corner and at the subway entrance a young man stood waving one of his luminous multi coloured plastic thingies which I assume he was trying to sell to fans to wave at the concert. I still wasn’t tempted and headed down into the subway. My mood did not improve as I was now bombarded with young, happy people ready to dance the night away. For free. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long for a train – just had to step back as more excited youths bounced off the train – ba humbug – until I was finally on my way home.

picture: firstpost Psy concert in City Hall, Seoul OCt 4 2012

Then this morning I see on the news that there were 80,000 people at the event. Everyone dancing and singing and having a good time – waving their luminous plastic thingies and recording Psy with their Galaxy phones. Jumping up and down in time to the music. I start to regret not staying – I could have stayed for a while to soak up the atmosphere at least. It was free after all. I’m thinking about this as I head into the City Hall area again for my morning classes. I’m lamenting being such an old fuddy-duddy. So did anyone go to the concert last night? I ask. My students pull faces and sigh. (not Psy :) ) ‘No’, they say. ‘Not likely. Too many people’.

So I’m not the only one who can’t deal with standing up for hours in crowds? And my students are quite a bit younger than me too. I feel better already.

The Soju Issue

But now an issue has been raised about alcohol, because at the end of the concert Psy drank some soju on stage. This is being considered a problem since middle school students might have been watching the show – it went out live on Youtube. What kind of example, they ask, is he setting as a role model for youngsters?

Well first of all, from what I understand he doesn’t aim to be a role model for youngsters. And the concert started fairly late at 10 pm. And secondly, I wonder how many kids see their own salaryman fathers coming home drunk night after night with soju after another compulsory company night out – late night drinking after work is still part of the culture here. How many times have I seen young kids walking home from their local hagwon cram school past men in suits lying on the pavement unconscious after drinking too much? Loads of times. Surely seeing this on a regular basis is a lot more harmful that a singer taking a swig of soju on stage? I’m just saying.

One thought on “Free Psy Concert in Seoul

  • November 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    really enjoy reading u’r blog and the korean dramas recommended ^^ thanks

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