Psy Rides Gangnam Style Mania Into Busan

Psy Music Video Screengrab - H 2012

Psy Music Video Screengrab - H 2012

The South Korean pop star played a short set before a frenzied, invite-only crowd at BIFF Saturday night

In the Crystal Ballroom of Hotel Lotte in Busan Saturday night, Psy briskly walked onstage, clad in black disco pants and his signature sleaveless shirt. To a crowd of 1,500 BIFF guests who came to attend the Lotte Night Party: Red Secret, he introduced himself humbly: “I’m Psy, the guy who is celebrating the highlight of his career ten years after its debut.”

Opening his mini-concert, which lasted a little over half an hour, with his song Right Now, the South Korean rapper who ranked No.2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks, sang five songs, but everyone knew how he would close the show: With his mega-hit "Gangnam Style."

The infectious tune has turned the 34-year old rapper into both a national hero and a global sensation. The song’s You Tube video has surpassed 200 million, and it’s comic, horse-riding-like dance has become inescapable. 

Last week, he gave a free concert in Seoul’s City Hall, performing the mega-hit bare-chested after promising in a local press conference that he would do his signature dance half-naked in front of his fans if the song topped the Billboard chart. Gangnam remained at No. 2, but Psy still went ahead with his shirtless plan to express gratitude for his fans’ support. 

Almost lost amid all the Psy-mania Saturday night was the event organizer's announcement that Lotte Entertainment will spend KRW 150 billion ($135 million) for its 2013 lineup, and plans to build Asia’s largest Lotte World Mall in Seoul, including a multiplex theater with 22 screens and 4,500 seats. 

Before gamely launching into his closer, Psy — who appears to be enjoying his new found fame while simultaneously poking fun at himself — teased the crowd about his encore.

“I’m going to disappear and you will pretend you are super sad,” he sad. “Then I’ll come back and pretend I was dragged on stage.” And then it was Gangnam Style time, to the apparent delight of every person in the room.