Review: PSY sets high standards for live concerts in new film PSY SUMMER SWAG 2022

Avier Tan

| May 6, 2023
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A promotional still for PSY SUMMER SWAG 2022. Photo: Disney+

Talk about PSY and you can’t help but think of Gangnam Style (2012). Thanks to the track that swept the world by storm, many consider PSY a one-hit wonder.

But his success is surely not accidental.

After all, we’re talking about the K-pop industry where looks and body shapes still, despite less so now, play a large part in deciding one’s popularity.

In his newest concert film PSY SUMMER SWAG 2022, I discovered why he has that appeal to attract legions of fans to his show; even though he might not look like any of the pop idols right now.

It’s his nonconformity to industry standards that makes him stand out.

Throughout the show, he doesn’t take time to fix his makeup. Even though he’s sweating buckets, he leaves it as it is – because that’s his most authentic and truest self.

His music, which surprisingly covers a huge range of topics, also reflects that authenticity.

He served up lustful earworms like Gangnam Style (2012), Gentleman (2013) and Daddy (2015). And there were also emotional ballads that covered kinship and familial ties like Father (2005).

Above all, he talked about himself as a public figure with Celeb (2022) and Entertainer (2006).

It’s funny to think about how one artist can have songs covering all of those topics. One thing’s for sure – it works for PSY.

On stage, he dances with over-the-top choreography with occasional brief talk sets to hype the audience. But not at the expense of compromising his performance duration.

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A promotional still for PSY SUMMER SWAG 2022. Photo: Disney+

“Today, you will lose your voice and legs. In return, you will make memories,” he said calmly.

It’s an intriguing juxtaposition, considering how he used all four limbs vigorously right before for his peppy hits I Luv It (2017) and That That (2022), a collaboration track with BTSSuga.

Despite his comical and entertaining demeanour as a performer, he has a no-nonsense side to him.

“Honestly, my own meticulous nature torments me,” he said in a post-credit interview.

At the same time, this ensures that the next show will always surpass the previous one. “Should I perform here again, I’m going to outdo the show I just did,” he said.

If PSY does decide to bring back SUMMER SWAG this year, fans can look forward to a show whose quality is even better than last year’s. 

For those seeing it live, brace yourself for a rejuvenating shower by water jets and four hours of non-stop music madness.


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