George Town (The Star/ANN) - He has performed countless times all over the world, each time, before an adoring audience. It was no different in Penang.
The chance to see in the flesh South Korean rapper Psy sing Gangnam Style drew Malaysians from far and wide to Penang, with many arriving at the venue, Han Chiang High School, as early as 5am to see his 12:15pm performance.
The school was where Penang Barisan Nasional was holding its Chinese New Year open house with Psy's appearance as the biggest treat of the day.
If he was good for Penang, then so was Penang good for him.
About the same time the Grammys were being held in Los Angeles which had snubbed him for not nominating him for any award, Psy was basking in the warm embrace, not to mention the sweltering heat, of his ecstatic Malaysian fans here.
Clad in a white shirt, short-sleeve vest, black pants and his trademark sunglasses, Psy thrilled the massive crowd, which packed the school field, with his mega hit twice.
Tearing across the stage with his energetic signature moves, he and his 12 dancers worked the crowd to a frenzy before performing an encore.
The dancers were dressed in their signature white outfits.
It was noted that the women dancers, who are normally in ultra-mini dresses, wore white tops and leggings instead.
"Malaysia thank you for inviting me. I flew 20 hours (from Brazil) to get here. I won't just leave after four minutes, so just for the (Chinese) New Year and Asia, I will sing it again.
"The first time, you were all already taking so many pictures so when I sing it again now, you must dance (no need for more photos) as I look the same," Psy said, before repeating his performance.
Both times, the audience responded on cue when Psy urged them to sing along.
They saranghae (Korean for love), "Opp, opp" and "sexy lady" at all the right moments.
It was over in 15 minutes, but before he left the stage, Psy promised to return to Malaysia once his new single is launched in April.
However, fans can expect to see him sooner as he is slated to perform at the Future Music Festival Asia 2013 (FMFA) at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur on March 16.
Prior to his appearance on stage, other acts warmed up the crowd, including Asian Wave 2012 champion Shila Amzah who impressed the crowd with two Mandarin songs.
The Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's son, Nor Ashman, wowed the crowd by addressing them in fluent Mandarin, saying "To all dear friends, good morning!
"I wish all of you a happy new year, and all the best," he said to cheers from the crowd.
"As the saying goes, a day starts from the morning, a year is counted from the spring, while life springs from hard work. You harvest from the fruit of your labour.' Hope all of us will continue to work hard to achieve the 1Malaysia target," said Nor Ashman, whose Chinese name is Ji Ping (peace for all seasons), while Najib's is Na ji Ying Chun, meaning good fortune and welcome spring.
Later, Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor, who donned a bright red samfoo (Chinese-style top with matching pants) sang a popular Chinese New Year song, Gong Xi, Gong Xi.
She then joined the other dignitaries on stage, including Najib and former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, to sing another Mandarin Chinese New Year song.
In his speech before inviting Psy to the stage, Najib said he had asked Nor Ashman to learn Mandarin because when a person spoke about 1Malaysia, it meant unity and understanding among the different races.
Among those who attended the open house were businessman Hamudi Khalid, 42, and his wife Hanie Zul, 36, who brought their two children and two nephews to the event.
"We did not expect Psy to sing the song twice! The kids were ecstatic, jumping around with the horsey dance style. They just can't stop talking about it.
"We were quite happy to see Shila Amzah too. We enjoyed her good singing," Hanie said.
Besides locals, tourists also found the event a memorable experience.
A group of eight travellers in their 20s from Canada, Denmark and England were among those vibrantly dancing to the Gangnam Style song.
Annelis Larsen, 21, said the group had met while in Malaysia and they decided to attend the open house in order to catch Psy in action.
"We are his fans, big fans. That's why we are here!" she said.
Lim Lean Kee, 77, who lives behind the Han Chiang school field where the event was held, woke up at 3:30am to get ready.
"My grandson who is 17-years-old, is a Psy fan, that's how I know the performer.
"He walked with me here at 5am.
"We came early as I cannot walk fast," she said, adding that the funny dance made her happy.
At 1:38pm, Psy tweeted: "U were hotter than weather hotter than ever!! One Malaysia!! #Penang"
Najib replied to Psy's tweet by saying: "@psy oppa ... Psy u were sizzling hot ! Malaysians love your gangnam performance."
COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK