SINGAPORE – South Korean singer Seungri usually performs as part of K-pop group quintet BigBang, but last Saturday (Feb 23), the 28-year-old was the centre of attention at his solo concert at The Star Theatre.

Dazzling a crowd of 1,600 ardent fans, the K-pop idol held his own during the 100-minute set, in which he sang a mix of BigBang’s and his own hits and chatted with fans in fluent English.

Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, opened the Singapore stop of his first solo tour – The Great Seungri Tour – with a rousing performance of BigBang’s 2015 chart-topper Bang Bang Bang, which saw concertgoers rising to their feet and chanting along to the chorus.

Although the energy of the crowd was palpable, the 5,000-seat theatre was only a third full, and this did not go unnoticed by the singer, who played it off breezily.

“I can see empty seats, but fine, fine, fine. I don’t care because I have you guys,” he said.

While the concert was a high-octane affair, with the crowd readily acquiescing to his requests to jump and put their hands in the air, Seungri also worked in sentimental ballads such as his 2011 solo In My World, and surprised fans with a heartfelt rendition of Mandopop royalty Jay Chou’s The Longest Movie (2007).

During the show, Seungri repeatedly professed his love of Singapore and peppered his sentences with Singlish. “Any other Korean artist can’t do this. I’m the best (at Singlish) because I love Singapore so much,” he said.

The K-pop star was flanked by two male dancers during performances of songs such as his solo hit Gotta Talk To You (2013).

The stage set-up was simple, with lit LED screens, strobe lights and occasional smoke effects to complement the singer’s performance.

The seasoned entertainer, who made his debut in 2006, is known for his candour, and he invited peals of laughter from the audience throughout the night.

When talking about how social media connects the world, he said he sometimes hates such platforms because of the rumours that circulate about him on them.

“But I love rumours, you know. It’s better than nobody talking about me. Rumours are like love,” he joked.

After noticing fans holding up banners which read “I’ll stay with you” in Korean, he responded: “You guys can stay with me because I’m not a bad guy.”

Long-time fan Mohammad Azroy Ruzaini praised the singer’s showmanship.

“I was so surprised by his Mandarin and Singlish. He was very down-to-earth and that made me feel closer to him,” said the 30-year-old, who paid $208 for his ticket.

For Malaysian fan Norlina Osman, flying in to see the singer was a no-brainer.

“This is my last chance to see him before he enlists in the army. I just wish he had performed more of his solo songs because they’re so good, but he rarely sings them,” said the 28-year-old architect.

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