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Charlie Puth stole Phnom Penh’s attention

Anith Adilah Othman / Khmer Times Share:
Charlie Puth putting it to the audience at Koh Pich. KT/Fabien Mouret

Adrenaline ran high tonight as American pop sensation Charlie Puth took to the Diamond Island stage and wowed thousands of fans at the Phnom Penh leg of his Voicenotes world tour.  His debut in the Cambodian capital was brought about by Smart Axiata as a part of its International Mega Concert series.

The party was kicked off by various local acts including Khmeng Khmer, Laura Mam, and Adda, who kept the party alive while waiting for Puth.

At roughly 8:20pm, the stage lights dimmed and the accompanying tunes were cranked down, adding to the suspense of his multitudinous hardcore supporters – known as Puthinators.

The signature riffs of his latest self-produced hit ‘The Way I Am” broke the silence and the spotlight cast Puth’s silhouette on the middle of the stage.

The 27-year-old was clad in monochrome black and sported a dark hairdo that was more fitting than the previous infamous blonde one.

“Phnom Penh, how are you all feeling tonight?” Puth’s raspy voice echoed through the arena and was answered with roaring chants and screams from the fans.

“It’s been a long time coming. Cambodia, I do have one question for you. How long has this been going on?” Puth asked, as his fingers danced on the keyboard and launched straight into the intro of his hit song “How Long.”

The singer-songwriter hyped up the crowd with a series of up-tempo numbers from his latest album, Voicenotes: “Empty Cups”, “LA Girls”, “Somebody Told Me”, et.al.

The crowd waved their glow sticks in the darkness of the outdoor arena, mimicking a starry night, while being serenaded by Puth with “Patience” and “Change” was a spectacle.

“His voice is so beautiful and he is such a great live performer. This was the best concert I’ve ever been to,” a local fan, who wished to be known as Ellie, told Khmer Times.

The arena transformed into a massive dance floor when Puth performed his chart-toppers “Attention’, “Marvin Gaye”, “Done For Me” and “One Call Away”; he also flaunted his musical skills with a brief keyboard rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You”.

The Grammy-nominee then sent the crowd into frenzy when he emerged topless for a performance of “Done For Me”.

Puth capped off the spectacular night by paying homage to the track with rapper Wiz Khalifa that led him to stardom in 2015 – “See You Again” – for the soundtrack of the Fast and Furious franchise.

The Asian leg of Puth’s tour started on October 29 and he has performed in Thailand and China, and will be making pitstops across in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan.

On November 6 he will share the stage with world’s number 1 South Korean band, BTS, at the MBC Plus X Genie Music Awards, days before his own concert, at Seoul’s Jamsil Stadium.

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