This is a mildly shameful post. I went to a Justin Bieber concert and I liked it.
My official story is that it was for the children. It was their Christmas present. Truthfully, it was for 12 year old Jana. She got her first pimple last week and I needed to cheer her up.
In the weeks leading up to the show, the Eight Year Old watched Justin Bieber music videos every day. The Eleven Year Old was less enthusiastic. Buying concert tickets for a preteen a few months in advance is not always such a great idea. Bieber is not cool any more. Apparently Skrillex is all the rage. Not when Skrillex was actually in the country of course.
For once Big Concerts got the opening acts right by selecting South African performers who fit in the main act’s demographic. Chiano Sky held her own amongst the boys in skin tight red ‘leggings as pants’. I suspect the Beliebers might have been slightly jealous of the fact that she got to meet Bieber because she definitely did not get the cheer that she deserved. The Locnville twins, on the other hand, were met with screams to the tune of roughly 75% of the decibels that for Bieber.
The wait was excruciating. For the Beliebers. I spent that time going to the restroom, created false hope by pointing randomly at exits while shrieking and not standing in the queue at the bar. The lack of a queue was Utopia. The Beliebers spent the time going hysterical every time there was a slight change in scenery. A changeover of song, a sneeze, a pin dropping.
Then there was the ultimate change of scenery: A loud bang, a blinding flash from the stage and a ten minute countdown on the screens. A short high pitched 10 minutes later the man himself swaggered on stage all decked out in white with a walk best described as zombie gangster. The Beliebers went crazy. The cool people who were only there as “chaperones” went crazy. Even the guy selling biltong had a glint in his eye.
The amount of money and planning that went into that show is second only to the Lady Gaga Monster’s Ball. Pyrotechnics that shot high into the air, HD screens that looked better than the real thing, amazing dancers and a killer stage set up.
There was no skandaal. No throwing up or people tackling Justin Bieber. It was a perfectly executed pop concert. There were hints of something more like when Justin performed snippet of rapper Tyga’s Rock City with his bassist. Then it was back to pop business making the girls fall even harder in love with him by grabbing his crotch.
Five songs into the set the Eight Year Old fell asleep. Yes, he slept through the high pitched shrieks of 45 000 + beliebers. He was recovering from the flu but he didn’t want to miss the show. We left about 6 songs later and he was safely tucked in bed by 22:20.
The 12 year old Jana is happy and will go back to her dormant state for the foreseeable future. The 25 year old Jana needs a good rock show now. One where a stupid brat won’t kick her chair. And where she won’t refer to herself in the third person.
The Eleven Year Old had a blast in spite of himself. He might even admit to his friends that he was there. Likely not.
* Photos by @glanskind