It’s hard not to have a strong opinion on Justin Bieber. Whether you follow every tweet, believe and hang onto every sung word. Or have no real idea who he is. The crux is you will have formed an opinion of sorts. As for me? I’ve heard ‘Baby’ a few times and thanks to his mug shot on my ticket I now even know what he looks like. One thing I don’t have is an informed opinion.
First impressions then: The view, well it’s spectacular. In the inky blackness glow sticks, camera flashes and funny neon ears light the arena. Seeing as the largest venue I usually frequent is Academy 1, this is on a whole different scale. The noise, really it’s obscene! Imagine 12,500 young female lungs screaming for all their worth. Justin’s name gets a mention, SCREEEEAM! Roadie walks on stage, SCREEEEAM! 15 minute countdown to the show starting, SCREEEEAM! Get the picture?Costs. Ticket price £35. JB Hoodie £50, on that basis it’s easy to see how he’s worth an estimated $117 million. Question is, is Bieber worth it?
As the countdown hits 0.00.00 it’s finally Show Time. Amid the smoke and spotlights out walks the just turned 17 year old Canadian dressed all in white and chrome. predictably the crowd reaches fever pitch. What to say of Justin? He can dance, that there is no doubt. I think he can sing, I heard a rumour that he may have been lip syncing but from where I’m situated it’s difficult to tell.
As far as shows go it is spectacular, and that seems to be the point of the whole concert. Watching the show I feel as though it’s less about the music and more about the visual aspects. Everywhere you look there’s something to feast your eyes upon; lasers, flames, smoke, huge video projections of Justin, singing, dancing and even some quite heart warming personal videos of JB as a youngster. Learning to swim, ride a bike, play drums and guitar.
Surprisingly, deep meaning messages weren’t as plentiful as I expected, although a safety message warning against texting whilst driving was a notable inclusion. Especially given that most of the audience are far, far younger than the UK’s legal minimum driving age.To a 34 year old male it’d be easy to write how cheesy the show was, but to a teenage girl it must have been out of this world. In my mind Bieber’s drum solo was a touch cheesy, to a female teenager – amazing. Justin playing acoustic guitar, suspended from a heart above the heads of the audience in my mind is a touch cheesy. To a teenage girl… It simply doesn’t matter does it? For the whole show JB has everyone eating from the palm of his hand. And he’ll probably be having the same effect on his fans for the next few years. And as long as young fans have a liking of pop music, odds are they’ll continue to eat from his hand.
Justin’s plainly got the skills the pay the bills. He can sing, dance, play guitar, drums and piano. He performs with a confidence far older than his age suggests. As far as the music goes my ears weren’t really paying that much attention, my mind was more than occupied with everything else going on around me. SCREEEEAMING girls, lights, dancing and the planet’s most famous 17 year old. JB at the NIA is not my usual type of gig but there’s no denying the boy’s got something special.
I read a piece today comparing Bieber to Kurt Cobain and how JB is a modern day Cobain to this current generation of teenagers. Personally I disagree, but there’s no denying they do have one thing in common “You don’t become that famous by pure accident”. Kurt secretly wanted it, Justion has it.
Review – Lee Hathaway
Photos – Steve Gerrard