“My girlfriend left me for Justin Bieber, can I get a hug?” reads the sign a gangly teen holds. Seems like this strat is working, he has already amassed a queue of young nubiles waiting to get a cuddle and take a selfie with him.
Uh oh, what have I gotten myself into? About double the age of most attendees to the Cape Town Justin Bieber concert, I’m feeling a bit like a fish out of water, a stoic alien in a cloud of tingly teen hormones.
Among the general excitable confusion, and rushing pods of squealing, tight jeaned girls, we eventually find the VIP entrance, collect our supremely disappointing VIP goodie bag (erm, a lanyard, notebook and cap – the cap proclaims “Sorry” *insert blank faced emoji face here*) and hit the empty beer bar (one up side to a demographically tween and teen concert).
Unlike myself the general crowd is not disappointed at all and random uncontrollable mass screams seem to happen on the regular, even though nothing apparently exciting has taken place. However eventually all that pent-up emotion and fluttery girl feelings can be rightfully released. The lights cut to a gigantic roar and soon the prince of teen crushes ascends from beneath the stage to the intro of Mark My Words
. Que general shit losing by most.
Flanked by skilled dancers and a pretty bad ass band the Biebs, with his customary coif cropped to a just grown out buzz cut and in a rather surprising outfit of basketball shorts and long socks over white tights, starts doing his thing. Um, is it supposed to look this bored and lazy?
Back track outta here
He joins his back up dancers for a few half-hearted moves, chewing gum the whole time. How much of this is backing track and how much is he actually singing? Judging by the amount of jaw mastication and drinking of water through actual NB lyrics it seems like the backing track is supporting the bulk of the show here. The kids don’t seem to mind and the spectacle of the impressive lights and trigger-happy fireworks seem to be making up for any lacklustreness on the JB’s part.
A few songs in the tone shifts and Justin now straps on an acoustic guitar for stripped down renditions of Cold Water
and Love Yourself
. A little more heartfelt I feel it is at this stage that the Biebs connects the most with his fans and I’m pretty sure he is actually singing here. We stay for a few more songs and smash hit, What Do You Mean?
before calling it a night and heading out to the strains of “Baby, baby, baby oooh!” having endured enough #BieberFever for one sitting.
We night cap our Bieber experience with a Quarter Pounder with extra cheese; transiently tasty but ultimately unsubstantial, lacking in true flavour and way too cheesy. Fitting really.Photography by Jaco Marais