In a moment of perhaps craziness, a friend came up with the idea of going to see Justin Beiber and I agreed. As expected we were probably the oldest people there. Certainly the oldest not accompanied by children. We approached it as a “social experiment.”
I had been too young to experience the frenzy of the Beatles. I wasn’t a huge concert goer in my youth. I liked but wasn’t fanatic about Elton John, David Bowie or Led Zepplin – the performers who generated the most hype in my day. The concerts I went to were more subdued. I saw Bob Dylan, James Taylor, the Kinks. The most raucous concert I attended was The Beach Boys. So I thought I would be interesting to immerse myself in a little adolescent hysteria – courtesy the Bebelivers.
The problem was, Justin just wasn’t very good. There was a lack of connection with the audience and an absence of energy. There was a lot of razzle, dazzle effects and electronica but it didn’t enhance the performance, just the opposite, it contributed to the disconnect. The audience was more vocal and seemed more excited during the warm up performances than during Justin’s performance.
It wasn’t all bad. There was a portion where he stepped into a lift and was cantilevered over the audience just singing and on the second pass, singing and playing his guitar. No pyro, no crazy strobe lights, no overwrought dance moves.
It’s probably just my age, but I hated his wardrobe. Justin wore these stupid pants with the crotch dropped down to knee level – a designer take on hip-hop. It reminded me of the outfit that Dick Van Dyke wore in the scene from “Mary Poppins” when he danced with the animated penguins. Justin sort of wobble danced. The extra long tank top didn’t help the effect. It was like a dress over a saggy diaper. The supporting dancers weren’t wearing ridiculous pants so Justin looked even more stupid in comparison.
I realize he’s trying to make the transition from pop idol to mature performer but after seeing his performance, I have to say, he’s on the wrong path.
The best part of the evening, the fans.