For me, it was a pop concert. For my daughter 13 and her bestie, it was the pinnacle of a three year idolization crusade. A three day build-up of hotel stake outs and minute by minute checks of social medias. A three hour wait at the doors of the venue. Until the best three hours of their lives.
It was bad boy pop star tagger from Ontario, Canada himself. Justin Bieber. In the flesh.
The minute he mooched onto the stage, I was fascinated. His 8,000 girl-women fans, plain star struck. There he was, cool as a rare white tiger in his swaggy bleached leathers, gold shadzes and quiffed hair.
He strolled the length of the narrow stage, all of eight stay-in-your-seats-at-all-time seats away. King Justin was in da house. Giving us the STARE. Slowly. Deliberately. From side to side. His hands clutched together over his crotch in an old man’s pose.
I tried not to giggle at this swaggering man child. He ain’t quite Elvis. Yet. He’s 19. His real fans just cried into each other’s Impulsed armpits and tried not to faint.
‘Justin Bieber,’ he drooled. Dropping the ‘I’m’ like Gaga’s Lady. ‘Just-in Bie-ber.’
When he finally broke into song his fandom fell in love all over again. Swooning. Screaming. Weeping. Holding up their I-phones. Mapping memories of losing their concertinity with Justin. Bieber.
‘He’s so HOT,’ my daughter yelled to newly befriended Beliebers.
‘YEAH,’ they cried back.
Our girls had climbed a row ahead, leaving us mums to our middle-aged merlot-ed view of things. I shuffled conservatively trying not to look like I was enjoying myself too much. Because I was.
I took photos off Juzzer. For my daughter. A record of the night, to make up for the $500 VIP pass - guaranteed one-on-one photo opportunity with The Bieb, that her father and I had decided she didn’t need.
Between songs, he spoke to the audience like old friends in his soft Canadian drawl. He sounded coldy. I hoped his vocals would hold out. Being at the end of a year long World Tour and all.
First off - his gold shadze. The girl-crowd went girlier. His was a protracted undressing.
I was fixed on his mouth at the end of the second song. His lips were sealed, yet vocals came out. A pre-recorded mix? Lip synching?
‘I’m going to play an acoustic number now,’ he said. ‘But I just need to warm up my vocals.’ He wasn’t wrong. So he did. Tra la la sort of. He picked up his guitar and started over. I was convinced. From then on.
‘Let me get a little more comfortable here,’ he teased, in well-rehearsed come on before song number three.
Off went his jacket. He flexed his lean tattooed biceps. I-phones pinged. And so it went.
An overexcited group behind sang every word to every song in a distorted falsetto. Who was I to spoil their fun and tell them to shut it.
Two teenage down syndrome girls dressed in lilac sun dresses - Justin’s colour. Tossed their long blond manes to the beat. Happiness filled. Earlier, a Limosine delivered 10 Cure Kids children (one of Justin’s Charities), for the night of their lives.
That’s what I’ve always enjoyed about these teenage concerts. For one night, all these tender youth have no care. Plump, plain, pretty, bright or challenged – no matter. For one night there were 8,000 Less Lonely Girls in that arena. All getting it on with Justin Beiber. And his music.
Pant pant. Swoon swoon went the crowd. Theirs was a hormonal heaven.
He played guitar. Drums. Danced crazy energetic hip hop with his huge ensemble. Changed his hi-tops. Leathers. And singlets.
Then pam off came another one.
Oooh cheered the crowd. Deafening. But not bawdy. It was Walt Disney coming of age. And as far as getting it off in public goes, this pop-star-pole dance was way more watchable than Miley Cyrus twerking her bits on the telly.
I adjusted my lens. Stuck a finger in one ear. And captured the Calvin show. He’d definitely give Marky Mark a run for his money. Soon his pants dropped to a truly ridiculous right on Jerry sort of low riding level. Occasionally he hitched them with a mini ineffectual groin grab. Where was his mother?
Perhaps he was channeling his feminine side. Going-out with generations of women rubbing their pantyhose together in just above the knee pencil skirts. It didn’t look comfy. Waddling along.
He reached out for a hand touch and damn near lost those trou.
But honestly the guy could have worn a bee keepers outfit (minus the headgear) and they would have still Beliebed.
‘Have you been with me from the start?’ Justin asked the crowd during his two song encore. His first hint of vulnerability.
The crowd answered in cheers. Naturally.
My daughter definitely has. Since the sweet age of ten. Her room became a progressive four walled postered shrine to him. She begged for his every publication, cd, dvd and pongy perfume. They’re close. He tweets to her. Along with 47,339,413 other followers…
And then he played his final song. Sweaty girls softly cried. And hugged.
He exited the show in slow motion. Echo-ing his name. Hitching his pants. ‘Just-in Bie- ber. Jus-tin Bie-ber,’ as the stage floor gobbled him up.
Just in case we’d forgotten. Only three long lonely years and he’ll be back…