As the professional concert-goer within the family, when my younger sister declared that she absolutely had to attend this show, my parents thought it was only appropriate for me to be the chaperone.
My sister, Layla (who is both the youngest sister, and also, the coolest sister) immediately sent me a long list of Bieber’s popular songs and demanded that I memorise them as she was not going to be seen with someone who couldn’t even sing along.
Justin Bieber may be the most popular popstar, but I have never been a fan. The Canadian singer and songwriter has been releasing hit after hit since “Baby” had everyone shook in 2010. Since then, he has released four albums, won an enormous amount of awards and undoubtedly has the most intense fans, commonly known as Beliebers (Do they still call themselves that?)
I wasn’t interested the last time he came to Cape Town and I wasn’t interested now. However, it’s hard to deny his obvious musical talent or the fact that his latest music is pretty good.
We bought seated tickets as I refused to fight for my life in the circle and I am so glad we did. We are both short and my rule is, if I am not going to be right in front, up against the railing, then I would like a seat with a good view. Plus, I like to think of it as a holistic view of the concert, I mean, look at that view.
Sketchy Bongo and the rest of Wolf Pack X first blessed the crowd at around 19:30. It’s the first time I have ever seen them live and they put on a good show, albeit a little chaotic. You have to consider how daunting it is for local acts to have to impress a stadium’s worth of people who aren’t even there to see them. They did it and the crowd loved it.
The crowd quieted down and performed the occasional Mexican wave, most people did it out of boredom, except the guy sitting behind us, who was extremely passionate about it, “Have these people never been to a football match? Come on, come on, don’t let the wave die, come on, come on”
I could almost feel the build-up of excitement in the air as fans, all of ages, waited for Justin Bieber to take the stage.
At 20:30 everyone whoo-ed, sure that he would be exactly on time (LOL) and then kept whoo-ing every time the background music changed and then the lights went out and I joined in on the whoo-ing. Justin Bieber took the stage in a questionable outfit (perhaps it is what the cool kids are wearing nowadays, I will ask Layla) and opened with Mark my Words leading to Where Are Ü Now. We jumped up along with everyone around us and sang along, the upbeat song combined with the wait was excited and then as if their hearts could handle any more excitement… FIREWORKS. The sky lit up and I was in awe.
And then it lit up again, and again and again and it kept going as he performed some of his well known songs, including Boyfriend, Company and Life is Worth Living.
He casually transitioned into an acoustic version on Cold Water which seemed to charm every woman in the room, as if they were not already in love. Every move he made, every time he addressed the audience, there was a noticeable screech. This screech was very different to the excited screech for a favourite song, and also different to the sad/aggressive screech whenever he touched one of the dancers.
Every time the intro of a song started, Layla would excitedly look at me and SQUEAL, I would squeal along with her while asking, “YASSS BUT WHICH SONG IS THIS AND HOW DOES IT GO AGAIN?”
Most people knew the lyrics to each and every song, singing along loyally, as though they had something to prove and then something happened. Every person who was not singing along, suddenly joined in, myself included, as he took us back and performed Baby.
I felt nostalgic for some reason, as I mentioned, I have never been a Bieber fan, yet, I felt nostalgic and almost emotional, thinking about that young, 16-year old boy, and where he is now. Amazing. Amazing and absolutely ridiculous.
Towards the end, parents started carrying their sleeping children out of the stadium and Justin performed Purpose, a song that I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did. He performed this while casually sitting on the stage floor.
When everything was said and done, another wave of people left, before the encore, which was, as you may have guessed, Sorry, a fantastic way to end the show, with more and more fireworks, one after the other.
With our throats feeling strained and our excitement on HIGH, we faced the traffic and made our way home. The show was as good as you would have assumed it to be, the sound was average, as it usually is for anyone who isn’t Golden Circle at Cape Town Stadium.
For someone who only knew about 45% of the songs and 25% of the lyrics of those songs, I admit it, it was good. I may have been won over by the terrific fireworks and light shows (I love lights).
I believe some people felt let down at the JHB show. Were you there? What did you think?
Happy Thursday, I hope you are already enjoying your second cup of coffee.
Shameez Patel Papathanasiou