News Column

Justin Bieber: The Show in a Word? Aieeeee.

Oct. 22, 2012

Ross Raihala

Justin Bieber

The biggest thing to come out of Canada since curling hit the Target Center Saturday, Oct. 20, and gave a sold-out crowd of 16,000 something to scream about.

For about 100 minutes, Justin Bieber posed, preened, pointed and pouted, turning the downtown Minneapolis basketball arena into the yelling-est place in the Twin Cities, if not all of Minnesota. Bieber fever, it seems, has not subsided quite yet. But now that he's 18, Justin Bieber stands at a crucial point in his career. Or, as fellow teen idol Britney Spears once put it, he's not a girl, not yet a woman.

Just three short years ago, Bieber emerged from out of nowhere (technically, London, Ontario) and quickly captured the attention of a tween nation that was growing tired of Miley and all those Jonases. His songs -- "One Less Lonely Girl," "Favorite Girl," "First Favorite Lonely Girl," and so on -- barely mattered, as least not compared to the Bieb's endlessly pin-uppable mug.

Now, though, Bieber is trying to follow in the footsteps of Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake and transition himself from teen idol to adult pop star. It's harder than it looks. Just ask Timberlake, who hasn't recorded an album since 2006 and instead prefers to make movies and hang around the "SNL" set.

Saturday night, Bieber performed nearly all of his I'm-all-grown-up-now album "Believe," letting the club-friendly tracks boom through the corners of the arena, while decorating the songs with a full dance crew, fireworks

booming from the ceiling and a cherry picker that lifted Bieber above the crowd. He borrowed moves from both of his heroes and gamely tried flirting with the crowd. Not that it mattered. He could've sat on the edge of the stage and fiddled with his iPhone all night. Every time he turned his head, he had the girls screaming.

Bieber kicked off his current tour in September and made worldwide headlines when, midway through "As Long as You Love Me," he vomited onstage while his vocals briefly continued to boom from the speakers. He didn't lose his lunch Saturday night, and was very clearly singing live at times. The Bieb even briefly interacted with actual instruments, strumming an acoustic guitar for "Fall" and sitting behind a white piano for "Believe."

Really, though, the music was the least of Bieber's concerns. Adults may, slowly, start appreciating Bieber's more grown-up stuff, but for now, he remains more of a cult of personality. As long as the kids keep squealing like an aircraft every time he blinks, Bieber is going to remain, well, kid's stuff.

Fellow Canadian Carly Rae Jepsen opened, singing her hit "Call Me Maybe" and several other songs that weren't "Call Me Maybe." That track earned lustful screams, as did the few times she mentioned Justin Bieber's name.



Source: (c)2012 the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.


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