I never fangirl’ed. Not for Britney Spears, nor NSYNC, nor for my truest of loves, Keith Urban. I was never sobbing with poster board on the crowded side of a well-guarded gate while Du Jour* gave a post-flight performance. That’s not to say I don’t love 90s songs or lose myself in dance when ‘Pop’ comes on at a local bar. It’s to say my parents never encouraged obsession. I’m not sure what they did encourage. Incessant snacking? Anyway.
My commitment to attend a recent Justin Bieber concert was surprising even to me. I never liked the Biebs in his youth. I tend not to trust anyone with the same haircut as my middle school crush who moved away too soon (and is still untraceable on Facebook despite my best efforts–why are there so many ways to spell Garrett??! Garett? Garrit? Gayr-itt?), and Bieber had this haircut for a long time, y’all. My only positive tie to JB prior to his recent album was the Fallon impression where Jimmy mostly just makes heart-hands to the audience. Truly, it’s worth your time.
My point being, this concert was not the celebration of many years of loyal fandom. I was only recently converted when JB released his new songs one by one and slowly wooed me into affection. I was new. I was changed. I was a Belieber. Seriously though, I don’t know how many of my friends I forced to watch Parris Goebel’s ‘Sorry’ choreography as we pathetically flailed along. THAT LINE WORK! Beauty. Art. Magic. The decision to purchase tickets was a college student’s whim during a stressful final semester when her future was as concerning as the bat situation in her basement.
I had no idea what demographic or ~vibes~ to expect at this show. Skrillex helped produce a few things on the new album, so I wondered if it would be a more hardcore crowd? He takes off his shirt a lot now; would it be mature audiences only? Would this dancing, dread-locked artist bring in a large crowd of single, adult males who are looking to date a messy post-graduate who has no idea where she will live in a year???
Every kind of girl. Girls who were still babies when ‘Baby’ first came out. Girls who, tragically, have never known a concert without Snapchat. Girls who brought their little girls and girls whose kids stayed with the sitter. And pleasantly enough, there were enough twenty-somethings in attendance to make my Justin-enabler, Sophia, and I not feel ridiculously misplaced. As Soph put it, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many rompers in one place.”
It was indeed a night for romping, but also a night for learning what it’s like to see an artist who’s younger than his backup dancers. To see an artist who has backup dancers, for that matter.
Teenage girl Bieber-screams reach octaves only dogs can and should hear.
The set might involve a suspended trampoline that the performer does flips on even though you want him to just slow down for a second because that’s how you broke your leg and he has a tour to finish, dangit!!!
Did I mention screaming? About everything. For everything. The Calvin Klein underwear advertisement that proceeded the show warranted shrill shrieks of approval.
Your Fitbit will register you dancing and clapping throughout the show and you will get your steps!!
Music is best shared with the person who helped you love it in the first place.
More screaming. But this time, it’s coming from you. You thought you lost your scream as you grew wiser and more mature (pronounced mah-tour, of course), but it turns out you were just warming up your vocals and waiting for ‘Sorry’ to come on.
Lastly, you’re never too old to be 15.
Thanks for the memz, Biebs. You keep me young.
*Du Jour means family. Du Jour means seatbelts.