Artist: Justin Bieber * Support act: Mainstreet *Date: April 13th, 2013 * Venue: Gelredome * City: Arnhem, Netherlands * Genre: Pop *Photos by: Me * Stars: 7 (out of 10)
Feeling like a teenager again
Tonight I feel like I’m 12 again, standing in a huge stadium with 30.000 teenage girls around me that scream at everyone who even looks like Justin Bieber. I must confess, I volunteered to be here and many year ago I was one of those girls screaming and crying for my (still) favorite band the Backstreet Boys. All the girls look the same, they are all wearing their JB T-Shirts and have written ‘I Love JB’ with markers of lipstick on their faces.
When I come closer to the stadium I feel like I’m one of the oldest people at the venue (accept for all the mum and dad’s who are there to watch over their daughters). Outside the venue there are many merchandise stands which sell all kinds of JB items like freshly baked cookies. I pick up my ticket and go inside. It turns out that the press has some good seats tonight. Together with some colleague press peeps we’re sitting at the second row at the grandstand.
There’s Bieber Fever all around me
Before the show starts a look-alike from JB enters the venue and all hell breaks loose, girls start running towards him from everywhere and security gets a heart attack. They remove the boy from the venue and all the girls now really believe it’s the real Justin Bieber who justed walked in. OMG, and he’s just a wannabe who just had his 15 seconds of fame. Then the boys from the support act called ‘Mainstreet’ who are a Dutch boyband with 4 fourteen year old boys who have a huge fanbase of teenage girls start running around in the venue…so the girls start screaming again….and they still haven’t lost their voices..
When the Meet & Greet is over backstage a lot of girls come walking from behind that stage, all teared up, crying, screaming and cuddling each other because they’ve just met JB. I again caught myself having a huge flash-back because I know exactly how these girls must feel meeting their favorite idol for the first time. It was touching yet funny to see their reactions. The other press next to me couldn’t really understand why girls would cry after meeting JB, so I tried to explain to them what it feels like for those girls to finally have your biggest dream come true.
Thank God for my earplugs!
Then it was finally showtime. The boys from Mainstreet start their show. Unfortunately the sound is so bad that you can hardly hear what they are singing about. Luckily the fans don’t care much about that because they sing along to all the words already and they probably don’t even notice the bad sound. They boys look amazed by how many girls are screaming their lungs out. 30.000 girls screaming their names must be like a fantasy or slightly terrifying for them. Since they are only 14 years old and never been in front of such a huge audience they are doing a good job.
After Mainstreet we have to wait for over an hour for Mr. Bieber himself. In this white costume he comes in flying with huge angel wings behind him. The crowd goes insane and I’m sooo happy that I’m wearing my earplugs. He ‘lands’ on stage and starts singing ‘All Around The World’ and ‘Take You”. Behind him the stage looks like a machine or like a huge under water world where we see videos of JB swimming. His 12 dancers dance around like ballerinas in beautiful dresses.
From a boy into a man
We see videos of little JB of when he was still the sweet Justin with the cute “Beatles haircut”. Then we see him transform into ‘a man’, at least, that’s what he’s pretending to be. It’s a little disturbing to see him wearing a shirt that’s longer that most of the girl’s dresses in this venue while he’s convincing us that he’s a man now. It must be fashion they call it..to me it just looks ridiculous. You can’t regret that JB is a talented kid, he plays guitar, piano and drums and he sings (not so great) and dances (also not so amazing like I’ve expected him to dance). So I must give him some credits for his effort. And why should he be great at all of those things when all his fans want to see is his sweet smile. They love everything he does anyway.
Halfway though the show he starts playing his guitar above the audience and sings 3 slow ballads, I try not to fall asleep because it’s already late at night since he started after 10pm. Thank God he plays ‘Never Say Never’ after that so I am wide awake again. When he sings ‘One Less Lonely Girl’ a fan called Maya gets invited on stage and he serenades her. She is looking at him like he’s her favorite new puppy while nervously chewing her bubble gum. He teases her like he’s the biggest flirt and all the girls in the audience are looking jealously at her.
JB has one message for his fans tonight, that is to believe in their dreams just like he did. While he sings his song ‘Believe’ all the fans put up their self-made signs saying “We Believe” as a message for their idol. I already knew about this fan collaboration because it was on Youtube a few days ago. It looked quite impressive with 30.000 people participating.
When he comes back on stage for his final two songs ‘Girlfriend’ and ‘Baby’ he’s not wearing his T-Shirt so all the girls can drool at his six pack. When the concert is finished they all go outside with big smiles on their faces thinking of Justin’s cute smile and six pack while their mums and dads have been waiting for them for almost one hour and a half in the rain. I leave the stadium and make my way home in a train filled with JB fans while talking about the concert to this random stranger who I warned about why all the girls are so hyped inside this train.
I didn’t get bieberfever…but I did relate to all the beliebers and loved seeing them have the best time of their live. It brought back some great memories for me, but will I ever go and see Justin Bieber again…well…like he says;
Never Say Never…