I went to a Justin Bieber concert.

I survived.

Last christmas I got two tickets for Justin Bieber’s Purpose World Tour in Munich. On Friday, September 16th, 2016, the time had finally come.

I gave the second ticket to a friend of mine who is a real belieber. She loves everything about Justin Bieber. When I woke up that day, I decided to see the entire event out of a rational, as unbiased as possible perspective. Having my belieber-friend with me would likely only add to my experience.

When we arrived (sufficiently early for mytaste) at the Munich Olympic Park where the concert took place, we were already standing in an enormous line of people who were all here for Bieber. Entrance had just begun, and we moved forward fairly quickly, which was nice. Standing in that line among the many 14 and 15 year-old girls, I noticed that most of them looked extremely similar. As I began looking closer, I could nail the similarities down to a few significant points:

  • All shoes were white. The very few exceptions are not even worth mentioning in a crowd of 14,000 people.
  • Pants were often high-waisted, combined with crop tops. Showing skin, but not the belly button.
  • Special attention was payed on eyebrows. They all had very… sharp edges? I don’t really know how else to describe it. They were not natural though.

These things, combined with other accesories like chokers (the weird black necklaces) or caps, this is the typcial image of the often-seen hipster teen. I don’t have too much sympathy for these people because they often seem very hypocritical to me, but more on that later. Let’s focus on the concert.

As we got closer to 8:30 pm, surprisingly the stadium was not filling faster. I made a time lapse of the people taking their seats. Or at least that is what I tried to do, but even though I recorded at least 30 minutes, the number of people did not increase much. That was pretty surprising, especially because the concert was supposed to be sold out…

At exactly 8:32 pm, the lights went off. As soon as that happened, All I could hear was a deafening, high-pitched noise, louder than a plane taking off. All the hipster girls went completely nuts within half a second. As an introducing piece of music began to play, the screaming intensified, only to decrease heavily when the man on stage turned out to not be Justin Bieber. Instead, the warm-up started and a hip hop/trap artist named Vic Mensa took the stage.

For the next 30 minutes, we would hear typical trap music. These 30 minutes were everything except special. He could have stopped after two songs and the content versatility would have been equal to his half-hour gig. Not that he wasn’t entertaining, but he didn’t quite make the crowd as hot as he was supposed to.

However, what made everybody go completely bananas was Justin Bieber’s commercial for Calvin Klein, which played in between Vic’s performance and the actual concert. I felt like the noise of shrieking girls became more deafening with each minute.

After 6 nervous minutes, finally it was time. The lights went off, the crowd went nuts and an impressive light show began to illuminate the 14,000 people in vibrant colours. The stage was layed out really cool, with huge LED screen which you could walk on instead of stairs. Props to whoever did that stage design.

It took a little too long for my taste until Justin appeared in person for the first time. And that first encounter was… well… a little weird, too. To the vocal sample of „Mark my Words“, he rose above the stage in an elevated cage. He didn’t stop at stage level though. He went much higher, to the point where we could barely see him. After the song was over, the cage went all the way down again. Under the stage. With Justin. Jokingly I said „alright, that was the concert, let’s go home“ as I was looking over to my friend who was exhausted, her face covered in tears and mascara. It’s mind blowing how roughly two minutes of him being on stage (or rather floating above it, barely visible for the majority of the audience) can drive people absolutely nuts.

Needless to say, the concert wasn’t over. The next one and a half hours were filled with lip-snyced performances, mainly from his new album „Purpose“, but from older records aswell. All songs are accompanied by great dancers and an impressive light show. The only time where there wasn’t a light show and where he actually sang live was during his performance of „Love Yourself“. You could tell that he was singing live because it really didn’t sound good or in tune most of the time. That was kind of sad.

During the show, I started remembering how Bieber started out, and how so many people (including me) used to hate him in his early days. But every now and then (most notably during the performance of „Been You“, a song off of Purpose) he made me realize that he – despite his pop/teenie star image – makes some awesome R&B and dance music.

Unfortunately, that’s pretty much how deep I can get into describing the concert, because – much like Vic Mensa ealier – his show was good, but after three songs there was barely anything new to be excited about. It became repetitive. Lights went out, people screamed, he lip synced while showing off some dance moves, people kept screaming, and the song was over. And it started again, lights went out,… The only notable occurance was the use of a floating stage with a built in trampoline for one song. The stage hung down from the ceiling just above the crowd, much like Kanye West’s stage on his new Sain Pablo Tour. Except that Bieber’s stage wasn’t solid, it was a big trampoline where he and the dancers jumped and made saltos on. But again, that was just for one song during a one and a half hour gig.

Something that I found really sad and also kind of pathetic was that after the one and a half hours, there was no encore. And it’s not like the people didn’t want one. Remember the screaming hipster girls I mentioned earlier? They would have listened to every single second of an encore, and they would have definitely filled every second of it with their screams and immature excitement. But no. After Sorry, the last song that was performed, he just walked off stage. He did not say thank you or good night, he just stood there with no shirt on, covered in water (they had installed artificial rain for the performance of Sorry), waved to the people and eventually left. Boom. That was it.

After the concert, the people kept cheering for about 20 seconds, then quickly realized that he was not going to come back and rushed to the exits. Or, not to exits exactly. Many people stopped at the completely overpriced merch shops in hopes of getting shirts and hats before they went out of stock.

All in all, it wasn’t an impressive performance by Justin himself (which would have been the most important part), but I still sort of enjoyed the show. The lights and dancers were cutting-edge, and I enjoyed experiencing this atmosphere of insane excitement in the stadium. I didn’t regret attending a Justin Bieber concert.