I’m honestly not sure if I should be calling this the “Kick-Off to 30” or "The Last Hurrah of My 20’s”…
When I purchased tickets for Justin Bieber’s second stop in Ottawa on his Believe Tour one anxiety-filled morning in early December of last year, I considered them a little Christmas-slash-pre-birthday-present to myself. With the concert landing 5 days before my 30th, I thought of it as one last chance to act like a squealing fangirl before I really had to grow up.
And last night was the night!!
In the days leading up to Bieber, I have to admit I was starting to think that maybe buying those tickets wasn’t the smartest thing I’d ever done. I was worrying about how badly Lindsay and I would stick out at a show targeted predominantly at tweens (and even at the spring-chicken-age of 25, Linds would be considered “old”…so what would that make me??) I was also concerned that the fact that we weren’t bringing a 12-year-old with us would have other mocking us. Oh, and that I had to put on my old-lady-glasses to even be able to see from that far up.
But most of all, I wasn’t sure anymore how I felt about the Biebs.
The reason the kid hooked me a few years ago (especially after watching Never Say Never) was because I really admired his almost-squeaky-clean image. He rose to the top, and had all the fame and fortune any teenaged boy could ever want, yet still seemed sweet, down-to-earth, driven to support a wide variety of charities, respectful, and grounded.
In recent months, all of that has started to change. Bieber’s been in the headlines for some less-than-stellar stuff – spitting at reporters and paps, driving way too fast in residential areas, being late for his own shows, and of course the “peeing in the bucket” incident of a few weeks ago… His increasingly bizzare behaviour has had many starting to draw parallels between him and the late Michael Jackson. As much as I was a fan of the King of Pop, I’m not sure he’s one a young star wants to be compared to when it comes to erratic & strange behaviour…
So needless to say, I wasn’t as excited going in to the Bieber concert as I was when I actually bought the tickets 8 months ago.
As it turns out? I’m pretty happy I was there, actually.
Sure, I felt too old. The teeny-boppers were in full force at the Canadian Tire Centre last night, and there was no way I could disguise myself to fit in with them. I don’t even think I can scream at the same glass-shattering pitch that they can.
But I never at any time felt like anyone one was pointing at us and laughing, thinking, “Look at those old ladies! They don’t even have a kid with them!”
And you know what? The Justin that came out and performed last night seemed very much like that down-to-earth kid that I came to adore when I was first afflicted with Bieber Fever. Not the rebellious, aggressive & disrespectful monster that has been portrayed in the media recently. Phewf.
I was just “meh” about his first opener, Cody Simpson - as far as I can tell, he’s the up-and-coming Australian version of the Biebs, but aside from one semi-familiar tune, he wasn’t much to write home about.
The next act, though, was Hot Chelle Rae, and I was a bit more excited about them. Mainly because I LOVE their song “Tonight Tonight”, and even though I wasn’t necessarily familiar with most of their repertoire, they were definitely more up my alley. They were a fun band to watch.
*A sign that you’re the old folks in the crowd, though: When they toss the theme song from “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” into their set, and you scream and sing along while the under-20 crowd are going, “Huh? What’s this??”*
And then… Then it was Bieber time. And if you didn’t already know it, you would figure it out quickly by how loud the screams were.
Seriously. Never heard that kind of screaming before in.my.life.
I remember my dad once telling me the worst concert he ever went to was Elvis at the old Auditorium in Ottawa (‘57 maybe?), and the reason was because he couldn’t even hear him for the screaming girls. I can kind of relate now. Not that I’d ever compare Bieber to the King, of course, but… the screaming? I think it might’ve been similar…
The little girls know how to let the Biebs know they love him. I didn’t even try to join them. They were doing a FAN-flippin-TASTIC job all on their own.
He descended upon the stage from above, wearing giant angel wings (yes, it was weird) with lots of drama, flair and fireworks. Then the Biebs swung into an energetic round of his hits and some new stuff from his most recent album, along with plenty of chit-chatting with the crowd (including a lengthy early-on complaint about a rope that had fallen from above that he wanted fixed STAT), as well as video tidbits between songs up on the big screens.
One of my fave parts? The vids of baby Justin at home, singing and playing. I seriously have a soft spot for baby Justin! I especially loved it when big Justin came on the screen telling kids to follow their dreams, no matter what – if you want to be a doctor, or a police man, or a musician… follow that dream. Then they flash to baby Justin in a home video saying, “I wanna be – I wanna be – I wanna be… a CROSSING GUARD!!”
I admit, he had me bopping in my seat for most of the night. We were probably in a good section for a couple of old ladies – so high up that most people didn’t feel the need to stand up all night. In fact, we seemed to be more surrounded by little wee ones who fell asleep shortly after their idol came on-stage. (HOW they slept through the screaming, I’ll never know.) It was a pretty tame section, and so we were able to just sit back and enjoy.
Highlights for me were “Never Say Never”, “One Less Lonely Girl”, “Die In Your Arms”, and of course the encore which included “Boyfriend” and “Baby”. He danced, he worked the crowd, and aside from spending half the night wishing he’d pull up his pants, I have to say I was pretty impressed.
I’m still a Belieber.
And yet, I’m also definitely an old lady. I know this now. For sure.
30 is only a few days away now, but I’m happy to cross seeing Bieber off the ol’ “Things To Do Before I Turn 30” list. (None such list exists, of course, but whatevs.)
And now I get a few days of rest before the weekend of celebrating begins… and a few days to hopefully get my hearing levels back to normal!