He's not Bon Jovi, but hey this kid is something!
So there I was... sitting in a stadium with tens of thousands of people awaiting the arrival of none other than the teenage wonder of the world - Justin Bieber. I was wishing desperately that I could go back in time - not lose my Bon Jovi tickets (yes, it's true), and rather be engrossed in everything that is the US-Italian rock God that is Jon Bon Jovi! But it was not to be, and so I tried to make the most of it.
I am admittedly not Justin Bieber's greatest fan, in fact I can honestly say I had never heard a single song in its entirety (just whispers of 'Baaaybe Baaaybe Baaaybe Ooooh') until the big announcement that he was heading to our shores. I was then cajoled into buying a CD in preparation for his arrival. I plan to destroy it.
So there I was, doing my motherly duty and accompanying my young son to Justin Bieber, whose name I keep writing as Justine. Not intentionally, I swear, but somehow my fingers transform this pretty boy into, well… a pretty girl. You must forgive my typo, even though I know some of you secretly laugh.
The crowd was in love with this young Canadian, and at the sight of the tiniest bit of flesh thousands of drooling girls - including some mothers - went berserk. The screeching 12-year-old behind me bore testimony to that. I looked back at her with urgency, the journalist in me thinking she had been attacked; a stabbing in a full stadium didn't seem unlikely I thought. Maybe they were trying to mug her, steal her bag? I turned around and saw her clutching her massive pink piece of cardboard, no handbag or attacker in sight, no bloodied knife that I'd imagined when I heard the bloodcurdling scream. Just her pink declaration of love for the young boy loving himself on stage. What it said I have no idea, her constant bobbing and jumping prevented me from reading it properly, but I did manage to make out the words "love, Belieber and marry". I shrank back in my seat. Nothing to see then.
For just a single minute, I too started to get excited as I thought the soothing sounds of his guitarist signaled the start of an Eric Clapton tune. A cover, I wondered expectantly? But alas my out-of-tune ears were to deceive me. There were no Tears in Heaven, just tears in the golden circle as Bieber sang us a melody called Be Alright and then threw his jacket into the crowd of adoring fans who fought over it until some young children started to cradle bits of the jacket like newborns, I imagine. They will never be the same again!
One hour and twenty minutes later it was over. "So short?" I asked as I glanced up from my cellphone. I haven't even finished my Bieber column I mumbled, putting the phone away. Please don't confuse my disappointment with a need to see, or sing more. It had more to do with value for money. When you fork out lots of money, you expect at least 2 hours.
So what's the verdict? Am I a 'Belieber'? Not a chance. I love that I was able to go with my son to his first concert and watch the scenes unfolding in front of us through his young eyes, but I like my girls… ehrm boys, a tad older with more depth and cynicism and a five o'clock shadow that doesn't take a week to grow.
What can I say, he's not Jon Bon Jovi by any means and lacks the depth and intensity of the Bed of Roses hero, but he is only 19 after all and has clearly carved a space for himself in the hearts of millions… so for that I give him full credit.
Katy Katopodis is EWN's Group Editor-In-Chief. Follow her on twitter: @KatyKatopodis