Never say never...
"I wouldn't go to a Justin Bieber concert even if you paid me", I used to say to my friends. So imagine my delight as my co-ordinator smilingly informed me that that is exactly what I would have to do for a video for ewn.co.za.
"What was a 24-year-old man going to do at an oestrogen-induced concert of a teenage pop star?" I asked myself. The more I thought about it, the more my inner optimist came out and soon I was thinking it might not be the worst thing ever and I could probably even have some fun. Office banter was of course inevitable, but once the jokes subsided I swallowed my pride and prepared for what was undoubtedly going to be an unforgettable evening - whichever way you look at it.
Having sat through a two-hour nightmare drive from Sandton to the FNB Stadium, my colleague and I were finally making our way into the venue. The screeching sound of thousands of teenage girls bellowed from within the stadium, making me question my decision to leave my earplugs at home. Once inside, the show got underway and from the get-go, the so-called 'Beliebers' hung onto every word the superstar sang.
As if it was humanly possible, there seemed to be no end in sight to the ever-increasing decibel levels of his die-hard fans. Some relatively good production, dancing and numerous firework displays followed. In the spirit of Mother's Day, the singer even pulled his mom onto stage to serenade her with his hit One Less Lonely Girl. Video footage of Bieber growing up and his rise to fame was somewhat of an odd feature to the show as I'm sure many people paid to see the artist do his thing rather than watch home movies.
My attention was however quickly drawn to the more obvious white elephant in the stadium... the amount of young men my age and older (without any children), bobbing their heads and singing along to the Canadian performers songs. Clearly the age limit of 'Bieber fever' knows no bounds.
This led to the highlight of my evening - the neverending quest of finding out just exactly what makes Mr Bieber the biggest thing since sliced bread. Comments like "his hair", "his sexiness" and "his awesome dance moves" led me to believe I would never find the answer I was looking for. It was however the comments made by a few children which boggled my mind even more. Asked about their favourite part of the show, giggles would erupt from girls under the age of ten as they said, "The part where he took his shirt off".
So with a reduced sense of hearing and slightly troubled minds, my colleague and I made our way back to face the horror that was stadium traffic. As our equipment was being packed away into the boot of the car, I found myself still grappling with the issue of why Justin Bieber is so amazing. Because it's one thing to have thousands of fans screaming your name, but it's another when a teenage girl relates her experience to you about how she fought tooth and nail for a t-shirt which was thrown into the crowd. She showed me the fresh scars on her hand from the scuffle she and her friends got into just to get a piece of Bieber's t-shirt the size of a matchbox. "It was totally worth it... he sweated on this" she told me.
Love him or loathe him, the youngster is clearly doing something right with sold out concerts around the world and millions of albums sold at the tender age of 19. To 'belieb' or not to 'belieb' seems an irrelevant question because for those who do, Justin Bieber is the Michael Jackson of today's young generation.
Reinart Toerien is an EWN Multimedia Journalist.