I wasn’t sure what to expect with Justin’s show, aside from a bunch of screaming young girls. I got to the XL Center around 2 to meet up with my friend Amber and to see if we could figure out how to get to meet Justin (no luck there)
Doors opened at 5:30, but we hung around a bit for the crowds to go in and also to wait for Christine and her niece to show up. When I went through the line to get my bag checked, the guy said GloSticks weren’t allowed, so he made me leave Amber’s on the table. Except that 2 seconds previously he had let Christine through with the glosticks I had given her, and I had more on the bottom of my bag (and when are they ever not allowed?) It was odd. He also was like “I don’t think they are allowing them…” He pretty much just made it up. But Amber was able to go around the other side and steal them back so we got them in.
I had won 2 sets of tickets and they weren’t next to each other, they were in 2 different sections. We went to our seats and waved at each other. After the first couple opening acts we had Christine and Tricia come down near us, because no one was there, and they were able to sit there the whole show!
The first opening act was The Stunners (http://www.thestunnersmusic.com/) They were a group of 5 girls and for one of the songs one played a guitar while the other played a violin which was interesting. They weren’t on stage for very long.
Right after, Jessica Jarrell (http://www.islanddefjam.com/artist/home.aspx?artistID=7343) She has a really good voice and did a short set.
After Jessica was off the stage they set everything up for Sean Kingston (www.seankingston.com). His band intro-ing him seemed to take FOR-EV-ER. At first, I was unsure of the pairing of Sean Kingston and Justin Bieber, but the crowd seemed very into Sean’s set and he definitely got everyone pumped and ready for Justin!
Then it was time for the moment we were all waiting for – Justin Bieber! I had forgotten that young girls like to scream whenever anything is happening on stage – guys walking by setting up equipment, etc. So there were a couple of times I was caught off guard without the earplugs in – but let me just tell you the new plugs I bought are AMAZING. I never really tried them out for a complete show until Bieber but they are the best $11 or whatever I have EVER spent. They really do turn down the volume. I could hear all the perfomances great, nothing seemed muffled, and the screams were at a bearable volume level.
The show started with Justin appearing in a globe and he sang Love Me. I actually knew the words to most of this one since it samples the Cardigans song ‘Lovefool’. Justin was dressed in white and purple – and of course had on a Yankees hat. :/ A purple Yankees hat at that.
He sang a few more songs and then this giant heart appeared on stage. He sat inside it, got strapped in, and went out over the crowd, spinning, so everyone could get a good look at him. I thought this was a great touch to get closer to the people in the back (even though he only went about halfway across the floor)
After solidly doing about 7 songs in a row, it was time for the videos to come on so he could do wardrobe changes. They seemed to come a bit too often from this point onward.
One of the videos was about his backup singers, Legaci, who he found on YouTube. (Of course a bit of a Pay It Forward as Justin himself was also discovered on YouTube) They did a medley of bits of Usher’s OMG, Train’s Hey Soul Sister, Jay Sean’s Down, Justin Timberlake’s My Love, Bruno Mars and BOB’s Beautiful Girls and Travie McCoy’s Billionaire (aka mostly songs popular on the radio right now with the exception of Timberlake) I was really impressed with them.
After the medley, another item moved to the front of the stage, that looked like a cage. It was the basket of a Hot Airballoon and Justin once again went out into the crowd this time bobbing up and down while he sang his song “Up”
Another break where the DJ tried to keep us entertained as we were nearing the end of the show.
Justin did a few more songs – including Eenie Meenie with Sean Kingston. (Sean had done some of the song during his set as well) and a medley of Want to be starting something and Walk this way, which showcased Justin and his backup dancers skills.
Then a sign went up on the screens saying thank you and goodnight. But the house lights weren’t on and he hadn’t done Baby yet so we knew we still had at least another song coming.
Justin came out and thanked the fans and did With You by Chris Brown acapella. Then he sang Baby and the place went crazy. Usher even showed up for about 10 seconds, waving his arms. He gave Justin a hug and then he ran off stage. It would have been nice if he stayed out there a little longer and maybe even sang with Justin – but it was a nice surprise (even though Amber had said she thought she saw him arriving earlier in the day so we knew he would be coming out at some point lol)
Overall the show was very entertaining, lots of dancing, a little lip synching… The worst part was trying to get out of the parking garage! For some reason they did pay as you leave – which made no sense to me. (Last time i went to this venue I had parked in a different garage) People arrive staggered so it makes more sense to have them pay the $10 when they get there, and then afterwards just have all the gates open so people can freely leave. But, after about 25 minutes everything cleared out and I was able to make my way home!