SHOW REVIEW: JUSTIN BIEBER @ ANZ STADIUM 15TH MARCH 2017

If you weren’t one of the 70,000 Justin Bieber fans at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night, I have some good news: you probably still have your hearing. The sound of 70,000 people literally screeching for 90 minutes straight is something that I could have definitely gone without, but was it worth it? Keep on reading to hear my honest thoughts.

Arriving at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday was overwhelming for me personally. Admittedly, I’d been waiting for this day for about 8 years. Since the first time I laid eyes on the then 15 year old Justin – I was in love. From ‘One Time’ up until his most recent album ‘Purpose’ and through to this day, I’m proud to admit to being a Belieber.

I arrived to my seat right as support act Martin Garrix was taking the stage. I believe a support act is supposed to get you excited for the headliner, and in this case, Martin Garrix did just that. From his first hit single ‘Animals’ through to the more recent ‘In the Name of Love’ he had the crowd out of their seats and dancing.

After a swift clearing of the stage, the lights went out. ANZ Stadium was completely dark, Justin was about to enter the stage. The lights came back on, and the screams began (mine being one of them). The audience was met with the first of many impressive visuals sprawled out across the numerous large screens, and then, Justin arrived, suspended in the air inside of a glass box with his opening number and first song on his album Purpose ‘Mark my Words’. By this point, it was already obvious to me that this show was going to be not only amazing visually, but also that Justin’s voice does sound as good live as expected.

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Lowered back to the ground, Justin kicked the show into gear with his hit ‘Where Are U Now’ surrounded by back up dancers, showcasing his undeniably good dance skills. One thing that I need to point out is that in upbeat dance songs such as this, it becomes questionable whether or not Justin is singing live the entire time, or rather over a prerecorded track. In saying this though, I’m not insinuating that he is Brittney Spears style lip syncing, there are definitely parts of the songs where he was quite obviously singing live, but turning his microphone volume up right at the end of the song so that you can hear him panting just makes it more obvious.

Continuing on with Purpose songs Get Used To It, I’ll Show You & The Feeling without saying a word to the crowd, I started to feel as though Justin was a little detached from his 70,000 fans in the audience. Personally, a little ‘how are you feeling Sydney’ thrown somewhere in there would have pumped me up a lot more. After touring the same show for over a year with another 5 months left, I do sympathise with him. During his song ‘I’ll Show You’, Justin literally performs from inside a steel cage with flame like visuals spinning around the outside, which I can’t help but feel is a representation of how he’s been feeling lately.

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Photo: @JustinBieber instagram

Slowing things down, Justin took the stage alone and sat on a red velvet couch to bring us a beautiful acoustic version of his song with Major Lazer ‘Cold Water’ followed by his own song ‘Love Yourself’. It was moments like this during the show really captured Justin’s raw, vocal talent.

A quick point to make before i go on any further: If you haven’t listened to Purpose in full multiple times, there are going to be (numerous, long) chunks of his set that you end up sitting in your seat looking generally confused. The Purpose tour, is quite obviously, centred around the Purpose album. So if you’re reading this and heading to an upcoming leg of the show, do yourself a favour and listen to the whole album.

I’ll give credit to Justin for really changing his mood and picking up the vibe of the show after he finished his acoustic songs. Whether he realised he was standing in front of 70,000 people who paid an average of $150 each to see him perform, or whether someone off stage reminded him of the horrible reviews he received for his Melbourne leg of the show, he completely flipped his energy levels and brought us what we paid to see: Justin Bieber in all of his entirety. 

For the rest of Justin’s set, I had the time of my life (and honestly was not taking mental notes for this post because I was simply enjoying myself too much, my bad). Highlights such as his song ‘Children’ (which is literally impossible not to dance to) where he welcomed 5 local kids onto stage to dance with him showed us the inspirational and kind Bieber we all love and remember.

Finishing off his show with a bang (yes, there were fireworks) Justin powered through hits such as Baby, What do you Mean?, Let me Love you Life is Worth Living before slowing it down once again and sitting on the stage for his song Purpose, during which, I cried actual tears (to be fair though that happens to me when i listen to that song on any given day).

Lowered down into stage, people started to leave thinking the show was over (rookies), before Justin exploded back onto the stage for one last hurrah, his song ‘Sorry’. With everyone out of their seats and dancing, it was clear that despite some moments of boredom from the pop king, he could do no wrong to this crowd.

In conclusion, could Justin have been more interactive? Yes. But was it any thing short of amazing? No.

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Written by: Sarah Taylor

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