Last night (21st Oct) I went to see Justin Bieber in Manchester. This was my second time seeing him in concert, the first time was 3 years ago in Birmingham for the ‘Believe’ tour.
After such an amazing show last time, I had high expectations for the ‘Purpose’ tour. It took me almost 6 hours to get to Manchester due to heavy traffic and roadworks, so I was understandably exhausted and hungry before the evening began.
As I was “up North” I had to have pie mash and gravy, it’s the law you know? After I ate that I headed straight to the arena which was luckily very close to where I was staying.
When I got to the venue I was surrounded by ‘Purpose’ merch. Anything you could possibly think of was available. I was pretty spent out after buying my ticket and paying for the hotel. I had thought about buying a keyring but at £10, I decided to pass. I was glad that I’d already kitted myself out in cheaper stuff I’d found online.
By the time I got there I’d already missed MiC LOWRY and only caught the last five minutes of the second support group The Knocks. They were alright, but we all know that the crowd is only interested in the main act.
Not so epic entrance
The opening song ‘Mark My Words’ saw Justin come out in a glass box that he wrote stuff on. I couldn’t make out what was being written as I was too far away, but not too far away to notice he didn’t seem to be singing much.
I’m not saying that he was miming, he just seemed to be relying heavily on the backing track (of him singing). This was evident when his mic was nowhere near his mouth yet you could still mysteriously hear his ‘voice’. This only really happened when he was dancing.
In my opinion, I think he could have put the mic to his mouth to make it look like he was singing! I remember when I last saw him he had a head mic so it allowed him to dance freely and sing. It’s a shame he didn’t have one of these this time around, especially as I have seen photos of him with these types of mics.
Of course, this was the ‘Purpose’ tour so it was bound to be packed full of his new songs. It was, and he even included his new track ‘Let Me Love You‘ with DJ Snake which included the crowd joining in on the ‘na na na’ moments, which were epic.
He sang a couple of songs from his previous back catalogue . Hits such as ‘All That Matters’ (Journals), ‘Boyfriend’ (Believe) and of course ‘Baby’ from his debut album (My Worlds). Although it seemed like the majority of people were there for his new stuff, I was glad he revisited his old stuff – keeping us day 1 Beliebers happy.
His dancing was on point and his backing dancers were amazing too. There were loads of acrobatics going on and even JB got in on the action. To perform the track ‘Company’, a huge trampoline came down from the ceiling. He danced and bounced around on the huge trampoline that was suspended above the crowd, and did some pretty impressive back flips. I think I would have been more impressed had he been singing.
Showcasing his endless talent, Justin thrashed out an incredible drum solo. The drum kit raised up into the air as he played above the crowds. He came back down to earth to continue performing the rest of his hits.
You’ve probably read in the press about him telling crowds to be quiet before he sings this set, and understandably so. I have read so many people bitching about him saying that he was ‘rude’ doing that. As far as I’m concerned, I paid to hear him sing, not to hear the crowd scream. So before he started the acoustic set, he did speak briefly and asked the crowd nicely to be quiet for him to play his guitar. I’m pleased to say that the crowd responded very well, unlike they had done the previous night (according to reports). He didn’t let me down when he got out his guitar and sang an acoustic version of ‘Cold Water’ and ‘Love Yourself’. This was probably my favourite part of the show. No gimmicks, just his voice and it was perfect. Justin really is such a talented singer, I only wish he showed off his vocals more.
One thing I will say about him is that he does put on an incredible show, visually. The stage production was amazing. From laser beams to the occasional firework. Of course, the crowd were entertained by clips of him that we hadn’t seen before, all building up to him re-entering the stage. When he performed ‘What Do You Mean’, the stage become the skate park which we all know is in the music video of the song. The attention to detail was insane.
So with my Bieber checklist in mind, subconsciously I was hoping he would match or top this. In fairness to him, the only thing he didn’t do was take his top off. Justin spent most of the time sporting numerous ‘Purpose’ merch clothing – product placement at it’s finest.
Have you been to any of his UK shows? I’d love to hear what you’ve thought. Let me know
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