Whatever you do, good or bad, people will always have something negative to say. Social media has given rise to a lot of critics with no credentials none of whom have even a faint idea of the price Justin Bieber perhaps paid to get where he is today. They are only concerned about the price they paid something no one forced them to in the first place.
It was 7.30 pm half an hour before Justin Bieber’s maiden performance was slated to start when I decided to head out of the VIP lounge(overflowing with celebrities and liquor) to the Platinum stand to get a more closer look and feel of the Justin Bieber. I wanted to experience the madness. A good 30 minute walk later and after wading through a sea of humanity, I finally struck gold by finding a barely vacant spot inside the stand replete with teenagers, sizable number of adults and few parents(like Anurag Basu who tagged along because their wards were die-hard fans of the Canadian pop sensation) all packed like sardines. With mobiles phones in their sweaty palms, teens waited in eager anticipation to capture the arrival of their idol. The wait begins now, I whispered to my friend.
To mine and everybody else’s surprise at exactly 8.10 pm the lights went dim plunging the stadium into momentary darkness with nothing but the full moon in the sky providing the only spotlight. And then Bieber’s music came alive. Exactly two minutes later, the 23-year old donning simple white t-shirt and shorts burst onto stage greeted by a deafening roar that echoed throughout D.Y. Patil Stadium. Crooning Where Are Ü Now, Bieber got the crowd on their feet almost like knee jerk reaction. Girls sobbed, shouted, sang, danced, climbed on shoulders of their male friends to get a clearer, closer look and sobbed again. The scene looked straight out of some Indian mythology. A female devotee’s long penance finally bearing fruits with the handsome God she loves finally descending in person before her very eyes. Meanwhile parents and other elders watched in amusement unable to explain this phenomenon at first and after a while grew bored and frustrated suddenly feeling out of place.
Greets Indian audience:
Ten minutes into his act, Justin sat on his knees and folded his hands before the crowd in reverential namaste. There comes the Indian touch, I thought. The crowd cheered in retaliation. Being a seasoned performer, the singer used all corners of the big ramp to make sure audience on all sides had a good view of him. He almost came close to picking someone from the crowd..almost.
Two songs down and I could see some discomfort seeping into Justin on stage. Out came a black hand towel that he used frequently to wipe sweat off his face. And all this while he never stopped performing. Moments later came his first glitch. The singer had problems tuning the strings of his guitar and he attributed it to his fingers being slippery owing to the prevailing humid conditions. A quick check revealed that Navi Mumbai was at 79% humidity levels that night. Armed with a towel flung over his shoulder and a bottle of water in hand, Justin went about his business as usual in the sweltering heat. People had paid a bomb to watch him perform live and there was no way he was going to let the heat get better of him.
I love Mumbai, love you guys and I will be back:
A good one hour into his performance, Justin took a breather to engage with the Mumbai audience. Mumbaiii….repeat after me…Mumbaiiii,” said Justin aloud and the mesmerized crowd followed almsot five times in a row. “I love you guys and I will be back, ” announced Justin as the crowd danced with ecstasy.
Indulging kids on stage:
Some surprise in store was when four little kids joined Justin on stage as part of a pre-decided dance performance and grooved along with the singer. Post the brief performance, Bieber asked the kids to introduce themselves, high fived them and hugged each one of them before bidding them adieu. And there was not a single member in the audience who didn’t think the moment wasn’t cute or adorable.
No obscene acts:
While the young popstar has a penchant for going topless and the heatwave conditions provided him the necessary excuse to show off his torso better sense prevailed and JB decided to maintain decency and decorum. Although many in the stadium would have wished for a shirtless act, the moral brigade would have created a hue and cry. JB perhaps stayed away owing to some cautionary dos and donts that may have been issued by his team. Neither did he pull off any extravagant stunt with the Indian tricolour ala Chris Martin who had tucked the flag into the back of his trousers last year.
Finally Lip-sync…Who cares?
The fact that he indulged in some lip sync hardly dampened the high spirits of fans. To put it in simple words- Beliebers don’t care two hoots about Bieber lip syncing as long as they are getting to see him live in action. He is much like Salman Khan. Irrespective of him lip-syncing or not, his fans will line up just to see him in person as was evident after many flocked to Kalina airport just to get a dekko of JB when he arrived first in Mumbai. And to be fair, JB isn’t the first international artist to indulge in lip sync. Does that justify lip-sync? Well given his non-stop two hour performance and back to back concerts all across the globe, I am willing to overlook this minor hiccup. As it happens, we are no longer satisfied watching simple live singing. We need a grand spectacle replete with moving lights, synchronized dancers and extravagant fireworks. And Justin and team made sure to give that. Much of ire emerged because many people apparently paid a staggering 75,000 rupees to watch Justin Bieber live. Do they have a reason to complain? Not exactly. A performance is much like a cricket match. There is no guarantee that booking the best and costliest seat in the stadium will get you to witness the best ever blockbuster match. Call it your destiny.