Monday, March 28, 2016

My Justin Bieber Purpose Tour Experience

Since I don't write a journal anymore, this blog post is going to serve as my own detailed reminder of my Justin Bieber concert experience. This might be a (way) lengthy of a read for some of you... is it too late now to say sorry?

It all started in November, when the Purpose tour ticket dates were announced. I was certain I'd be going to see Justin, but thought I'd be going to Toronto or Montreal in May. R and I had decided a few weeks before that we were going to take a week off in March and go "somewhere". When we realized that Justin was playing in LA the week we were off, we decided to go to the concert there. R loves LA and rather than going on vacation and then flying somewhere again for the concert, it made sense to combine the concert with vacation.

We ended up getting tickets via the Ellen pre-sale on-line. We decided to do the second LA show, which gave us a bit of a buffer in getting to LA in case there was a storm that affected our flights. There ended up being a third LA show added later in the tour planning stages.

Then there was four months of waiting and learning all of the words to all of the songs on the Purpose album. I've been a big fan of Justin's since he started. I've always loved his voice, but his new album is so so so good and very different from his older songs.

Once the tour began on March 9, I couldn't resist watching fan videos of clips of the concert, so I pretty much knew what the set list would be and the basics of the show. I was happy that most of the show was going to be songs from Purpose.

The day of the concert, we decided to eat at LA Live, which is a restaurant complex across the street from the Staples Centre. We took the subway downtown - about 1/2 hour ride from where we were staying in Hollywood. The atmosphere outside the Staples Centre was really great. The had the street closed and they were pumping Bieber songs for everyone who was hanging out.

R went and waited for our table at the Yardhouse. I went and stood in line for merchandise. I thought I was going to buy a hat, but then when I saw them up close, I didn't really like them for the price. I ended up with a white long sleeve shirt that has the Purpose album art and "Bieber" on the front, all the songs on the album on the back, and World Tour down both arms.

The merch line was about 45 minutes. Then R and I ate. I use the term "ate" loosely as I was feeling a bit nauseated (which I mistakenly thought was just excitement). I literally ate three bites of food and a glass of wine which I thought might help calm my nerves.

Shirt: Zara
Jeans: Madewell
Cardigan: Wilfred by Aritzia
Shoes: Tory Burch
Bag: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target

I was sensible when it came to picking what to wear. Yes, I was tempted to wear my new booties with  the peep toes, but I knew my I'd be on my feet for hours and would be walking to and from the subway.

I hoarded this shirt for MONTHS. 

Then we went over to the show around 7:15 PM. We didn't know that our seats had a separate entrance so we stood in line with everyone else to enter.There were metal detectors and a bag search. There was also a much shorter merch line inside (wish I had've known that!) Our seats were in PR2, which is a priority seating area. We had a nice lounge area, separate bathrooms and food stalls, and it was generally quieter than the main area. We kind of half-watched the opening acts (Moxie Raia and Post Malone) and then went to get some water. I still wasn't feeling well at all.

We went back to our seats around 8:30 as I knew Justin would be on stage shortly before 9:00. We heard a big roar from the crowd at about 8:45 and a bunch of camera flashes towards the front and centre lower bowl. I got on Twitter #purposetourLA and saw it was Kanye and Kim who'd just walked in. We were too far away to get a photo.

The atmosphere was really great - and no, it was not all teen girls. I saw LOTS of couples there together, and lots of people in their 30's and 40's.

Shortly before 9 PM, Scooter Braun came onstage and reminded us that $1 from each of our tickets was being donated to Pencils of Promise, a charity that supports education in low income areas and builds schools. From our side stage seats, we could see some stuff backstage - mostly dancers and crew. Once I thought I caught a glimpse of Justin, but it's hard to tell.

Lights dimmed, audience freaked out, Justin emerged from the bottom of the stage in a glass box that lifted high into the air for his first song, "Mark my Words". He was writing stuff on the walls with a dry erase marker while singing. His first outfit was my favorite of the night - lots of layers.

Not my photo - from Just Jared.

I won't go into detail about every single song, but the vast majority were from Purpose.  My favorite, "Where Are U Now", was the second song. A few of the older ones he played were "Baby" (a more grown-up version I really liked), "Boyfriend", and "As Long as You Love Me". I was hoping for "Beauty and a Beat", but he didn't play it. He interacted with the audience quite a bit and paid SO MUCH attention to the fans in the pit - constantly touching their hands, getting down on the stage and sitting by them, and he even grabbed a fan's phone and took a selfie. Not going to lie, it made me wish I'd forked over the $$$ for the meet and greet package to score pit access.

The visual effects and dancing were really good. We didn't have a great view of the screens from our angle, but we did have a good view of Justin and the dancers. Justin tends to sing to the centre of the room rather than the sides, so we didn't a ton of face time, but the side screens were helpful for that. One of the more original things he did was sing "Company" while on a giant trampoline suspended above the audience (four backflips included!) I managed to forget all about my nausea for the duration of the show - distraction helps.

"Sorry" was the last song, done in the "rain" as he did on the AMAs if you saw that performance.

Overall, I had an amazing experience, despite feeling ill. I was actually super fortunate that I made it through the show, as a stomach bug hit full force about four hours after the show ended (so no, I wasn't just nauseous because I was excited). It was totally worth the money (our tickets were about $145 US each after fees and taxes) and I really liked being in LA for it. I'd go to another show for sure if he were playing closer to home.

I hope you enjoyed my concert recap!

Glitterary Girl

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