Monday 18 December 2017

'This is one of my favourite places to be in the whole wide world' - Justin Bieber charms Irish fans with energy and chat at Dublin show

Justin Bieber on stage at the RDS last night. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Justin Bieber on stage at the RDS last night. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Justin Bieber was always going to give a sizzling performance in the eyes of his loyal army of Beliebers. 

But given that the reformed pop-brat (23) took to the stage at the RDS Dublin on the longest – and hottest – days of the year, it only gave extra Purpose to his world tour concert as a party atmosphere prevailed at the southside venue. 

Despite stringent security checks being in place at the Ballsbridge arena, he took to the stage at the promised time of 8.30pm to deafening cheers from the audience of adoring teeny-boppers. 

Drawing from his four studio albums, the pint-sized star kicked off his show with 'Mark my Words' before launching into an energetic rendition of 'Where Are U Now' and then 'Get Used to it.' 

Clad in an all-black outfit, he was joined by a massive troupe of energetic dancers who writhed their way around the extended stage that included a black cage designed like a boxing ring.

He then performed 'I'll Show you' and 'The Feeling' as his youthful fans roared their approval.

There had been criticism during some of his previous shows that he seemed disengaged and almost sulky as he ran through his repertoire of hits. But there was none of that petulance for his Dublin gig as he chatted amiably to the crowd about his previous struggles and his love for his fans.

"This is one of my favourite places to be in the whole wide world. I'm so happy to be back here," he drawled.

Maybe it was the impromptu basketball game in Bushy Park the previous day that has warmed him up but this is the grown-up Bieber, whose 2015 album 'Purpose' gave him a renewed credibility - and restored his fans' faith.

Although relying heavily on pyrotechnics and an impressive light installation, he proved he could still work the massive stage like a pro and appeared relaxed and smiling throughout.

Shortly before nine, it was time for 'Boyfriend' which he once jokingly described as "one of the most hated songs on the Internet". It was then time to grab the guitar and deliver a soulful version of 'Cold Water', with the whole audience singing back the lyrics.

He'll never be to everyone's taste but he's been a stellar star for the best part of 13 years for a very good reason and knows exactly how to entertain a crowd. Just don't ask him to sing Despacito.

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