... but is the lad anything more than eye candy?

The fans carried posters. Home-made, store-bought – you name it, they waved it.

A few remembered to pack the Tricolour; an extra baseball cap, the occasional glow stick. Some of it ended up on stage. Beside Justin Bieber. And the world's most famous pop star doesn't take too kindly to being showered with gifts.

He kicks them away (including the Tricolour –it's a "safety hazard") and warns us of the dangers of throwing stuff on stage (we wouldn't want to see him trip). But rest assured that nobody cares if Bieber pulls an Axl Rose in Dublin. This was his first night back in Europe. This was the Believe Tour: Part Two. This, folks, was the long-awaited return to Ireland. And Bieber had missed us.

The last time he was here, he had just had his trademark locks cut. We know this because a video reminds us of how the famous haircut went down. This time, the little guy from Canada – who turns 19 in two weeks – is at pains to remind us that he's now a man. The voice is deeper; the style, sharper.


Bieber 1.0 wore baseball caps and hoodies, and soared through the air on a heart-shaped structure. The new model – tank top, baggy jeans, sunglasses – is similar. Only, it comes with a quiff. And a tendency to flash his tanned torso.

Clearly, the lad's singing voice isn't up to scratch. But that doesn't matter at a Justin Bieber gig. The girls just want to hold his hand. One of them ends up on stage with the guy. "What's your name, sweetheart?" he asks his 'One Less Lonely Girl'. "Shauna," she replies. Justin takes her by the arm – Shauna Sweetheart is in heaven.

It's first-hand evidence of what Bieber Fever can do to a teenager. The mothers appear to be under his spell, too. There's a lot of money – and plenty of Auto-Tune – involved, but the fans aren't here for the pyrotechnics. I'd read that Bieber was supposed to arrive wearing wings. Like an angel. Technically, he delivers (if only in cartoon form). The genuine article simply ascends from underneath the stage dressed head to toe in white (it's cheaper).

Should he have worked more on his vocals? Probably. Never Say Never, Beauty and a Beat, Baby – it's difficult to say whether Bieber adds anything to his greatest hits other than some flashy dance routines and cheesy dialogue (believe in yourself, follow your dreams, etc.).

Occasionally, Bieber gives the auld singing a shot. He can just about hold a note. And, hey, he's a hell of a drummer. Indeed, this is his time to prove to the world that the first round wasn't just a fluke. Will he succeed? Who knows?

He's in town again tonight – catch him if you can. Just don't throw anything at him.