Almost there, Justin Bieber. It's almost over
REVIEW: Just open another pack of gum and get back on stage. Music is business and it never felt more like it.
He was overly punctual, sending the crowds running to their seats as he kicked off his set early.
Justin Bieber took to Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday night with his show downpat as his Purpose tour turned one this month. Over that time, every move, lyric and routine has been etched into Bieber's mind.
The once notorious bad boy proved his professionalism in Auckland. Not a move out of place, or beat missed.
But while the artist has matured over time, it's also drained almost all excitement from his performance. A year is a long time.
Though, Bieber's fans remained the same: they're energetic, cheeky, and as committed as ever.
Once compelled to the air by warm-up act DJ Martin Garrix, the crowd stayed dancing all night.
With a backdrop of dancers and roaring fans, Bieber at times seemed out of place at his own show.
The stadium erupted at the question: "who wants to be my Baby?"
But the words seemed hollow – the star stood limp, chewing gum all through his act.
Even with thousands of fans chanting his name, Bieber managed to maintain an expression more suited to a maths exam than a world tour.
It was just another day at the office.
There is of course a reason why Bieber's office is a stage, while most of us sit at a desk. Millions of people love Bieber, they can lip sync all his songs.
They screamed when the Canadian heartthrob started his show, they cooeed when he brought kids on stage to dance with him and they absolutely lost it by the time he reached encore.
But one thing did disappoint Bieber's Auckland fans on Saturday.
It wasn't due to his lack of excitement, or the times when he broke off his dance moves to fix his geeky-hipster spectacles, it was that his show finished early.
One minute the crowd was waving, Bieber was preaching and his dancers were flipping - then suddenly the screen went blank. The light had turned off, after almost two hours it was over.
Considering we paid like $650, he didn't come near the VIP section at all. One fan didn't think Bieber was really that into it.
"The last concert I went to was better - he was doing a lot of costume changes and stuff. He was like choking, coughing all the time," said Rachel Smith.
Dom Harvey from the Edge wasn't awed.
"I thought it was really lacklustre, eh. Like he had one hand in his pocket, just standing there... It's like he didn't really want to be there. But it's for the fans, and they loved it."
Ellen Lawson disagreed.
"It was incredible. Just amazing. He's just gorgeous. Baby, oh my gosh that was adorable. We grew up with that song then when you hear it finally, it's like your childhood dreams have finally come true."
Kaden Cherian from Wellington was overwhelmed, calling it a "huge experience".
"With those new songs too, and the classics like Baby - he's ramped those up a bit and added a new feel to them keeping it all fresh."
As the crowds spilled out, they noted that songs had been missed.
Their hero had cut it short.
- Sunday Star Times