Justin, it is too late now to say sorry!
There are two types of people in this world. There are the ‘Beliebers’- those die-hard JB fans, who squeal like 12-year-old girls at the mere mention of his name; and the ‘Haters’ - usually guys too ashamed to admit they enjoy the music of a ‘little blonde girl’, who secretly sing Baby in the shower.
I am one of the rare people that fall somewhere in the middle of this Venn diagram. This is important because it means that I attended Justin Bieber’s Purpose Tour in India with no preconceived notions whatsoever. However, it seems as though this concert was destined to make me a ‘Hater’, right from the start.
I’ve always been criticised for being too skeptical and overly suspicious. So, when my friend told me that she knew someone who could get us backstage, as well as Platinum passes for a ‘small’ sum of Rs.15000, you can’t blame me for thinking it was too good to be true. After 5 days of convincing me that this someone was legitimate, I ignored my gut instinct and fell prey to the Belieber side of my personality.
Surprise, surprise, this someone absconded. I was now Rs.15,000 down, with no tickets 3 days before the concert. Ultimately, after 72 hours of chaos and confusion, a lot of buying and selling, I managed to score the Gold category of tickets - a downgrade from my promised Platinum, but still a luxury nonetheless.
When I finally reached the DY Patil Stadium after a tedious 2-hour long journey and spotted a KFC, I thought my luck was changing. A pretty sad indicator of luck I know, but we South Bombay-ites are thoroughly deprived of the Colonel’s fried chicken. Sadly, it all went downhill from there.
No one had been informed that even within the same category of tickets, there were different gates, and that if your luck is anything like ours, 3 of your friends will have Gate 6 passes and 1 will have a Gate 5 pass, which is on the diametrically opposite side of the stadium. The highly unhelpful staff told us that this lone ranger of our group would have to walk the circumference of the stadium, and ‘meet us inside’. Finding him in a crowd of 60,000 people? Yeah right.
After a lot of searching, we managed to find our friend’s head bobbing in the sea of screaming teenagers and frustrated parents. By the time we had regrouped, the guest act, Alan Walker was saying his goodbyes and typical filler music flooded the stadium. Already beyond frustrated by our experience inside, we went hunting for our savior - alcohol. We were fools to think that anything was going to go our way. At a concert sponsored by Absolut Elyx and Kingfisher, the organizers had not been granted a liquor permit, and we were very generously offered soft drinks. Oh yeah, and of the 50 food stalls that were promised to us, we had access to a measly 7, preceded by mile long queues.
When the lights finally went out in anticipation of Justin Bieber’s arrival, I decided to let go of all my resentment and just enjoy the experience.
…Except that a few minutes into the concert I realized that he was lip-syncing. Here’s the thing - if you want to lip sync, at least do a good job of it. I realized three things that day. The first being that Justin Bieber is a very skillful multi-tasker considering he can ‘sing’ while drinking water. He’s also a great ventriloquist since he can sing without actually moving his mouth. The third, most important, was that I could not do this sober. Alcohol, where are you now that I need ya?
To accompany his great vocal skills, were his lackluster dance moves. In the midst of all the talented back-up dancers, Justin looked like a lost school boy. His oversized t-shirt and calf length socks didn’t help, though I have to admit he looked kinda cute. When you could see him, that is. Our luxurious Gold passes were as bad as any of the less expensive categories. I spent the concert with someone’s hair in my mouth, surrounded by a plethora of bad smells and sweaty bodies, and Justin was literally a speck in the horizon.
I exited the stadium, dreaming not about the teenage heartthrob, but about a hot bath. Little did I know that it would take me from 10 pm to 11.47 pm to locate my ride home, and that I’d have to resort to my beloved KFC for the second time that day.
I finally exited Navi Mumbai coughing up hairballs, Rs.25000 down, overdosed on fried chicken, and thoroughly underwhelmed. So yes, Justin, it is too late now to say sorry (and get my money back).
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Cover photo credit: news18.com