I’m sure everyone knows by know that I’m really into music. I play in multiple bands, write songs, listen to my iPod even when I sleep, and frequently see live music.
I typically limit my concert going to groups/artists that I really like… preferring to spend my money on entertainment that I know I’m going to enjoy. Reasonable enough.
Apparently there is another reason why I limit myself to these shows; I am an old grumpy codger.
Here’s how it went down… A good friend of mine that I have recently reconnected with is the promotions manager for a very popular radio station in Sacramento. They held their holiday concert event, “Jingle Ball” last night and he offered UMB and me tickets to the show plus meet and greet passes.
The lineup consisted of Jason Derulo, Cobra Starship, Boys Like Girls, Kris Allen, and Justin Bieber.
Of course I was looking forward to seeing Kris Allen. I was a big fan throughout last season’s American Idol, obviously. I knew one song from Cobra Starship, “Good Girls Go Bad.” I was vaguely aware of Boys Like Girls.
I had never heard the name Jason Derulo before, despite the fact that he apparently had a recent #1 single for four consecutive weeks.
I might add here that I never listen to the radio anymore. I get my music via late night video views, online reviews, and recommendations from friends… and let’s not forget the genius of Last.fm, which has pointed me to many great artists I might not ever have discovered otherwise.
And I knew there was some young kid out of Canada that was quite popular due to his performances on YouTube, but had not spent more than a second’s thought on Justin Bieber.
Back to last night…We stood in a lot of lines… one of which was a line that descended stairs into the “VIP Area” where the meet and greet was to occur. While standing in this line, there were suddenly a series of sustained high-pitched screams from the downstairs area, presumably from the front of the line.
UMB asked me, “Where do you suppose this line is actually going?” “From the sounds of it, the depths of Hell,” was my response.
Now, if I haven’t painted this picture well enough yet, let me take a second to point out that UMB and I were literally surrounded on all sides by gaggles of middle-school-aged girls.
And a smattering, here and there, of foppish boys who were either begrudgingly accompanying their middle school girlfriends, or who were fronting that they were there for some serious rock and roll from the pop-punkers Boys Like Girls or Cobra Starship, but were really, secretly there because they too were hoping to catch Justin Bieber’s eye.
We finally make our way downstairs to yet another line that leads to a row of tables where the artists were seated, furiously signing autographs and looking rather blase about the whole deal.
Jason Derulo is a nice looking guy who smelled good and had soft hands. He couldn’t, however, figure out how to spell “Jester” so settled for the simpler “Paul.”
Kris Allen was next in line, and he was somewhat bemused by the interaction with Jason and had already added the “To Jester” on his photograph. UMB could only manage a “Hi” before getting star struck. I told him that he was hit on my blog, and that I really enjoyed the album (both are true statements).
The guys from Boys Like Girls were all very friendly, and the guitarist and I spent a moment discussing tattoos, before I moved down the line.
The members of Cobra Starship barely looked up.
And then we reached Justin Bieber. He’s about 4 feet tall with a floppy bowl haircut. I’d bet a year’s wages that he doesn’t have pubic hair. According to Wikipedia, he’s 15 years old, but he looks more like a 9 year old. He looked way up at me and said, “Hi Bro!”
Hi Bro? I could pick him and twirl him like a baton, dip him in blue cheese and bite his head off like a baby carrot. I’m old enough (gulp) to be his father, yet I get a “Hi, Bro.”
My hatred of the term “Bro” is another post in itself… but I just collected the autograph and moved along to find our seats.
Things I Learned from the Actual Concert
- Jason Derulo is built, can dance, has a decent voice, but shitty songs.
- Cobra Starship surprisingly didn’t suck. They are better live than on the recording.
- Kris Allen can sing circles around the rest of the artists on the bill. He’s really short, and is already bored by being on stage.
- Boys Like Girls were the most entertaining in terms of stage show and energy.
- If at any time any artist thought they were losing the crowd, all one should do is merely mention the name “Justin Bieber” to illicit a shriek that can be heard from space.
- Justin Bieber sings songs about his “favorite ladies” and finding “the love of his life” in a squeaky high voice.
- Justin Bieber pays a very large black man to stand on stage, run a MacBook, and periodically say into a microphone, “Make Some Noise for Justin Bieber” as if there isn’t already a hysterical mob crying and screaming his name.
- Justin Bieber also pays a different very large black man to act as a camel, that is, Justin steps off the stage and rides on his shoulders through the crowd.
The radio station setup a screen on stage that projected text messages that the audience could post to. If the texts displayed are a sampling of the intelligence level of today’s youth, we are in some serious trouble.
Here are some examples:
I loveeeeee u Bieber! Mary Me! <3 ~Anisa~
Skrem if u think Justen is hotttttttttttttttt!
U my wurld JB! SCREAM!
Ammmmyyyyyy loveeeeeeees the Bieber!
Every twenty seconds or so, another “Scream if you…..” messages would appear on screen, causing the entire audience to create this sound that I can only describe as a cicada operating a dentist’s drill on a chalkboard in hell.
Outside of a handful of moms and dads scattered through the crowd, UMB and I were the oldest people in the crowd. I’d say by a margin of 10 years.
At the end of the show, I excused myself to the restroom. I needed a moment away from little screaming and crying girls, and needed to empty my bladder. I made my way to the men’s room downstairs to discover that the lights were all out.
I spent a couple minutes looking for the light switch, found it hiding in a camouflaged panel and made my way to a urinal. Almost immediately, this girl comes walking in, sees that the lights are on and shrieks to her friends who were presumably waiting in Boston that there was a bathroom here.
Six girls then parade into the room. One remarks, “I only see urinals.”
“That’s because you’re in the men’s room,” I say over my shoulder, not leaving my post at the urinal.
There was another shriek that may still be echoing around the concrete walls of the bathroom as they ran past me to the far end of the bathroom and into stalls.
I finished up and tried to ignore all the giggling and exclamations of “how dreamy hottttt” (seriously, she pronounced the extra “t’s”) Justin Bieber was.
On my way out, I flipped off the hidden light switch and took off running up the stairs.
They are probably still screaming bloody murder.