Glendale, Arizona -- Justin Bieber had a mission with his new Believe tour, which kicked off Saturday at 18,000-seat Jobing Arena in this Phoenix suburb. It was to show that the 18-year-old was ready to eclipse the tween YouTube phenomenon and prove he was an entertainer of merit and endurance.
He indeed showed he was a man at the sold-out venue, but it had nothing to do with his new array of urban-tinged tunes or a stage spectacle that melded the visual gee-whiz of Hollywood with the crowd-pleasing power of Broadway. And it had everything to do with throwing up. In an impressive embodiment of show-must-go-on bravura, Bieber succumbed to an upset stomach not once but twice during his 21-song set, leaving fans wide-eyed and concerned, only to then charge back on stage.
The first instance came an hour into the 105-minute concert, midway through the "Guys and Dolls"-inspired presentation of "Out of Town Girl," off "Believe." Bieber wheeled around suddenly and doubled over, then scurried off stage. The dozen male and female dancers continued their routine, but when a DJ took over without the singer, a buzz rippled through the crowd.
"I'm sorry, I'm going to slow things down," Bieber said when he reappeared to the usual barrage of ear-piercing screams. He took to a platform on a mobile crane and soared above the audience, performing "Fall" on acoustic guitar. In contrast to the thundering strum und drang of much of the show, this piece was a gem that recalled the performer's roots busking for coins as a kid in Canada.
Bieber then powered through his "Karate Kid" theme song, "Never Say Never." But a few thumps into "Beauty and a Beat," his duet with Nicki Minaj (who provided her rap via a taped performance on a central video screen), the lanky singer vanished again, this time resulting in a complete halt to the show for a few minutes.
When he finally returned, Bieber had the poise and innate show-business smarts to come clean with the audience. "It's hard for me, you know, not feeling great and throwing up in front of a bunch of people," he said to laughs. "Will you love me even though I'm throwing up on stage?"
"OK, I wanted to give you my best show ever, so do you mind if I finish it?" Read more at The Detroit Free Press