Justin Bieber $155 million grossing, equal parts entertaining and concerning Believe world tour, somewhat ridiculously described as “failed” by a tabloid, hit Auckland, New Zealand this weekend — turning in a performance that delighted most fans but drew poor to glowing reviews from critics.
The 19-year-old, who has now kicked off the final Australasia leg of his world trek, drew thousands of Beliebers to the city’s Vector Arena on Saturday.
Bieber had been scheduled to play a second Auckland show on Sunday, but it was cancelled last month due to “unforeseen circumstances,” which some have taken to indicate a lack of interest.
Ahead of the show, Kiwi fans camped outside the swanky The Langham Hotel, hoping to see their idol before he took to the stage.
The New Zealand Herald, who caught up with some of those waiting at the hotel, reports fans were unfazed by the bad press trailing the singer, with many offering variations on “[they would] “always support him, no matter what.”
One fan, Bella Cassin, who had camped since 6.50 am on Saturday, told the newspaper she expected Bieber’s show to the “best night” of her life.
Another outlet spoke to fans queuing at the Vector Arena before the concert, who vigorously defended the teen’s much criticized pull-out of his second Buenos Aires show in Argentina on Nov. 10 after succumbing to food poisoning.
“His fans in Brazil or somewhere booed him. They’re not real fans. He was sick!,” Olivia Harter, 15, told Auckland Stuff.co.nz.
The paper adds Harter and her two pals Jessica Haines, 14 and Crystal Chalmbati, 14, described themselves as “true Beliebers.”
Despite media criticism over Bieber’s escapades this year, the girls were sympathetic to the pop prince’s growing pains.
“I think it’s good that he’s changed. We’ve grown up with him and he’s not the same 12-year-old he used to be. He’s growing up and can’t stay the same,” Haines told the paper.
“We’re at his concert, aren’t we?,” one of the trio added.
— BelieveTourUpdates™ (@BelieveTUpdates) November 23, 2013
At the show, Bieber reportedly took the stage just over an hour late, at 21:30 pm, instead of 20:30 pm.
It’s claimed some fans walked out before the end of the show. Among the 8,000-strong audience, Lynn Davis, who attended with her nine-year-old son, Cameron, told The New Zealand Herald,
“It was shocking. He lip-synced the whole thing. He never once mentioned Auckland,” she said.
The mother reportedly claimed her son intended to delete his Bieber songs off his iPod, and give his new show -bought T-shirt to his father to burn.
Some critics have also accused Bieber of lip-syncing his way through the concert. However, it was noted that screaming at the gig was extremely loud and the acoustics on stage so bad the singer stopped mid-song in one track and said, “I can’t even hear myself. Lets start that again.”
According to Alex Levenson, the top man in charge of the Asia Pacific sector of Viagogo, reasons for the downturn is down to the Canadian’s recent track record of controversial behavior. He adds many Australian parents no longer believe Bieber is an appropriate role model for their children.
The site recorded 187 percent of users put more Bieber tickets up for resale in Australia than One Direction.
Meanwhile, Justin made use of his downtime in Auckland to brush up on his skateboarding skills at a skate park.
The teen star posted an Instagram photo of himself, as well as shirtless snaps, showcasing some skillful looking moves on a half-pipe.
It was captioned “Skaters be like ‘you can’t skate.’”
(Photos via Instagram)
The young singer also took the time to pose for photos with local fans.
Bieber’s next concert is scheduled Nov. 26 at Brisbane, Australia’s Entertainment Center. He is set to play a further seven shows in the country, wrapping his tour on Dec. 8 in Perth.