Justin Bieber has performed in Melbourne many times. He's put on multiple shows at Rod Laver Arena. He's joined forces with VEVO for a secret gig for an injured fan. He's hit Fox's World Famous Rooftop. But he's never performed at Etihad Stadium - until now. On Friday March 10, Justin Bieber took on one of Melbourne's biggest venues in his most epic show yet.
The atmosphere outside Etihad for Justin's Purpose Tour was electric. Fans had started lining up well in advance, camping out to get the best possible positions inside the stadium. Inside, the roof was off - a sign of things to come.
Homegrown heroes Sheppard kicked things off with an energetic performance, followed by Dutch DJ (and close friend of Justin) Martin Garrix. And then just like we'd been told, at exactly 8.30pm, Justin Bieber hit the stage. The screams were deafening. The crowd were on their feet. Justin had arrived.
And he delivered. Justin danced. He sang. He played the drums. He performed a stripped down acoustic set midway through the concert. He had us all singing along to Love Yourself. He brought the hits with him, and we were more than happy to hear them.
The set consisted mostly of songs from his album Purpose, because let's face it - we've seen Justin in concert before. We've seen One Time, Somebody To Love, Beauty And A Beat and One Less Lonely Girl before. We were ready for something new.
It was a more subdued performance than we've seen in the past from JB. There wasn't much chatting with the audience, there were no shirtless antics, and there was definitely no fan serenade. Instead we saw a performance that reflected where Justin is in his life. He's not a teenage boy anymore. He's not here to prove anything, because he's already managed the transition from teen star to legit artist.
There were a few throwbacks during the show to his earlier years. Boyfriend, As Long As You Love Me and Baby all got huge reactions from the crowd. He didn't dwell on these songs or say much about them, simply offering them up as part of his incredible set list.
With such a huge venue it can be hard to make an impact. But accompanied by an amazing light and fireworks show, Justin made it a night to remember. It was all over too soon, with the strains of Sorry still ringing in our ears as we made our way through Etihad and into the crowds outside.
Justin: please come back soon. We need you.
Review by Julia Foskey