Tuesday, October 30, 2012 , Updated 9:39 a.m., October 30, 2012
Photos: Justin Bieber’s Dallas show was just predictable dance-pop
So much of the show still smacked of teen dream overkill.
DALLAS Just in case you ever wondered if Justin Bieber was indeed a teen angel, his sold-out concert Monday night at American Airlines Center confirmed that fact. There he was with 20-feet silver wings strapped to his back descending onto the two-tiered stage.
The entrance would have been memorable, actually, had Bieber not treated it as just another day at the office. About a minute after he was un-winged, he launched into the generic dance-pop number “All Around the World.” The platform quickly became sensory overload central – eight costumed dancers, confetti, pyrotechnics, seven video screens, a big band, and background singers.
All that sometimes nonsensical window dressing, not to mention the repetitive thump-thump beat, is aimed at keeping the young audience constantly engaged. It also serves as a way to divert attention away from the star’s artistic shortcomings.
The 18-year-old Canadian has one of the most colorless voices I’ve ever heard in concert. It lacks any personality, easily slipping into monotone. During one song in particular, “Die In Your Arms,” not a bad tune with nice old-school R&B flavor, Bieber simply could not carry the melody. It fell completely flat.
“Die In Your Arms” is one of several songs Bieber performed from his current album, Believe. The record arrived heralded as his mature effort, his boy-becomes-man song collection. That theme was part of a video montage featuring – get this – the changing of the hairstyle from feathered bangs to layered pompadour. A monumental moment in Bieber’s life and career, yes indeed.
Yet so much of the show still smacked of teen dream overkill – from his cutesy duet “Beautiful” with opening act and fellow Canadian Carly Rae Jepsen to the two throwaway girl songs, “Out of Town Girl” and “One Less Lonely Girl.”
There is, however, a bit of a conundrum at work here. Bieber still hasn’t found a comfortable, unrehearsed flow for his stage performance. Everything that came out of his mouth sounded memorized or stilted. Spontaneity for him was basically awkward small talk to fill the silent spaces. But when he took an instrument, he finally looked like a natural.
This isn’t to say that Bieber is a master guitarist, drummer, or pianist; he played all three with ease, confidence. He had some nice finger picking happening on the acoustic six-string and got a fierce beat out of his drum kit. He elegantly sat at a white piano during the inspirational closer “Believe.”
Maybe that’s his future. Otherwise his songs are so pedestrian – predictable dance-pop of the day with “Beauty and a Beat,” “Never Say Never” and “Take You,” or sugary ballads devoid of real emotions with “Catching Feelings” and “Fall.” Even the eye-popping enormity of 20-feet silver wings can’t make them compelling.
- Video: Dirk honored in NBA Finals commercial
- Dogged pursuit of fun leads pet owners to Deep Ellum's Bark Park
- Theater review: DSM's glittering production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert never "drags"
- Four Corners Brewery hosts Texas barbecue royalty on May 25
- Did you know Mary Suhm was a high school beauty queen in Beaumont? 10 things about her: