A gigantic set with multiple moving parts, an elevated trampoline and a rain shower finale – what more could you expect from 22-year-old pop sensation, Justin Bieber?
Bieber brought his much anticipated Purpose World Tour to Manchester Arena on Friday night, for his second show out of three in the city.
It is the first time that the singer has performed at Manchester Arena since the UK leg of his Believe Tour back in 2013; where he faced multiple attacks from UK critics and vowed never to return to the UK again.
Despite his previously bad experience in the UK, three years on and Biebs returned to hit Manchester with his new material, an improved attitude and multiple outfit changes to show off his swanky Purpose tour merchandise.
First to support the Canadian pop star was 5-piece vocal harmony group, MiC Lowry from Liverpool; who were the only band to represent the UK on the European leg of the tour.
The boys, who are all in their early 20’s, took to the stage with just a single spotlight; one guitar and 5 melodic voices.
They first performed an original song to showcase their intact harmonies called ‘Saving All My Love’ before moving on to their rendition of the well-known hit ‘Work’ by Rihanna ft Drake, which was a very popular choice with the crowd.
The group finished their set promoting their latest original single ‘Oh Lord’.
Electronic music duo, The Knocks, flew over from New York as the second act to support JB. They showed off their talent’s creating bass beats with main vocalist James Patterson singing originals such as ‘Kiss The Sky’ and their 2010 hit ‘Dancing With The DJ’ to pump up the crowd.
As the support acts drew to a close, the crowd began to wait anxiously for their first glimpse of the worldwide phenomenon.
His previous appearances on UK stages have been known to be extremely late, which was one factor to cause bad reports back in 2013.
However, this time around Bieber shocked everyone with his exceptional time keeping as the concert started a mere 5 minutes ahead of schedule.
If you have witness a Bieber concert before, you’ll know to expect the unexpected when it comes to his entrances onto the stage. The singer doesn’t just walk on – he explodes up out of nowhere, flies with gigantic metal wings or in this particular instance; floats up from the ground inside a glass box.
He opened with the meaningful ‘Mark My Words’ whilst literally marking the words with a pen onto the walls of the box surrounding him.
16,000 screams surprisingly didn’t shatter the box before it brought Bieber back down to the ground. The crowd then went crazier as he performed the Platinum selling single ‘Where Are Ü Now’, written by Bieber and produced by DJ’s Skrillex and Diplo.
As Bieber made his way down the run way, the fans became uncontrollable; trying to reach out for a touch of the pop-stars hand.
Bieber is known as an artist who always interacts with his fans during his shows as he recognises that he wouldn’t be where he is today without their support.
In his first show in Manchester for the Purpose tour, things were said to have gotten a bit heated as the singer urged his fans to stop screaming so that he could perform his slower songs in silence. This resulted in Biebs receiving boo’s which didn’t go down too well.
However, in last night’s show, Bieber briefly mentioned the issue and explained that when he’s trying to be intimate with his fans, it makes him feel insecure as he can’t hear himself speak.
He said: “I’m still a human being and I still want to feel like I’m being respected”.
The audience of Friday’s show respected his wishes and this allowed Bieber to perform two very special acoustic versions of ‘Cold Water’ and ‘Love Yourself’ as he sat on a satin red sofa with just his guitar.
When Bieber performed ‘Company’, his fourth single released from Purpose album, a huge trampoline came down from the ceiling.
Towards the end of the song; JB and a few of his dancers made their way up the ramp and began flipping and bouncing around above the crowd which looked very fun.
One thing that always makes Bieber’s concerts so spectacular is his dancers. Having brought back some similar faces from his two previous tours and also some new additions – the bond between the singer and his performers is outstanding.
Dancing energetically to his fast paced songs such as ‘As Long As You Love Me’ or theatrically moving to ‘The Feeling’ – they put everything into each movement and help to make the show so entertaining.
For the performance of ‘Life Is Worth Living’, the whole arena held up their phone lights and Bieber was mesmerised as he said “I wish you guys could see what I could see”.
Thankfully my amazing view from the pit within the stage allowed me to capture this exact moment.
A song which really stood out as a crowd favourite was DJ Snake’s most recent single ‘Let Me Love You’ which Bieber features on.
It was uplifting to see the singer happily skipping around the stage performing this song which seemed to be one of Bieber’s favourites to perform.
The majority of songs from the set were to promote his latest album ‘Purpose’ but Biebs brought back some classic’s such as ‘Boyfriend’ and ‘Baby’. These hits didn’t fail to excite the audience and made it clear to see who the true ‘beliebers’ were.
Bieber closed the show with an encore of arguably his most successful song from the Purpose album ‘Sorry’. This caused Biebs and his dancers to splash and run around in the rain, greeting tonight’s Manchester fans one final time.
By Phoebe Jobling