23 September, 2013. It was a big day for all fans (even those in denial) of the force of pop music nature that is Justin Bieber.
This was the night that 12,000 fans were thrilled by The Biebs at the closing concert of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend.
Every wink, every wave and every crotch-grab elicited deafening screams during the Canadian pop star's 105-minute set at the Padang. It is all slick moves and solid vocal runs (he definitely has the singing chops but we suspect he lip-synchs occasionally too), climaxing at the end when he took off his shirt off, and the fans' screams escalated to decibel-busting levels that would give any F1 car a run for its engine noise.
But who are these fans? Whether you're an all-out "belieber" (a moniker for his fans, made up of combination of the words "Bieber" and "believer") or if you just happened to be there because the children wanted to go, we've classified the types of people you meet at a Bieber concert. Swaggy!
Read also – Justin Bieber: Never say never
The social media stalkers:
These are the kind who don’t bother waiting at the airport for Bieber to arrive, because they KNOW that he’s going to take the VIP exit anyway. Instead, they trawl forums and Twitter and lie in wait for him at his hotel. They don't just socially follow Biebs but also his entourage – dancers, choreographer (Nick DeMoura), videographer (Alfredo Flores), DJ (DJ Tay James), guitarist (Dan Kanter) and even his security personnel (Kenny Hamilton) – on Twitter and Instagram, so that they can track the singer’s every movement.
Jasmine took a job working for the Singapore Grand Prix just so she could get close to Bieber. She owns the DVD of his documentary film, 'Never Say Never', and admits to have watched it more than 50 times. She even wears Bieber merchandise t-shirts and hoodies to school. "My friends think I'm crazy," she said, shrugging it off casually.
The Bieb tweeters:
With 44,866,594 twitter followers at last count, Bieber is one of the most-followed people globally. The tweeters are the fans who have dedicated Bieber fan accounts, and regularly bombard him with tweets telling him how much they love him, hoping for a reply. Those who are successful, indicate it as proud badges of success on their profile pages.
Even better when the Biebs himself follows you. For instance, @_avonsparadise, whose Twitter profile reads: ‘9/18/2013 - 6:10 pm MY IDOL FOLLOWED ME. OHMYGOD'.
(From left): Chirag, Sasha and Shaila
Die-hard fans Sasha and Shaila tweet Justin Bieber incessantly. Sasha believes in the importance of responding first. "Whenever he asks a question (on Twitter), we'll be the first to answer. I turn on notifications, so if he tweets, we both get notifications," she said.
Shaila, on the other hand, has figured out a way of increasing the odds of getting a tweet from Bieber himself.
"There's a trick. When he replies to others, you have to keep spamming him and then he'll do it," she said. Their efforts have yet to see success. "We're still waiting for his reply," they admit.
But in the words of Bieber himself, never say never.
Yes, there are criers and no, they're quite normal. Avid fans, these are the ones who breathe heavily, tear up and turn on the waterworks in a manner of seconds. What triggers the rollercoaster of emotions is usually a Bieber sighting, but sometimes it’s just the sheer anticipation before a concert.
We don't even want to imagine what would happen if one of them were taken up stage as Bieber’s ‘One Less Lonely Girl’.
Gabrielle, Laura and Sam. They're perfectly normal, trust us.
These girls bought their tickets as soon as they went on sale. Gabrielle proudly admits that she contributes to Bieber's record-setting YouTube video views. "All the views on YouTube? I swear, half of them are mine," she said, before screaming spontaneously with sheer excitment. "'I'm just so excited!" she says, confessing that she will probably cry as soon as Justin appears. "I would die to see him," she adds.
The spontaneous singers:
Any Belieber worth his/her salt knows every word to his song lyrics, and for good measure, a few dance moves as well as the Bieber hair-flip. They probably own all of his albums ('My World', 'My World 2.0', 'Believe'), even the cheesy Christmas singles. They’re the ones who recognise what song it is based on the first few notes, and they probably lose their voices by the end of the concert.
Amir, Fatimah, Fareenah, Shanaz, Faizah and Abdul
These six siblings (pictured above) caught Bieber for the first time on Monday night, and they know all his songs. The youngest one, just seven years old, even belted out Bieber's hit 'Baby' on demand.
Bieber has come a long way since his hoodie-and-baseball-cap days in the 'One Time' video. Nowadays, he's more likely to be sporting a top that shows off his newly-toned and muscular physique, with 18 (and counting) tattoos on show. If not, he's usually topless. His male fans have followed suit in the style stakes, dressing like him in drop-crotch pants, Supra Skytop II sneakers and all.
"I'm dedicated, but not that obssessed," Nik says. He considers himself a Bieber fan. A dancer, he adds that he takes inspiration from Bieber's hip-hop routines. As for the outfit, well, he sort of looks the part?
The Belieber merchandise hoarder:
The Biebs is a merchandise powerhouse. Apparel (t-shirts, hoodies and pyjamas), posters, nail polish (One Less Lonely Girl Nail Polish Collection for Nicole by OPI) and a line of perfumes (Someday, Girlfriend, The Key) have been endorsed by him. And this genre of fan/hoarders possess everything Bieber has ever endorsed or produced – and that’s quite a bit.
"I have his photos all over my room and I always stare at them before I go to sleep," says Danika. She continues her adoration outisde of home. "I talk about him in school every day," she adds.
Ah, the Bieber super-fans who are a combination of all of the above. These true-blue Beliebers are a walking dictionary on all facts to do with Justin Drew Bieber.
They know precisely when he was born (1 March 1994 at 12.56am at St Joseph’s hospital in Stratford, Ontario), they're the first in line at concerts, waiting for hours on end, just so they can be right up front to catch a bead of perspiration off his arms. And they’re also probably almost always dressed in purple, which is Bieber's favourite colour, duh!
While she has yet to meet The Biebs, Hanis has taken on his surname as her own.
"My #1 drinker plaque at my regular bar Mogambos has 'Hanis Bieber' on it," she declares proudly. She has gone to the point of photoshopping herself into Bieber's photos and putting them up on her Facebook account, and his face has even made an appearance on her birthday cakes for the past few years. "I just love him, you know? He's a great kid," she says without flinching.
Those in denial:
Then there are those who adore from a distance.
Let’s face it. Not everyone is willing to admit that they’re a Belieber for fear of being judged, along with the potential loss of credibility among their friends or family. They claim they know his songs only because they’re always played on the radio, but they probably have a secret Bieber playlist on their iTunes or Spotify. But once the lights come on, these fans are the ones who are singing their hearts out at the concert, to even the non-radio hits.
Christian,Thomas and Nicolai
It's not very often you see three, young strapping lads at a teen heartthrob's concert. These three university students from Denmark, on an exchange programme at Singapore Management University, insist that the tickets to the concert "came with the package" when they bought passes to the Singapore Grand Prix. When asked if they knew his songs, Christian mustered a sheepish reply, saying "they play his songs on the radio all the time".
Parents will do anything for their little ones and many have been subjected to a Bieber concert.
The fathers, who have to hoist their girls on their shoulders, for example. Some are so committed, they do it for the entire duration of the concert. Most are poker-faced while bearing their child's weight, but once in a while, they crack a smile.
Then there are the mothers, who accompany their daughters. They drive the girls there, stay with them through the screams and tears, and even provide a comforting arm or play photographer. The entourage show up with picnic mats, snacks, and wet wipes. But we suspect the mothers are enjoying themselves just as much. Who doesn't like to look at a hot-blooded young man dancing and gyrating on stage?
Karen and Holly
This mother-and-daughter combo (pictured above) were in line for almost two hours, waiting for the meet-and-greet session with Bieber to begin. They had both attended his last concert in Singapore in 2011, where young Holly had a sign that read "I Love Justin Bieber".
"I was going to make a sign for this concert, but they said no banners," she explains. Her mum Karen enjoys tagging along, saying: "It's always a bit of fun and craziness. It gets you feeling like a little kid again."
They’re the ones standing awkwardly behind their girlfriends, hiding their faces. The victimised individual has likely been subjected to a "if you love me, you’ll come for the Bieber concert with me" ultimatum. Sometimes they run into a fellow "boyfriend", and they have a silent agreement that they never saw each other at the concert. For the really oppressed, they're forced into dressing like The Biebs.
Dude, we feel for you, we really do. We just hope The Biebs doesn't turn you into a crying, heaving emotional mess by the end of the night.