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Live review: Justin Bieber at the Hollywood Palladium


“Justin Bieber wants you all to take three steps back,” the burly DJ said to the maddening crush of tween girls at the Hollywood Palladium’s stage gate on Sunday. Nothing doing. He asked them, again, to please give the 15-year-old towheaded Canadian R&B singer a bit of space, for their well-being and his alike before he came onstage.

Adolescent girls voluntarily separating themselves from 2010’s most deliriously beloved new tween-pop star? On Valentine’s Day? Good luck with that one, sir. The spires of fast-food trash and abandoned camping gear on Sunset Boulevard outside the Palladium box office suggested these kids were going absolutely nowhere.

Justin2Finally, the DJ gave up. “If you have Bieber fever, let me hear you scream,” he said. Lights dimmed and hormones flared. Bieber fever’s first symptom is a need to wail at glass-shattering, animal-frightening, Jet Propulsion Lab-rivaling ferocity to welcome your conquering hero.

For those who don’t spend much time around teenagers, Bieber is something of a new David Cassidy for the era of Auto-Tune. He has the classic prerequisites of stardom in this demographic: apple cheeks, stunning orthodontics, the sly pout of troublemakers from Tom Sawyer on forward.

But his ascent story -- posting cover videos of pop songs on YouTube that just so happened to win over his mentors Usher and Justin Timberlake -- belies a jackpot voice that, although it hasn’t quite dropped yet, is nimble and rakish. Young stars used to wow us by uncannily conveying adult emotions. Adult emotions, today? Bah. As Taylor Swift proved, the real money is in teenagers precisely documenting their teenageness for consumption by other teenagers.

Justin4 With just a seven-song EP to his name (a full-length follow-up, “My World 2.0,” is due out March 23), Bieber nonetheless has a death grip on pop and urban radio today, and for good reason. He has the free-associative instincts of his pop classmates -- he opened with “Love Me,” which tacks the indie-pop chorus from the Cardigans’ “Lovefool” onto en-vogue trance synthesizers and martial dance beats. His breakthrough single, “One Time,” helmed by white-hot producer Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, is an endearing, swaggering little thing in which Bieber convincingly jumps from Usher’s rapid-fire runs to pristine pop harmonies. The new cut “Baby” is even better, the overt adolescence of his voice buffed off for an undeniable disco ballad.

Bieber is a born charmer, occasionally riffing alongside his four backup dancers before alighting on a monitor to reduce the front rows to quivering devotion. And that voice is no studio trick; he tackled melismatic trills, sassy street inflections and coffeehouse acoustic pleas without so much as tousling his considerable bangs.

But one thing he hasn’t figured out yet is how to make an hourlong headlining pop set from his considerable charisma and goodwill. He spent around a quarter of the set nowhere in sight, either in service of unnecessary costume changes (Plaid shirt to hoodie to T-shirt? Gaga this is not) or for inexplicable breaks in which the DJ simply played snippets of album tracks from “My World 2.0.” A few confused jam-centric moments of the set felt as if Bieber’s band were compensating for some technical glitch. And Bieber’s a cappella encore of Chris Brown’s “With You” was rushed and -- astoundingly, given the audience here -- kind of anticlimactic.

But none of that seemed to dampen the night’s real king-making mission. The scuttle of young girls with “JB” face paint kicking through burger wrappers and fiercely texting into the still-early Hollywood night had spoken. In the words of one still on the edge of tears as she climbed into her mom’s awaiting car: “That. Was. So. Good.”

-- August Brown

Photos: Justin Bieber and fans at the Hollywood Palladium. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times

Comments () | Archives (45)

Maria Aubry Justin Bieber
Hollywood Palladium on LiveNation
Maria reviewed Hollywood Palladium at LiveNation and gave it 1 out of 5 stars.
Horrible, Horrible, Horrible security, management and crowd control. Knowing that there would be many minors at this show the Palladium did not go through better means of security and crowd management. My daughter, along with three of her friends and an adult went to th...e concert and came home bruised. An adult woman kept shoving and elbowing them up front. There wasn't any security in the general area to keep the crush of people from pushing forward. My daughter and her friends had to climb over the front stage security railing to avoid being crushed. Appalling! Hope the Palladium reviews their standards for crowd control especially when there are minors involved.
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about an hour ago via Live Nation powered by Sociable · Comment · UnlikeLike · Read 8 reviews

My daughter was in the group mentioned in above comments and unfortunately it was the adult parents who were our of control. There was nobody in charge to control this age group crowd. Our kids adult chaperone spent most of her time looking for management since the "supposed security" wouldn't deal with the adults physically abusing the kids. Not only were our teens subjected to this, there several children under 12 years old almost crushed. My child was in the infirmary when the concert began because her whole group was elbowed, each one calculated by the adult, so they could move out of the way. This sounds like a surreal, unbelievalble incident, but as parents, we need to demand appropriate security at child friendly venues. This was not a free concert.

i was there yesterday, it was crazy! about 5 girls fainted and had to be taken out, I moved myself to the front to get some air, and switched spots with my friends so they could also get a chance to breathe.

i love justin bieber! (: he is such a good role-model for us teens out their.. he is just 15 and he has overcome so many goals. He showed us to believe that we can do anything, no matter what city, town, state, or country you live in. So.. THANK YOU sooooo much Justin for teaching us to stick with your dream, and to follow it! I know I will!

I was one of the photographers in front of the stage, and I've never seen anything like this before. We had to be moved on numerous occasions because it became an ongoing effort of security personnel plucking people out of the crowd, many crying, because they were being squished and unable to breathe. Security eventually forced us photographers to leave early because they were so overwhelmed with people having to be plucked out of the crowd that they didn't want us anywhere near them. We kept wondering how the fire marshall was allowing so many people to be packed into that venue. If there had been a fire it would have been a major catastrophe. There were entirely too many people there. The concert should have been spread over two or three nights.

you are so cute . i want tickets to your concert with selena so bad

i am the one of those girls that the 2 comments on the top are talking about , and it was just INSANE last night , it was my birthday and me and my 3 friends were there since 6 am waiting in line . when the doors opened , a STAMPEDE of girls came running to get in line . some had only barely arrived and were in the very front , they were cutting in front of people like us who had been there since the morning . once i got into the concert , me my friends , and around 8 other girls we met there all stuck together and managed to get in the front . there were these 3 older ladies that immediately started telling me to stop pushing , and i responded by saying i couldnt controll what was happening . just because i'm a teenager , they thought i was giving them attitude and started telling me to "respect" them while they were the ones singling me out . the whole time they were starting things with us and got their daughters to yell at me too . may i add that the concert hadnt even started yet . finally the opening act comes ouht and everyone behind us starts pushing me on top of those ladies and to top it off the ladies were pushing back on me . youh can only imagine how difficult they made it for me to breathe . i am not very tall , and those ladies are full grown adults , standing right in front of me so i ouldnt see the stage AT ALL . she was shoving her butt into my stomach while the girls behind me were basically falling on me . there was NO room to move even youhr arms . i turn around to see my friend CRYING because one of the ADULT LADIES HAD ELBOWED HER IN THE CHEST . right after that happened , that lady pushed herslef into my stomach so HARD that i started CRYING because i couldn't BREATHE . i politely tapped her shoulder to ask if i could move to the front so i could climb the barrier and get out . she would not turn around no matter how hard you tapped her . i started screaming at her but she still would not budge . she finally turned around to see tears running down my face and FINALLY moved . me and my friend were lifted out of the crowd by the security . we were waiting by this door to the backstage , and the guy saw us crying . i told him about the ladies and he did not do anything . then 3 other of my friends come crying because the ladies had elbowed and slapped them in the face . the guy STILL didnt do anything . my cousin who was chaperoning us came over and was complaining and finally the took us to the infirmary . i was sitting outside the room , crying , and then i hear justin come out on stage . by this time we couldnt even see him . the guys told us they would give us vip seating . he never came back to us . we went back to the place we were waiting before and i see another 3 of my friends crying because of the SAME LADIES . the guys STILL DID NOT DO A THING ABOUT IT . i was so mad i could not even enjoy th concert . it was so badly organized , it was unbelievable . it was so bad . i had the worst birthday EVER . i couldnt believe what had just happened . i woke up with bruises on my back and stomach , and my friends had bruises on there cheeks and chest . not pleased at all . i am a HUGE fan of justin bieber , and that night all i wanted to do was go home . that is realy saying alot . scooter braun , jb's manager , didnt even want to show his face . i am very disappointed .

i love justin bieber

So I was at the concert last night. My husband spent $750 to surprise our 2 daughters with these tickets for Valentine's Day. I must say that security was horrible. As a parent and frequent concert goer (about 5 times a year) this was the worst concert I have ever gone to. As far as Justin Bieber and the entertainment went, it was superb. The show was awesome and JB puts on a wonderful show. My girls had a great time and will never forget V Day 2010. I just think that the Palladium needs to do something about being more organized. There were grown women being trampled on by 90 pound 12 year olds. Little girls were being carried away due to being smashed and banged on. GET IT TOGETHER PALLADIUM!!! For the price I paid I should of had piece of mind that everyone was going to be safe. Oh and one more thing, STUPID PARENTS DON'T DRINK AT A KID'S CONCERT WHERE YOU HAVE TO DRIVE YOUR CHILDREN HOME!!! SHOW SOME RESPONSIBILITY!!!

i'm down with a bieberfever ! haha :) urgh , why can't he come to Malaysia ? GIVE HIM A CALL AND TELL HIM TO STOP BY HERE ! Make sure people , u girls are lucky to be living in America -__-"

I took my 11 year old daughter and 2 of her friends to this concert. We waited from 11:00 am in the hot sun for 7 hours. The line was blocks long with teenage girls everywhere!! There was NO WHERE to use a bathroom unless you went into a local business and begged, we had to give a "donation" to use a bathroom at a nearby gym!! The crowd was peaceful until all at once at about 4:30 everyone started running. No warning just running towards the front of the line. Then guess what happened, NOTHING!!!!! We were all crammed like sardines in a 10 deep sidewalk mob. The police stood in the street and wouldn't let people walk next to the cars so everyone just kept cutting into the lines and made the crowd angry. The line didn't even move at all for close to 2 hours!!!! Then some security guy comes and tells everyone they need to be in a single file line, Right, when we are 10 deep in a mob of people. We finally got in after being pushed and shoved all over the place!!!! The whole thing could have been organized much better!! Why not give out numbers to the people waiting in line (they could have just walked down the line of people and handed them out leisurely they had all day to do it!) , then there wouldn't be the big rush to the door, no cutting in line and making everyone upset! No number..... end of the line!! The airlines do it, it would work here too!! There were too many young children being pushed and shoved and squished between bodies!! Too many security guards just letting it happen without doing anything to help!! Come on, in this age of technology, no one could handle this crowd with more organization or control? Once inside the pushing and shoving continued, you could see the girls being lifted over the barrier, some looked scared, most looked to be crying and distraught! I was shocked to see the selling of alcohol being sold to the parents who were obviously going to be driving the kids home!!!! Come on people, THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!! My daughter loves JB, but we would NEVER, EVER go back to the palladium for ANY EVENT, EVER!! We will tell our friends not to go there either, I urge everyone who was there to do the same!!! THEY ARE CHARGING 50.00 PER TICKET AND PROVIDING NO SERVICE OR HELP TO THEIR PATRONS!!!!

i think your music is very cool.

omgee justin biber is sooososoosoososoosoososoosoosoosoososoosoososoosoosososooso hotttttttt !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hi justin bieber i love u so much will u be my girlfrend

i love u i love u i love u

My 13 year old daughter who attended the concert said the worst thing about the evening was the aggressive and rude mothers. And an open arena without seats is not the appropriate venue for a bunch of teeny boppers. I hung out outside the Palladium during the concert and watched as girls came out crying and upset because they were frightened, scared, hurt and couldn't breathe.

u r finae asz fudge i love you

omg that boy is so cute!

wow love da picture !!!!!!!!!!!!

Isnt he so cute my friend said he was sexy i just think he's hot and sexy i'm hearing his song right now i would just kiss him and call himmy fluffy teddy bear that's what i say to this boy in my class he's so cute to his name is yzrael silguero but J.B commpared to yz thre nothing alike J.B is way much cuter and sexy

you r so cute jb

Well even thouqh i didn't go to the concert but i wish i did but now that ive read these other comments half of me is glad i didn't go and but if i did i would of knocked those old ladies out!!

justin bieber is so hot i do not know what to say i mean i really would pay a milloin bucks to see him live

i agree with xochitl v there were these two ladies that kept pushing me out of the way, and im only 4'11" and i couldn't see ANYTHING at all, i paid money to SEE Justin Bieber not be pushed by grown adult women, they kept shoving me and pushing there butts into my stomach, and i was literally in tears, i came to see JB and i saw him maybe once or twice, i was in the front and still could not see anything. i asked them if i could move in front and they totally ignored me. this was by far one of the most craziest concerts of Justin! this was my first concert and still couldnt see him! Bieber fans are crazy and if they are grown adults they most definitely shouldnt be in the front. i looked back to see there was so much room behind me, everyone was pushing and shoving! by the end i had tears rolling down my face thanks to the ladies. This one other lady maybe about 30 she pushed her way up to the front and than blamed me for pushing her! she told security and than evryone backed up and she was like "thank you!! now we can all breath!" when she pushed her way and elbowed me in the stomach. ALL i wanted to do was see Justin.. and older women couldn't even help me out! it was to crazy.

It was one of the worst nights of my life. Honestly. The amount of shoving, pushing, screaming, crying, was unbelievable. I swear all the girls there seem to care about themselves and would do anything to get in front. There was young girls crying and moaning about being hit or shoved or slapped, I felt like yelling, 'SUCK IT UP! There are many girls crying and are in worse pain than you so stop asking for attention, we know your hurt!' Me and my friends,and sister were practially squashed to death against some really fat people, (no offence) but you didn't here us complaining! We just stood and prayed that Justin would come on and everyone woud listen to what he said and calm down. Boy was I wrong. The minute he came on the crowd was wild. Seriously, it wasn't even funny. My friend started silently crying so we just shoved our way out. If they can't be bothered to keep the fans and everyone under control then so be it. We are never ever going to one of his concerts agin. The less popular, the better. That's what I believe. I honestly thing they should have sold less tickets so less people would be in there at a time. Maybe they should have done a double concert, one on the 15th then maybe they should have done one today. Two day space. It would have been easier to handle. They should have sold as many tickets but split them in half, one on the 15th then one on the 17th. It would have been so much better. But we can honestly say, never, ever, going back to see him. I like his music and everything, but he's just not worth it. Seriously! Making around 12-14 year old have bruises and putting them in pain? Around 150 people were distraught. 150 or 1 person in pain, I don't care, Im never ever going back. Me and my sister and friends are jsu tgoing too stiick for VIP and private openings, and smaller, more spacious concerts. And much more calm hopefully. Oh and if any of the managers of the event are reading this heres what I have to say: Sort your damn security team and guards out, get a grip on how many people were hurt, think about ou=thers for a change. Its not all about your damn money. If you have any more concerts like this, I know exactly wehere your money is going, and I hope you do too. Read my suggestions and ideas. After all Im only 15, and I know what 15 year old girls want. So fix it.

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