Cases of Bieber fever have skyrocketed in Iowa for the first time in six years.
Justin Bieber, the Canadian-born pop star and teenage heartthrob, greeted more than 12,000 fans at Wells Fargo Arena Sunday night by mounting a flying rocket ship emblazoned with his “Justice” tour’s logo.
Riding the floating missile, Bieber opened his fourth concert on the tour and his fourth appearance in Des Moines with “Somebody” off his sixth studio album, “Justice.” Bieber wasted no time addressing the screeching crowd, jumping through three more tracks off his 2021 album including lead single “Holy,” illuminated by background dancers and red, luminescent crosses.
The show started earlier than expected with opening acts ¿Téo?, Eddie Benjamin and Jaden — the son of Oscar and Grammy award winner Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith — taking the stage before Bieber’s 8:30 pm showtime.
Bieber’s nearly two-hour set featured synchronized, color changing drones, pyrotechnics and laser light shows that seemingly entertained the animated crowd.
Still, there were moments the crowd’s ear-piercing screams were dimmed. With two guitarists, Bieber serenaded the arena with “Hold Tight” off 2014’s “Journals,” crowd-favorite “Love Yourself” from 2015’s “Purpose” and “Off My Face” from his latest record.
Early in his performance Bieber donned a pink puffer jacket before going shirtless, with light pink pants to match, an oversized pearl necklace and a New York Yankees hat on backward. His face throughout the concert was partially hidden behind a pair of Balenciaga sunglassesditting the pair only for the performance’s 18th track, “Lonely.”
The climax of the show came with Bieber’s throwback hits “Boyfriend” and “Baby,” creating decibels that crowds inside the arena likely haven’t heard since his performance in front of 14,000 fans in 2016.
Bieber smartly delayed the introduction of “Peaches,” playing piano with his band and riffing Bob Marley before launching into his track that landed him his seventh No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Thousands cheered as Bieber reminded the crowd that “Jesus loves you,” before he launched into “Anyone,” to a sugary sweet backdrop of photos of his wife Hailey Bieber and of adoring fans. Iowa’s Bieber drought has finally come to an end.
A long six years
Bieber’s “Justice” World Tour was originally scheduled to begin and end in 2020 but was postponed twice to 2021 and then to 2022 after the coronavirus pandemic complicated tour schedules. Then, in early February just two days after Bieber started the “Justice” tour, he tested positive for COVID-19, delaying the tour by an additional few days.
Bieber’s previous stops in Iowa’s capital city can’t compete with his “Justice” tour performance.
In his last appearance during 2016’s “Purpose” tour, Bieber was clearly lip synching parts of his act and singing into the wrong end of his microphone. And before that during the 2013 “Believe” tour, Bieber took the stage later than scheduled.
Justin Bieber’s setlist in Des Moines
- “Hold On”
- “Deserve You”
- “Where Are U Now”
- “What Do You Mean?”
- “Hold Tight”
- “Love Yourself”
- “Off My Face”
- “All That Matters”
- “Don’t Go”
- “Love You Different”
- “As I Am”
- “2 Much”