I’ve never really been one to feel regret, or, never been one to feel like it’s too late to say I’m sorry, if you will. But, a few months ago, after watching ticket prices for Justin Bieber at Barclays Center rise and fall, and rise again, and still making the decision not to go, I found myself drowning in regret the next day. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t pulled the trigger. I knew I was going to have to fix it.
Cut to Tuesday night a month or so later when I was sitting at home drinking my last beer from a recent trip to Copenhagen. I was a little buzzed, and in a highly emotional state, writing a goodbye email to a colleague who means more to me than the Biebs himself. I’d been eyeing Bieber at Madison Square Garden tickets ever since I missed the Barclays shows. Fuck, I was eyeing Atlantic City tickets, Hartford tickets, Cincinnati tickets, EVERYWHERE. But that fateful night, the stars aligned, and the balance in my handy Digit account (10/10 would recommend this app) was $265. A Bieber ticket, all fees included, was $272. I couldn’t pass it up. Boom. Done. Purchased. Wtf did I just do? I thought. Made an amazing fucking decision, was the answer.
Last night I took the A train from Downtown Brooklyn to MSG, Purpose in my ears. I was overwhelmed with anticipation. It’d been a long day of listening to Bieber jams old and new (nothing from Journals) and being unable to focus on the world around me. My friends were excited for me to go, just so I would stop talking about how excited I was to go.
I had a simple mission for when I first got to MSG: Buy some T-shirts and buy some beer. When I arrived the lines for merch were long, the lines for beer were short. I knew what had to be done, though. My heart was beating loudly as I approached the fourth merch table I tried, praying to the Bieber gods they’d have what I wanted. C in small? K in XXL (for my very tall friend)? D in L (for the request from a friend on Twitter)? Yes. Yes. Yes! Already on top and it was only 7:10. Time for a beer.
During the first opener my main thought was Who is this person? So I just chilled and continued sipping my beer with a straw, as one does at a Bieber concert. The seats were starting to fill up but my row was still mostly empty. Quick side note about MSG: It’s a solid place even if you have what might be thought of as a bad seat. It’s not too steep, so I had a good view–even though when I bought the ticket I thought Boy, that sure is high up. It really wasn’t! The venue is low but wide. Thumbs up.
Post Malone was short and sweet. “White Iverson” is a dope song–it’s catchy and contains a bunch of NBA references–both things I very much enjoy.
Finally, it’s Bieber time. At first it doesn’t feel real. Even after I left the show, about two hours later it still doesn’t. Sitting at home on my couch, it’s kind of real? Not quite though. A little background: I am a person who typically goes to MSG to watch basketball, and a person who has a basketball tattooed on her wrist. And a baseball. And a baseball bat. I am very much a bro, meaning very much not an expected Bieber fan, but here we are.
I wouldn’t have called myself a Belieber until I was given a mug saying so last month. But I’ve loved him for awhile, and “Beauty And A Beat” is a great fucking song. And his Christmas album is also awesome (You heard me). For me, it’s always just been one thing: the music, and none of the tabloid bullshit. Catchy pop music will get me every time. I loved NSYNC, and Backstreet Boys, and 98 Degrees, and now I’m an adult that doesn’t wanna let pop music and big production concerts go. So sue me.
The show includes a variety of old and new songs, and five outfit changes. During “Never Say Never,” the guys next to me (Bobby and James from Philly) said they don’t know the song. I’m like, This was Bieber’s single when he was fucking 15 years old and selling out MSG, seven years ago. Let that sink in. Seven years ago. Age 15. He can also solve a Rubik’s cube in less than two minutes. What did you ever do?
During a bit of stage banter (which there was little of, which is GOOD) Bieber started rattling off ages while the ladies cheer for their number. We go from 11 to 40, the high points being 16 and 23. Me and Bobby really go for it when he says 28. Because we are living the fucking dream.
Walking home looking at the full moon, I started thinking again about regret, and how the one I had is now gone. Clean slate. Justin Bieber was worth all 27,250 pennies, plus a shirt and beer, and I’ll never second guess that for the rest of my life.