Crotching Whiskey at the Justin Bieber Concert and Getting Thrown Out: A Review


Can you feel the magic? Can you grab ahold of it and never let go? - JON GITCHOFF
  • Jon Gitchoff
  • Can you feel the magic? Can you grab ahold of it and never let go?

Justin Bieber was genetically engineered in a secret government laboratory to be the Ultimate Teen Heartthrob. Millions of dollars are spent every year to ensure that the Earth's population worships the Bieb; the number of powerful men in suits whose job it is to ensure that "Operation: Hot Bieber" is successful likely rivals the suited army of even the President. In fact, according to Klout (a San Francisco company that tracks social media statistics) JB's online influence is greater than that of Mr. Obama or even the Dalai Lama. In short, last night's concert at the Scottrade Center was a well-attended, pretty big deal.

See also: -The Top Ten Ways to Piss Off Your Bartender at a Music Venue -The 15 Most Ridiculous Band Promo Photos Ever

Dutifully, I volunteered to cover the show. I didn't belong, I'm not a fan, and I wasn't exactly looking forward to it, but when the Prince of Pre-Pubescent Pop makes an appearance in one's land, one had best take heed. Aiding me on my quest was my associate, one Kenny Snarzyk, the long-haired / mustachioed front man of local doom metal band Fister.

Kenny arrived at my house at about 5 p.m. with a fifth of Old Overholt Whiskey and two pint-sized, newly-purchased flasks -- plastic ones, as he was moderately concerned about metal detectors. We found a clean funnel and divvied up our evening's only salvation as we strategized our attack. We were discussing the overabundance of children that we would be surrounded by at the show when Kenny (who is a father himself) succinctly summed up the concerns of every parent who would be in the building: "I like kids, you know?" Kenny said. "But I look like this."

The authors. Baby-sitting availability upon request. Slideshow: Justin Bieber at the Scottrade Center

Bieber traffic slowed our approach; teen girls screaming in their cars ("OHMIGOD THERE'S A LIMO!!!! OHMIGOD OHMIGOD OHMIGOD!!!!!) were audible before the Scottrade Center was even in sight. Throngs of hysterical Beliebers walked the streets, generally flanked by their watchful parents. The typical group archetype consisted of four to six individuals: One over-protective Mom, two to four hyperventilating female tweens, and one miserable, angry Dad. We parked the car and headed through the sea of people to the entrance.

Now, I've been a white dude for about as long as I can remember, so I'm not going to pretend that I have any deep understanding of what it is to be discriminated against in this way, but I'd imagine that our approach and attempt to enter the building is about as close as I'll ever come to experiencing the type of profiling that has been known to occur in airports all around the country in our post-9/11 world. Essentially, we were two dudes in turbans with fuses sticking out of our shoes and every single Dad in the place was an on-edge airport security official. I can't remember the last time I was so blatantly, unblinkingly stared at. I cannot over-emphasize how clearly we did not belong here.

Getting inside was a nightmare, but Kenny effectively parted the exceptionally densely-packed crowd like the Red Sea by charging ahead and repeating, "I'm bleeding! I'm bleeding!" over and over again as parents clasped their children close to get them out of the way. I walked with my arms raised over my head and hands visible to all, terrified that one of these many watchful angry Dads would misconstrue my attendance / shoulder to shoulder proximity to their children to be something creepy. It occurred to me that the glazed-over look in my eyes and smell of whiskey on my breath certainly weren't helping my case.

After fighting our way to the box office (Bieber was not issuing press passes for this tour, so we had to buy our own) we learned that the show was sold out of any tickets below the $85 mark. We fought our way back outside and haggled with some scalpers for a while, eventually purchasing nosebleed seats at $45 a pop. Tickets in hand and anticipation in our hearts, we crotched our flasks and made our way into the building.

  • Jon Gitchoff

Slideshow: Justin Bieber at the Scottrade Center

By the time we finally got in opener Carly Rae Jepsen was finishing up with her ubiquitous hit song "Call Me Maybe." I can't say for sure, due to our absence, but I assume that the rest of her set comprised that same song, like, fourteen more times. Shortly after Jepsen left the stage, a timer appeared on the big screen monitor behind the stage, counting down from the ten-minute mark.

Immediately, every single young female fan in the place began screaming, in a pitch so high that I actually couldn't hear it at all with my 30+ year-old ears. I only knew it was happening thanks to the veins popping out of out of the girls' foreheads and the wild, rabid look in their eyes. I'm sure every dog within a five mile radius was fucking panicking.


At this time I am going to turn this review over to my associate Kenny.

Kenny: As the countdown finally reached zero, the music started and Justin Bieber was lowered down to the stage like an angel from the heavens, complete with a huge fifteen foot set of wings on his back that looked to be constructed out of gears, rims and subwoofers.

The cat walk lit up like a runway for his Canadian Majesty's landing, and as soon as his little 400 dollar pair of Nike's hit the stage, the song "All Around the World" kicked in. Nobody seemed to mind that he was lip syncing; I'm assuming that with productions this large and all of the choreography, the last thing people want to hear is the actual vocals that could crawl out of the lungs of the bastard shit prince of pop.

  • Jon Gitchoff

Slideshow: Justin Bieber at the Scottrade Center

Now, I'm not a fan of pop music in general. One might even wonder why in the hell RFT Music would ask us to go, if not for the pure comedic value. I don't know what I did wrong, but I figure maybe Daniel was being punished for not coming up with a top ten list of the best Subway franchises in St. Louis county by his deadline or something.

That being said, three songs into Bieber's set that little bastard did something that made me, and everyone else in the room, a believer. He removed his sunglasses. It was pandemonium; life-changing for the young ladies in the audience. I'm pretty sure Daniel got his first period. Unfortunately, Biebs doesn't have the power to incinerate everything he looks at like Cyclops from the X-Men, so we had to continue living through the show for a little while longer.

He performed two more songs and then went into a commercial break. It was unreal. JUSTIN BIEBER COMMERCIALS, AT THE JUSTIN BIEBER SHOW. His propaganda films displayed for everyone how he shocked the world when he cut his hair and completed his transition from a boy into the pussiest jock ever.

Do you believe???  Slideshow: Justin Bieber at the Scottrade Center - JON GITCHOFF

Bieber came back and launched into another handful of songs. I apologize for not knowing many of the song titles; I really did about as much research as I can stand before going to this concert. That research amounted to me listening to the first half of his newest record, Believe. All of the songs sound the same for the most part, and he was cranking them out a minute at a time, making it nearly impossible to know when one song ended and the next began. Meanwhile, the whiskey was doing a terrible job at keeping us hydrated.

Bieber took yet another piss break; this time he had his electro-tribal band crush us with devastating instrumental rock & roll. The guitar player had long curly hair and was headbanging relentlessly in front of a Marshall full stack, then just as soon as they were starting to captivate the audience with their Gravity Kills-esque brand of laser rock, a trap door opened in the stage and spewed out Bieber like a turd golem from the depths of Earth's inner core.

He emerged to introduce the members of the band, first with the bass player, who then performed a thirty second solo that didn't make any sense, or (believe it or not) have any rhythm. Then he introduced the drummer, who was quite competent at busting out a smooth hip-hop beat. I guess Bieber then lost interest, as the poor guitar player did not get an introduction, but was instead commanded to "Play a Spanish riff" which may or may not have been pre-recorded. Carly Rae Jepsen came out on to the stage to accompany Bieber on his song "Beautiful" which he followed up with "Out of Town Girl" and some bullshit rant about how life isn't hard and everything will be alright -- a perfect intro to his masterpiece "Be Alright."

The next few songs were kind of hazy, and seemed a bit more like filler than anything -- he cruised through them all by merely doing a verse and chorus of each before getting into the next song. At some point a large moving crane lifted him up as an acoustic guitar was magically lowered down into his arms. I noticed a few things at this moment.

1. Bieber is a lefty. 2. My flask is getting dangerously low. 3. Security is shining a flash light on me and asking me to come with them.

So I was busted. Security politely escorted me to the gates, asking me why I had a note pad and whiskey. I told them I was writing a review of the show, and asked if they could honestly blame me for bringing the flask in the first place. There was some amicable disagreement about whether one might need half a bottle of rye to get through a Bieber concert, but they let me keep it nonetheless. The rest of the night's review was going to have to be up to Daniel.

Daniel resumes writing this review.

Daniel: Okay, so Kenny was just escorted out of the building, but somehow they left me to remain, even though my flask was sitting right next to me. Kenny must have been narced out by one of the nearby parents. My first instinct was to down the rest of my own beverage and dispose of the evidence, but this proved more difficult than I'd hoped when I threw up in my mouth a little following a large swig. It could be argued that it was the concert's fault, not the whiskey's, but either way I didn't want to chance it. Still, what if I had just started projectile vomiting in every direction at a packed Justin Bieber show? Doesn't get much better than that.

  • Jon Gitchoff

Slideshow: Justin Bieber at the Scottrade Center

The set was clearly nearing its completion, so I got up and started heading towards the exits, preparing to break into a full-on run the second the last song was over, so as not to get swallowed up again by the masses as we had on our way in. Walking down those steep-ass Scottrade Center steps was much more tricky now that I had 3/4 of a pint of Old Overholt in my system, and I was pretty sure that if I lost my footing I would tumble endlessly over row after row of families. I decided at this time that it was a good thing we went with "no" about our early "Bieber on Mushrooms" idea.

I watched from an entrance while Bieber left the stage and returned for an encore, finishing up with "Girlfriend" and "Baby." As the last chords were played, Biebs ran all around the stage high-fiving his dancers and repeatedly saying "swag." The same security guard that had escorted Kenny out approached me unexpectedly and yanked my bottle out of my back pocket, to which I sheepishly replied, "Uh, yeah I had one too." He wasn't impressed by our tenacity, and I too was compelled to take my leave.

I met back up with Kenny and we headed to the parking lot in near-silence, still having difficulty digesting what we had just seen. I stood guard while he pissed surreptitiously, which we both recognized was about the most dangerous thing we had done all night (having one's dick exposed for any reason at a Justin Bieber concert is decidedly perilous). We killed the last of our drink and headed off into the night, victorious.

  • Jon Gitchoff

Slideshow: Justin Bieber at the Scottrade Center

Critical Bias: I don't care about Justin Bieber; I do like Old Overholt. I recommend it.

Overheard: "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEee eeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" compounded x 50,000

"Okay, I think his dance moves suck, but I don't really know. Until we challenge him to a dance-off and win, I guess I'll give him that one." -- Kenny Snarzyk

See also: -The Top Ten Ways to Piss Off Your Bartender at a Music Venue -The 15 Most Ridiculous Band Promo Photos Ever -The Ten Worst Music Tattoos Ever

Follow RFT Music on Twitter or Facebook. But go with Twitter. Facebook blows.


Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.