Having to take my child to a Justin Bieber concert is quite possibly my worst nightmare. I've been to a few concerts with my daughter but she's yet to find out there are any other radio stations apart from Triple J so things haven't been too heinous.
She found out about Adele, possibly by osmosis, but Adele I can tolerate. She's talented, mouthy and a feminist. And her friend's dad took her to that concert.
But Bieber? No thanks. I can't even make some clever pun here using one of his song titles because I don't know what any of them are.
But one unfortunate dad in South Africa recently took his daughters to a Bieber concert, and was kind enough to share his review of the evening on Facebook, much to the world's delight.
Ron Irwin, Media Lecturer at the University of Cape Town, was not impressed.
"The time has come," he began. "I want people to hear the truth. I went to the Justin Bieber Purpose show in Cape Town. I cop to this. I did it because I wanted my daughters to have a treat for working hard in school and also there are only so many more years when I will be welcome to come along to rock concerts with them.
"I'm actually not welcome now but they are too young to protest and they can't drive yet so I get a pass."
Ron went on to share that his daughters thought Bieber was the "second coming of the Messiah", but that he felt ripped off by the entire event.
First, Ron was baffled by the opening act.
"It's some dude sitting at a desk with a ski mask on. I am not kidding. AT.A.DESK."
The opening act turns out to be a DJ who plays everything from his iPad.
"He probably checked his Facebook page a few times while he was up there," says Ron.
"I thought this was some error. Like, the band was still coming and the sound mixer man was accidentally hoisted on stage by the drunk roadies. BUT NO. This is the FIRST ACT. FOR AN HOUR we watch this masked idiot twiddle buttons and play dance music. Every so often six people come out on stage an sort of dance, as if they had been randomly selected from the audience for Ye Olde Green Pointe Stadium Dance Off in some sh**ty karaoke bar down near the whorehouses in Sea Point. Maybe the best dancer was promised case of cider and a free massage. But surely not selected out of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DANCERS to open for the PRETTY MUCH BIGGEST LIVE ACT IN THE WORLD???"
But Ron acknowledges that the crowd are enjoying the music. "They scream and dance as if they are watching, ya know, REAL MUSICIANS PLAYING LIVE MUSIC."
Once the warm up act is finished, it's time for the main event: Bieber.
"Lights down Screens up. Smoke. Fireworks, and then…OMG there he is. A little figure in the middle of the stage in a white t-shirt and basketball shorts, knee socks and sneakers. There is Bieber in all his wholesomeness, looking like a choir boy who discovered the joys of sleeve tattoos on his way to basketball practice."
Ron says his daughter and her friend were in raptures, along with most of the rest of the crowd.
"But Bieber just sort of lurches forward and…well…Bieber moans. He moans into the microphone and points at the crowd, like the Junior Varsity Basketball Player of Christmas Past coming to collect souls. He just..moans..or groans..or sort of hums…and the music behind him sounds like a warm up. There he is in person, there he is on the screen, looking out at us with dead eyes, pointing. Like a scene that was cut out of the Shining.
"Just. Creepy. As. F**k."
Ron is baffled as the crowd erupts into applause for this bizarre display, and wonders when the actual singing is going to start.
"Then he does begin singing. Or, more to the point, he begins earnestly lip syncing. He is moving around the stage and he seems to have a few signature stances. Here is Bieber walking with "purpose" towards us. Here he is reaching to the heavens. Here he is pointing at people in the crowd. Here he is shuffling his feet in front of his dance troupe like a drunk old man at his granddaughter's wedding reception."
Then Ron says Bieber sips his water and walks around the stage, surrounded by dancers – sometimes joining in.
"He cannot really dance. The dancers have clearly been told to dance as if he is not there. He has one number with a woman whom he flips over and who lays her leg on his neck..he supports her, he looks at her as if she is serving him a beer he didn't order; but he is careful to keep his elbows in as he supports her. He's obviously been told not to hurt this woman by messing up his support stance.
"He has a signature movement. He hunches his shoulders and bends his knees as if he is defending the home team's basket and his palms seem to graze his crotch. He does this every few minutes, as if he is adjusting a jock strap that's too tight. It looks sort of molester-ish."
After about 40 minutes Justin seems to get tired, walking to the backstage, while the dancers carry on in front of him. Then, it's time for Justin to play some actual music.
"At one point in the proceedings Justin is handed a guitar," says Ron. "He plunks at the strings, he sings a little ditty, finally. People encourage him to keep singing, but then he drops the guitar and goes back to his lip syncing."
Ron says that of the 21 songs he performed that night, Bieber only played four of them.
"We each paid enough to buy a small pony to hear this kid sing FOUR SONGS."
Ron says his daughters defended Bieber, saying there was no way he could dance and sing, so of course he has to lip sync.
"And I hear Micheael Jackson roll in his grave," says Ron. "Elvis groans from the Great Toilet in the sky."
Ron despairs at what has happened to music since the days of Led Zeppelin.
"Justin Bieber? Motherf**ker didn't even have the good sense to trash a hotel room. Nary one TV was thrown out a window. Rock is dead and it's Justin's fault."