November 26, 2012
Justin Bieber's bubble-gum pop way too sweet during Grey Cup halftime
By MARK DANIELL, QMI Agency
Beliebers had plenty to cheer about during Sunday's half-time show at the 100th Grey Cup, but not many other people did.
After much hand-wringing over the choice of the syrupy Canadian pop star, Justin Bieber made his followers at Rogers Centre squeal with delight during a short, two-song set -- Boyfriend and Beauty and the Beat, two songs from his latest disc, the platinum-selling Believe.
But what should have been a one-artist blow-out (think Super Bowl, people), ended up being a rushed, school-type concert that had Bieber sprinting to finish after sets by Gordon Lightfoot, Marianas Trench and Carly Rae Jepsen.
Did we really need four performers? Don't think so.
Especially after half-baked performances from Johnny Reid, who opened the festivities with forgettable versions of Fire It Up and Let's Have A Party, and Burton Cummings, who butchered O Canada.
The half-time artists played on three separate stages, with Lightfoot kicking things off with the subdued Canadian Railroad Trilogy. Sorry Gord, that didn't exactly get the 53,000-plus stompin' their feet.
Then it was Vancouver's Marianas Trench, who proved there is life after Fall Out Boy for slightly maladjusted tweens with their song Stutter. Unfortunately, there aren't too many navel gazers at the Grey Cup. The band was greeted with blank stares, with the biggest reaction coming from the CFL cheerleaders who lined the front of the stage.
News flash guys. They're paid to look enthusiastic.
Jepsen was next up with The Kiss and Call Me Maybe. And while the latter certainly was the song of the summer, and definitely got the crowd going, her opening number hinted that Carly Rae might be joining the one-hit wonder club.
Then it was Bieber. The Tweets from earlier in the night might have foreshadowed a boo-fest or worse (think Timberlake at SARStock), but the slick, slightly muscled pop star from Stratford, Ont., did his best to win Rogers Centre over.
And he succeeded. Kind of.
Emerging from a tunnel, Bieber took the stage for a highly choreographed two-song set that was high on flash, but a little low on substance.
The dance-infused Boyfriend segued into the saccharine Beauty and the Beat. It's bubblegum pop, and there's nothing wrong with that.
It's just after three less-than-memorable performances before he even took the stage, Bieber was 10 more minutes of empty calories.
Beliebers might have been hollering, but it's unlikely Justin won over any new fans.