The same day Kanye West announced on Twitter that Justin Bieber’s "What Do You Mean" was his favorite track of 2015, the Biebs himself graced the Rose City for the third concert on his eight-month Purpose World Tour.
You know you’re in for a good show when the performer's first appearance is in a clear box, suspended above the stage: sure, it's probably an overblown metaphor for fame and life as the most famous 20-something in the world, but whatever, it’s some damn fine showmanship. The Biebs kicked things off with a slow number, “Mark My Words” (also the Purpose album opener) and every audience member in the jam-packed Moda Center was immediately putty in his hands.
And that was before the dance moves. When "Where Are U Now" blasted, multicolor lasers zigzagged through the Moda Center as the largely female audience screamed in ecstasy each time Justin smiled, touched his hair, coyly let his plaid-lined duster slip to slightly expose his tattooed arms, breathed, etc.
The eye candy didn’t end at the lasers. Pyrotechnics, smoke, choreographed fight scenes, a giant, suspended trampoline on which the pop sensation completed not one but two back flips while performing “Company,” and an ascending drum set on which he hammered out several Drumline-worthy rhythms. Who knew?
But, of course, the Canadian export gave us some crooning downtime with an acoustic rendition of “Love Yourself” from a perch on a pink, crushed-velvet couch that arose from the arena’s depths. Just Justin being Justin, you know?
Then there was the moment, toward the end of the show, when Bieber emerged in a '90s Marilyn Manson tee with the message “Bigger Than Satan” on it. Because pop music’s angel boy is no longer as squeaky clean as he once was, amiright?
Several times during the show, Bieber paused to catch his breath and get real with the audience, many of whom held signs declaring “You Give Portland Purpose” (see what they did there?). The megastar perched on the edge of the catwalk and asked delirious fans for their names before informing his thousands of acolytes that he planned on going trout fishing the following day, a sport not traditionally popular with 22-year-olds, though after that announcement it probably will be.
There was a Purpose-heavy tracklist, thousands of young and not-that-young screaming fans, and an encore performance of “Sorry,” in the perfect Portland downpour. Oh, and he took his shirt off.