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February 23, 2019

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Justin Bieber pulls out all the stops in ‘Purpose’ stop at MGM Grand

Justin Bieber at MGM Grand Garden Arena

Tom Donoghue /

Justin Bieber performs a sold-out concert Friday, March 25, 2016, at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Justin Bieber at MGM Grand Garden Arena

Justin Bieber performs a sold-out concert Friday, March 25, 2016, at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Launch slideshow »

Justin Bieber at MGM Grand

Justin Bieber performs at MGM Grand Grand Arena on Friday, March 25, 2016. Launch slideshow »

Justin Bieber and David Guetta at XS

Maejor, David Guetta and Justin Bieber on Friday, March 25, 2016, at XS in Encore. Launch slideshow »

Justin Bieber wrote “Los Vegas” instead of “Las Vegas” with a yellow marker as he was lowered from the ceiling inside a clear glass cube Friday night at the start of his sold-out “Purpose World Tour” stop at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Spelling error aside, the Canadian superstar singer, who turned 22 on March 1, pulled out all the stops in his 90-minute spectacle that featured Bieber in fine voice acoustically and uptempo and in even finer form dancing with his onstage crew.

Also on display: a solid drum solo by Bieber and engaging staging that included LED screens, aerialists, a stage with trampoline (Bieber even did a few backflips himself) lowered from the arena ceiling, pyrotechnics — and more.

Add dads covering their ears, young and adorable Las Vegas dancers and his setlist that included back-to-back-to-back No. 1 hits “What Do You Mean?,” “Sorry” and “Love Yourself” off his new album, “Purpose,” among other fan favorites, and it was a night to remember for ear-piercingly loud Beliebers.


• Bieber’s looks Friday night included bottle-blond hair held back with a white headband; torn jeans; flannel shirts; an Edmonton Oilers jersey (Canada: Represent!); a Marilyn Manson T-shirt; a Misfits T-shirt; and a denim jacket.

• Bieber sat on a maroon couch at the end of a catwalk and, with acoustic guitar, launched into “Insecurities” — with the wrong words. He ingratiated himself by laughing at his error. The audience sang the next song, his current smash “Love Yourself,” word for word.

• The “Purpose World Tour” stop was definitely sold out, the most sold out I’ve seen the arena in eight years of concert reviews. The bleachers were shaking from dancing during “Baby,” another (a little bit scary) first.

• Bieber thanked his fans often during the evening and often was out of breath/breathing heavily from the high-energy dancing, so it was excusable that he occasionally sang over tracks. He flat-out stopped even trying to sing and/or lip sync toward the end of “What Do You Mean?” to focus on dancing.

• During his encore of “Sorry,” Bieber performed inside a wall of water and got completely soaked.

Friday night’s setlist at MGM Grand Garden Arena: “Mark My Words,” “Where Are U Now?,” “Get Used To It,” “I’ll Show You,” “The Feeling,” “Boyfriend,” “Insecurities,” “Home to Mama,” “Love Yourself,” “Been You,” “Company,” “No Sense,” “No Pressure,” “As Long As You Love Me,” “Children,” “Life Is Worth Living,” “What Do You Mean?,” “Hold Tight,” “Baby,” “Purpose” and, for his encore, “Sorry.”

While in town, Bieber also partied with DJ David Guetta at XS in Steve Wynn’s Encore post-concert Friday night. Thanks to L.E. Baskow of the Las Vegas Sun and Tom Donoghue of Donoghue Photography for their photo galleries of The Biebs.

P.S. Donoghue informed that the back of Bieber’s Oilers jersey that he wore to open the concert was autographed by NHL legend Wayne Gretzky. It said, “To Justin … great to meet you … Wayne Gretzky, March 2016.”

Don Chareunsy is the Las Vegas Sun’s entertainment and luxury senior editor and has been a journalist for nearly two decades.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at

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