Published on June 23rd, 2017 | by Gorjus Greg


Justin? Nah! Just Leavin’ (Bieber at the RDS Dublin)

I was expecting Justin Bieber at the RDS in Dublin to be an event to remember.  I assumed that I would witness some level of greatness.  I had hoped that I would have been so impressed that I could return to my naysayers with an enthusiastic defence.  Here I am lacking in enthusiasm.  Here I am questioning my assumptions.  Here I am with shattered expectations.  Here I am, home an hour early after leaving Biebers set half way through.

We arrived at the RDS just after 5pm.  Security was high for obvious reasons, however the chap who hand wanded me on entry to the guest list ticket pick up kiosk, clearly missed the hand wand training session.  I extended my arms, assumed the position if you will, but he scanned only my stomach.  Not to worry tho, it was only the guest list ticket pick up and not an actual route into the venu. We entered around the side where security were most efficient and friendly to boot, they clearly turned up on hand wand training day.

The RDS is an Eighteenth Century complex situated in Ballsbridge Dublin.  It is both elegant and beautiful.  No matter what event it delivers, it does so with an unforgettable charm.

After we passed security, we made our way to the green space to sit and absorb the atmosphere and sunshine.  Both were a delight.  Admittedly the average age of concert goer on this day was about 17.  I took solace in pretending to be the Responsible Adult accompanying my younger female companion.  That fact that she’s in her thirties had no effect on my delusion.

John Gibbons

John Gibbons, somewhere on stage @RDS Dublin

Irish DJ John Gibbons kicked off the evening and played to a half full arena.  I wasn’t expecting much from Gibbons. His rehashes of old 80’s hits don’t really float my boat (PYT, Would I Lie to You), but in fairness, it’s nothing to do do with his skills, it’s more to do with my hatred of most 80’s music.  Gibbons was fantastic! I’ll say it again, FANTASTIC!  He made a filling arena sound like a full arena.  I thoroughly enjoyed his set.  He was as energetic and animated as his music.  However, it took a while to spot him on the rather large black stage.  He too was all in black, but only for his long blonde hair and pasty Irish skin, I would have sworn he wasn’t there.


Halsey came on stage around 7 pm to a warmed up crowd, thanks to John.  She was outstanding.  The crowd loved her.  Her music was upbeat, her band tight, add that to a great voice and you have an excellent performance.

If and when Halsey returns to our shores, I will definitely make the effort to watch her perform.  She has a great future ahead.

Justin Bieber

Okay! So roll on Justin Bieber. By this time the arena was full and screaming for the arrival of one of the worlds most popular musicians/artists.  The atmosphere was alive, thrilling even.  So much that even I had a lump in my throat.

His entrance was as dramatic, as were the pyrotechnics, the smoke and the laser lights.  It was by far a grand entrance, but that’s where it started to go down hill.  At one stage, my companion said the he was miming.  I refused to believe this until I saw him chug a bottle of water while simultaneously singing the chorus of one of his hit. (Can’t remember which one).  For the most part he lacked movement, he lacked enthusiasm and this began to show in the audience’s response.  He said to the crowd that he seemed to remember a more excited crowd on his last visit.  I wonder why.

As I said the pyrotechnics were great, but his dancers appeared to be all over the place,  maybe that was the plan.  Two of his dancers tripped on stage in the first half.  I don’t know how the second half went because my companion and I left

All in all? I expected less from John Gibbons but got a fantastic show from him.  Halsey did not disappoint at all, she was the highlight of the show for me. Justin? Well….


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About the Author

Gregory Donaghy: Homeless, unemployable, misanthropic alien life form with a penchant for stating the obvious.

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