NEW YORK — At 5:30 a.m. on a chilly 40-degree morning, Rockefeller Plaza was nonetheless filled with screaming teenage girls (many with the accessory of a cooperative parent) who spent their Columbus Day holiday checking out 15-year-old Justin Bieber’s appearance on the “Today” show.
The crowdmembers sported homemade T-shirts, bedazzled sunglasses, giant posters and many tearful eyes.
The Canadian teen sensation was in town to perform three songs from his forthcoming album, My World, which is scheduled to drop on November 17. While the show (and Rockefeller Plaza) sees plenty of celebrities, Monday morning’s (October 12) appearance was especially over the top: Girls were crushed against the barricades and camped out across the street just to catch a glimpse of Bieber on his way to his trailer.
Bieber came out and unexpectedly picked up an acoustic guitar. Donning a pair of dark shades, he dubbed himself “Bieber Cash” (presumably in reference to the late, great Johnny Cash) and began playing a blues scale while his rhythm guitarist threw him a jazzy blues shuffle peppered with seventh chords. After the warm-up jam, Bieber performed his hit single “One Time.”
After the song, Bieber talked with Matt Lauer and introduced the world to his mom. As if showing off his mom wasn’t enough to solidify himself as a teenage heartthrob, Bieber followed up with a love song, “Lonely Girl.” He brought up two lucky girls and seated them in stools while he serenaded both of them with a constant smile and whisk of his bangs from his eyes.
To close his set, Bieber debuted a new song, a stripped-down acoustic ballad called “Favorite Girl” that is quite different from many of his other songs.
Even though the crowd had been there for hours (and the temperature had not warmed up in the least), the girls’ ardor never relented.