Judging by the screams and massive crowds that follow him whenever he performs live, Justin Bieber has a penchant for blowing his fans’ minds. But on Monday night during a private show at Harlem, New York’s legendary Apollo Theater he also blew out the power grid.
According to the Associated Press, Bieber was forced to finish the show unplugged after the power went out at the venue near the end of the show. Most of the stage instruments lost juice and manager Scooter Braun said the problem caused the singer to improvise.
“Then we hear the fire alarm,” Braun explained “Literally, the boy blew up the Apollo — he heated up the Apollo.” Before the show, Bieber tweeted that the gig was a special one for him given the history of the storied venue, which has hosted everyone from James Brown, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder to Mariah Carey and, recently, former Beatle Paul McCartney. “A lot of emotions in the building,” he wrote. “This one is special. This one is for MJ.”
A short time later, he joked, “Me and @ludacris blew up the power at the @ApolloTheater. Haha. Epic. #beastmode … A night none of us will ever forget!! That is how u end an #AllAroundTheWorld run!!! With no power for the last song … my fans sang it 4 me!”
The power outage only affected the stage instruments and some lighting and while Braun was told the problem would be solved in a few minutes, it went on for more than 40 minutes. Bieber tried to have fun with the glitch at first, joking that it was all the “hot girls in here,” according to Apollo rep Nina Flowers, who ranked the snafu as a classic “Apollo moment.”
The 18-year-old pro hardly missed a beat, jumping behind the drums for a solo and asking the crowd to serenade Braun for his birthday. Though he was happy to vamp for a bit, at some point Braun said Bieber got frustrated when the power outage went on for nearly an hour because the show was being taped as part of an NBC special slated to air later this week in celebration of his new album, Believe .
He got over it and rewarded the crowd that had stuck with him during the outage by performing his hit single “Boyfriend” with some audience participation. “He walks out, he literally quiets the crowd, and he says, ’I’m sorry the power is out. . (But) you guys have always had my back. I’m going to sing ’Boyfriend’ and you’re going to sing it back to me,'” Braun said.
Flowers didn’t know what caused the power to run out, but she gave Bieber props for his professionalism. “He could have stopped; he could have not gone on and said, I did everything . but he came back on,” she said.
Don’t miss “Bieber Live” tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.