NEW YORK — If you weren’t a teenage girl during the “Total Request Live” era of the late ’90s and early 2000s, watching Justin Bieber take over MTV’s famed Times Square studio Tuesday night for “Bieber Live” was definitely a lesson in what that era was all about.
“TRL” loaded girls into a room to get them up-close-and-personal with their teen dreams, and “Bieber Live” did that and then some for 100 lucky Beliebers.
Deafening screams filled the room from the moment the audience was loaded into the studio. But when Bieber walked in, well, that was a different story. The screams were heightened to (or perhaps surpassed) levels that haven’t been heard since the days of Backstreet and Britney. Justin kicked off the show with a performance of “Die in Your Arms” from his brand-new release, Believe. As fans clapped and sang along to the acoustic performance, the excitement in the room was palpable. And things got swagged out to the next level when Bieber dropped the mic at the end of the stripped-down performance, much to the delight of his devotees in the room.
It was so loud in the room that the audience couldn’t even hear Bieber talking during the show. After the first act wrapped up, the 18-year-old got a pep talk from his manager, Scooter Braun, while his faithful fans looked on. But the commercial break wasn’t all business: Bieber also gave high-fives to fans and joked around with them as well.
When the show came back, Bieber turned on the charm once more, even partaking in a friendly game of “2 Truths and a Lie,” during which lucky fans got to stand next to him and try and prove their Bieber knowledge. Yes, they got to stand next to him (and MTV News’ very own Sway Calloway, which we’re sure they were equally enthused by).
During the next commercial break, Bieber gave more high-fives to everyone before stepping away from the set for a minute and taking a little break. For the next act, the room was silent as the singer talked all about his music. Looking around at the crowd, you could see girls silently crying and screaming on the inside, just completely overwhelmed by the fact that they were feet away from their idol.
Sway and Bieber chatted for a second and had a bit of a man-to-man before the last segment of the show, and Bieber even showed off his smooth moves as he danced around for a bit and the cameras started rolling one last time.
As the show wrapped up, Bieber hung around long enough to spend some time with his fans, who traveled from far and wide to attend the show. He took pictures and made conversation, proving that Bieber truly understands what keeps him on top.
Stick with MTV News all week as we roll out more from our exclusive “Bieber Live” interview!