Justin Bieber kicked off the Purpose tour in Seattle on Wednesday (March 9) and he made a few sly nods to the city’s rich music history.
Seattle, Washington, was the storied birthplace of grunge, after all, and Justin honored the location by dressing like grunge’s patron saint Kurt Cobain.
The Nirvana frontman became an unwitting fashion icon in the early ‘90s by wearing ripped jeans, dirty T-shirts, and grandpa sweaters to shows, which made such a stark contrast to hair metal’s spandex and glitter that it became a bona fide look all its own. One of Justin’s outfits from Wednesday doesn’t exactly ape Cobain’s signature anti-style, but it does reference it, layering a grey sweatshirt over a baggy flannel, white T-shirt, and torn-up jeans.
He also wore Cobain’s face on a T-shirt underneath not one but two red flannels (one worn like a shirt, the other wrapped around his waist) during an acoustic performance of “Love Yourself."
Even Biebs' shaggy platinum hair calls back to Cobain's perpetually unwashed blond locks.
Bieber’s stylist Karla Welch came under fire late last year for dressing the singer in a distressed Nirvana shirt, but she hasn’t let the negative feedback impact her style — she’s still drawing from the grunge era.
Aside from the fashion parallels, there are a couple of spooky facts that connect Bieber and Cobain. Bieber was born a month before Cobain died, and both musicians play guitar left-handed.
Some might say that Cobain lives on in younger musicians like Bieber — and by “some,” we mean Jaden Smith, who tweeted exactly that.
We’re not going to go so far as to say that Cobain’s ghost haunts Seattle arenas or anything, but the dude is definitely still present among young music fans.