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18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal

On the final show of his Purpose Tour, we talked to devoted Beliebers in the line at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Photographer Mary Kang
July 21, 2016

Rising out of the floor in a glass box like a sexy, blond Criss Angel, Justin Bieber kicked off the final show of his Purpose World Tour with flair. Madison Square Garden was his home for the night, and it was sold-out and full of screaming fans. "You don't bring your girlfriend to a Justin Bieber concert" was his advice to the few men in the crowd. Whether you’re into Bieber or not, his talent — he sings, dances, plays piano, guitar, and the drums, plus that hair — is first-rate and was on full display on Tuesday night.

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In ripped jeans and an equally frayed Kurt Cobain-esque shirt, Bieber sang all the hits from his 2015 album Purpose, plus a few of his oldies — the show was non-stop from the word go. He performed “I’ll Show You” in the middle of a 360 degree light show. For “Company,” he hyped the crowd by doing backflips on a trampoline at least 50 feet in the air. Then he slowed things down with an acoustic version of “Love Yourself” while sitting on a purple couch that Prince himself would be proud of. Later, Travis Scott hopped on stage to perform his verse from “No Sense,” and even Jaden Smith stopped by to spit the “Never Say Never” verse he first performed when he was only 12 — way before he became the philosophical rapper he is today.

"Each and everyone of you in this building has a purpose,” Bieber told his fans at one point toward the end of the show. “You do belong.” The emotion in the room was palpable, a mix of inspiration and infatuation. Like everyone else in the audience, I did feel like he was talking just to me — as if I just a shy 16-year-old with the world at my feet, instead of really a tired 24-year-old who drinks too much coffee. After nearly three hours on stage, Bieber finally closed the show by performing “Sorry” under a beautiful display of cascading rain, causing a frenzy when he haphazardly tossed a wet towel into the crowd.

For our third installment of the Plus Ones series, presented by StubHub, we caught up with a few Beliebers outside MSG to find out what it is about Justin that keeps them coming back.

Cairda, 19, Hailey, 19, and Jordan, 20
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal

What is it about Justin Bieber that makes you such loyal fans?

Cairda: His swag. He's just such a good person. People don't see that a lot. They think he's just an asshole but he's really not. Yeah, he's really not. He's such a nice person and he care about everyone, all of his fans so.

What made you want to see him live tonight?

Jordan: Last show of the tour. Madison Square Garden. Iconic.

Hailey: I'm just plotting on kidnapping him, so I gotta follow him everywhere.

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Deanna, 20 and Aman, 21
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal

What is it about Justin Bieber that makes you such loyal fans?

Deanna: I wouldn't say I'm a loyal Justin Bieber fan. I liked his work the Chance on the song “Juke Jam,” so that made him more of a likable celebrity to me, like collaboration-wise.

Aman: He's a cool dude. He can skateboard. He's a cool musician.

What made you want to see him live tonight?

Deanna: We didn't even mean to. We kind of were just passing through and were lucky enough to catch Justin Bieber.

Aman: We've been blessed.

Justin, 18

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18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal

What is it about Justin Bieber that makes you such a loyal fan?

Justin: I've been a Justin Bieber fan, a Belieber, since 2011. I love his style. He's good to his fans, mostly. He's very inspiring. Like as a dude, he's inspired me. I don't sing or anything but he's inspired me to be a better person and just to put in more effort. He puts a lot of effort into what he does and he's very devoted in what he does.

What made you want to see him live tonight?

Justin: Well, obviously I wanted to see him in person. It's just a different feeling. It's amazing. I saw him yesterday and [he was] like two feet away from me. I wanted to cry, literally. I'm not even joking. It was amazing and I just look forward to seeing him next time.

Keyanna, 21
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal

What is it about Justin Bieber that makes you such a loyal fan?

Keyanna: The fact that he's so devoted to sharing inspirational music. No matter what's going on he always shares music from his heart. That's what it's all about, you know. He's supposed to compose us and keep us calm.

What made you want to see him live tonight?

Keyanna: Because I love him and I've been a fan since like he came out with "Baby" and I was like "Yo, who is this white dude with the move?" and then like I just fell in love ever since and I just like Justin. His personality, who he is like I feel like I connect to him. It's kind of like I see myself in him, you know.

Lexus, 21
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18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal

What is it about Justin Bieber that makes you such a loyal fan?

Lexus: I think he's very charismatic and compassionate about what he does. As a Belieber, my favorite moment was when I was the "One Less Lonely Girl" at the Belieber Tour. That was like perfect. Life was set.

What made you want to see him live tonight?

Lexus: I came to see him live because I didn't get to go to My World and I really wanted to. I only got to go to Believe Tour. So I was like since I live here now and I was like, my mom used to work here (MSG) and I was like I have to see him. I want to do that thing where everybody goes to the concert. So I was just like I have to. So I saved all my money and go to a Justin Bieber concert again and I love his concerts. So fun.

Marc, 42
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal

What is it about Justin Bieber that makes you such a loyal fan?

Marc: Well I'm not. My daughter is. I like the music. It's easy going music.

What made you want to see him live tonight?

Marc: My daughter. I took her from Holland to here to visit Bieber.

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Phurithat, 24
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal

What is it about Justin Bieber that makes you such a loyal fan?

Phurithat: I'm not a Justin fan.

What made you want to see him live tonight?

Actually, I came to buy some shirts for my friends in Thailand. He's very popular in Thailand.

Rogue, 20, and Ericka, 19
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal

What is it about Justin Bieber that makes you such loyal fans?

Rogue: Ok, so it doesn't even have to do with Justin. Both of us have been fans since way back when. We're OG stans.

Ericka: Like 15 years old.

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Rogue: We used to have Twitters dedicated to him when we were way to young. I met her because of Justin.

Ericka: It's just a special bond we have and Justin brought us together.

Rogue: We're not like screaming 12-year old girls. We're not like freaking out. It's just that he sort of created this place for all of us at a very awkward age in our life, when we were going through puberty. He got us through a really weird part in our lives.

Ericka: He's like a sentimental symbol that I'll always have from my childhood. So he's just really special to us.

What made you want to see him live tonight?

Rogue: Well, I mean, as we've evolved, he's evolved, obviously. It's a special thing to see someone perform the music they work really hard on. Music is a very vulnerable thing for a lot of artists. Both of us are singers so we can understand how vulnerable music can be for an artist and seeing them being able to perform their raw sort of like talent on stage.

Ericka: Like, I didn't appreciate all of that when I was 12 years old. I never actually was like, "Oh wow, his vocals are great, and he's doing this dance move, and this and that." But now I kind of sit back and watch him do what he does.

Tara, 22, and Tina, 20
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal

What is it about Justin Bieber that makes you such loyal fans?

Tina: We've been fans since he started his career. So probably his looks, his music. His whole thing has just always made us happy and every time we see him we always enjoy it and want to go back and see more of him.

Tara: She's very obsessed. We talk about him in our family like he's part of the family.

Tina: We use "Justin" not Justin Bieber. Like, it's gotten to that point.

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Tara: We always say that she's going to marry him.

What made you want to see him live tonight?

Tara: How could you not come see him?

Daisy, 18, and Tom, 18
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal

What is it about Justin Bieber that makes you such loyal fans?

Daisy: I think from knowing him from when he first became famous. Even though he's done some bad things and he's been in the press a lot, everyone still sticks with him because his music is so good.

Tom: Everyone hated him for a bit. They all thought he was this bad guy but at that sort of age that's what you look up to. He's a cool guy. He races lamborghinis or whatever. I would love to do that so I've always thought he was kind of cool. He sets the trends and stuff.

What made you want to see him live tonight?

Tom: It's Justin Bieber. It's like the energy itself. When he performs, he's always so high energy like he cares so much about his performance.

Daisy: It's unbelievable. He's such a great performer.

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Zack, 20

What is it about Justin Bieber that makes you such a loyal fan?

Zack: I support him because he's my age and he's doing his thing. He goes against the norm of society basically, and I respect that. A lot of people expect things out of him and he doesn't necessarily do that. He does what he wants.


What made you want to see him live tonight?

Zack: Well, I'm not going to the concert but I wanna see him live because he's an international superstar and people respect him for that.

18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal
Kiarra, 18
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal
18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal

What is it about Justin that makes you such loyal fans?

Kiarra: Ever since day one it was just like an immediate connection. It's like he understands me. When things happen, you always go to Justin's music to comfort you and everything. He's always been there for me basically.

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What made you want to see him live tonight?

Kiarra: I came all the way from Florence, South Carolina. That's like 13 hours away. So I came all this way just to see him because I've always been a fan since day one from "Baby." I know every last song he has. So I'm just ready to see him.


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18 Justin Bieber Fans On What Keeps Them Loyal