Last night, Justin Bieber took the stage at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, for the latest stop on his Justice World Tour. If you weren’t in attendance, you definitely should have been. Here’s what you missed at the Justice Tour: Houston!
A Change in Plans
In December 2019, Justin Bieber announced his return with the release of his fifth studio album, Changes. The album dropped in 2020 which featured hits “Yummy” and “Intentions.” A corresponding tour was scheduled to start in May 2020, which included a tour date in New Orleans. The last time Justin Bieber played a show in New Orleans was back in January 2013 at the then New Orleans Arena, now Smoothie King Center, for his Believe Tour.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Changes Tour was postponed then later canceled. A year later, Bieber dropped his sixth studio album, Justice, and announced he was touring in 2022 aka the Justice World Tour. Though New Orleans was cut from the list of cities the tour would be stopping in, many Louisiana fans (and fans from other nearby states including Mississippi and Arkansas) headed to Houston to see Bieber live!
It was a night filled with back-to-back great opening acts. The Justice World Tour started off with a set by ¿TÉO?. He asked the audience who has watched the Disney Channel show, Hannah Montana, before. He then revealed his older played the character Rico and the next song “Rrrrico” was inspired by him. A few minutes later, a shirtless Justin Bieber surprised the crowd by jumping on stage with Teo.
After ¿TÉO?, Australian singer-songwriter Eddie Benjamin took the stage. He shredded his guitar while “Who the F*#% is Eddie Benjamin” was displayed behind him on the screen. My favorite three songs from his set were “Weatherman” “Speechless” and “Proud of You.”
The last opening act was Jaden Smith. His set started with a montage of old home videos before his brand, MSFTS REP, label was displayed. “We’re in a world today, where it’s easy to feel like you have to change how you are and you have to conform in order to be liked…I just want to tell you right now that you, as you are, is exactly what the world needs…that’s what the Justice Tour is all about. That’s what MSFTS is all about, that’s what I’m all about,” Smith shared with the crowd. During his performance of “Summertime In Paris,” everyone in the arena lit up the sky with their cellphones. Smith closed off his set with a performance of “ICON” where hit a smooth moonwalk across the stage as he rapped along to his verse ‘dance like Michael.’
Bieber Fever is Un-curable
The Toyota Center was filled with fans of all ages to see the Canadian superstar take the stage in Houston for the first time since 2016. As the lights went out and a video of Bieber appeared on the screen, screams were heard throughout the arena. As the video ended, the words ‘Justin Bieber’ and ‘Justice Tour’ appeared, which triggered even more screams before Bieber took the stage for his 90-minute set.
He opened the show with “Somebody” followed by other tracks from the Justice album including “Holy,” “Hold On,” and “Deserve You.” Let me tell you, I’m not sure if there is any better feeling than screaming back “ON GOD” to Justin Bieber with thousands of others.
With a massive discography like Bieber’s and over a decade in the industry, it’s hard to tackle all of the hits but he managed to give fans a little taste of everything. He performed songs from all of his eras of music – “What Do You Mean” and “Where Are Ü Now” from Purpose, “Confident” and “All That Matters” from Journals, “Boyfriend” from Believe, and “Baby” from My World 2.0.
Speaking Up On Injustices
Bieber took some time throughout the show to let the crowd know how amazing they were. He also took a moment to discuss racial injustice and how everyone in the room can play a part in stopping racism in the world, “When we first decided to name this the Justice Tour and the Justice album, we wanted it to be a reminder and a moment of unity. We wanted everyone to feel included, we wanted everyone to feel welcomed. As we know, what goes along with justice is racial injustice. Racism as we know is evil. It’s diabolical…but you and I can be the difference makers of our generation. Keep talking about it. Don’t be silent. Have conversations with your friends and family. One day at a time.” He followed up with a performance of “As I Am.”
During a video interlude, he dove into a message reflecting his deep religious beliefs. He spoke on his faith, the love and grace of God and Jesus Christ. “You don’t have to believe what I believe to belong here. We’re all in this together…I love you people.” You definitely leave the show feeling loved, valued and seen – no matter where you’re seated in the venue.
Special Guest: Don Toliver
Houston was in for a special treat. Don Toliver joined Bieber on stage and attendees got to witness the first ever live performance of “Honest.” The song is Bieber and Toliver’s latest collaboration that dropped not even 24 hours before the show! The Houston native and the Canadian superstar also have another collaboration with Skrillex, “Don’t Go.”
The Big Finish
The last five songs of the setlist were crowd favorites. He started off with “Intentions” which featured a pre-recorded video of Quavo rapping along to his verse. Next up were two of his earlier hits, “Boyfriend” and “Baby.” No matter how many times I see those songs live, they never get old – especially Ludacris’ rap! Similar to his performance at the 2022 Grammys, Bieber kicked off his performance of “Peaches” sitting at the piano before jumping up into the full track. The final song of the night was “Anyone” – pictures of him and his wife, Hailey, along with pictures of fans were displayed on the screen. He closed out the show stomping across the stage as the crowd cheered before he hit a spin as pyro went off behind him!
Each song during Justin Bieber’s set was accompanied by a matching design and video packages that helped to tell a different story and set the mood for each individual performance. Here were some of my favorites:
- For his opening song, Bieber appeared on stage atop an inflatable airplane labeled ‘Justice Tour’ that floated over the stage with a cloudy backdrop behind him. We were for sure in for a wild ride!
- During “All That Matters” and “Lonely,” Bieber performed on floating platforms suspended above the crowd. It gave fans seated in higher sections an eye to eye view with the superstar.
- After he performed “Yummy,” a lit up glass bus stop with the word ‘Houston’ (it changes every city) atop was brought onto the stage. Justin was joined on stage by his bassist Harv and his guitarist, Jules, as they slowed down for a little while. They performed “Hold Tight,” “Love Yourself” and “Off My Face.”
- During “Ghost” Bieber was accompanied by sets of drones that lit up in the air above him like stars before turning to a shade of pink and circling around him!
- All of the visuals: During “Hold On” green lasers flashed into the crowd, while a screen dropped down behind Bieber flashing the words ‘Hold On’ before turning into a depiction of a tunnel! Like the “Yummy” music video, JB and his tour dancers jumped on a table and danced. The visuals displayed behind them consisted of bright hues of pink and various heart-shaped candies that featured lyrics of the song. For “Peaches” the screen featured trippy, peach-colored visuals similar to that of a lava lamp with lyrics of the song.
I’ve followed Justin Bieber’s career since 2009. In fact, his My World Tour was the first concert I ever attended back in December 2010 in Atlanta. I’ve seen his My World Tour, Believe Tour, Purpose Tour and now his Justice World Tour – getting to see him shine on stage after all these years was indescribable. Bieber is back and in the best way possible! If you missed the Justice World Tour in Houston, you have until June to catch a show during the North American leg.
Missed the Justice World Tour or just want to relive the night? Check out my Instagram Highlight from the show!
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