When more than 14,000 people scream at the top of their lungs all at once, it creates an amazing amount of noise. Amid ear-splitting screams for Justin Bieber, only jamming your fingers into your ears could save your eardrums from the cacophony.
Flanked by 12 dancers, three backup singers, a DJ and a four-member band, Bieber entered Saturday's production suspended from enormous metal angel wings. And the sold-out crowd at CenturyLink Center screamed and screamed. (And then they screamed again.)
In a black hat, white coat, white shorts and a blinged-out necklace, Bieber danced his way through “All Around the World” and “Take You” and 16 other songs over the course of more than 90 minutes.
Before the show, thousands of teen and pre-teen girls — and some boys, too — were dressed in bright colors and sequins (and most accompanied by a parent or two) as they roamed the halls, hugged friends and waited in line to buy a Bieber hat or T-shirt.
Photo gallery: Justin Bieber performs at CenturyLInk Center Omaha
Once the lights went down inside the arena, people went wild for the pop star — they danced, jumped, screamed and shouted lyrics to songs such as “Never Say Never,” “Believe” and “Love Me Like You Do.”
Bieber's show was more of a theater production than a concert. With moving set pieces, plenty of pyrotechnics, several costume changes, a dozen dancers and hundreds of choreographed dance moves, everyone's eyes were on the lights and the well-rehearsed production.
Bieber's three-tiered stage is the largest I've ever seen in an arena concert, and it allowed Bieber to change the vibe of the show at a moment's notice by sitting on a stair, swinging out over the audience or performing a choreographed fight with his dancers.
The music took a back seat to the spectacle, and Bieber's voice was so masked by backing singers, loud accompanying beats and melodies, and all those flashy dance moves that it's entirely possible that anyone — good singer or not — would have sounded just as good up there.
During acoustic performances of “Be Alright” and “Fall,” he engaged in some vocal acrobatics and vibrato that fell flat, and he barely sang his biggest hit, “Baby,” preferring instead to dance and have the audience sing most of the song.
A few non-musical moments were off-putting, such as when the 19-year-old flashed his abs to hear the mostly preteen girls in the audience scream and later when he talked about “all the hot ladies” in the crowd. (Kinda weird, Biebs.)
That said, Bieber also had an encouraging message for his fans about believing in yourself and following your dreams — an apt one coming from a Canadian kid discovered after posting videos of himself singing to YouTube.
Bieber also acknowledged his infamous “Omaha Mall” YouTube video, which was filmed in 2010 at Westroads Mall in Omaha and later garnered hundreds of thousands of views. He sang part of the song, but did not mention the fact that about 1,000 people showed up at Westroads on Saturday after he tweeted about the joke song.
Early in the show, ultra-catchy pop-rock band Hot Chelle Rae performed with Nebraska native Brady Leffler, who is on the tour to play keyboards for the four-member band. Singer Ryan Follese introduced him to the audience.
“This is one of my best friends in the world here on keys, and this just so happens to be his hometown,” he said, and the audience filled the arena with screams.