According to the staff at Monday’s Justin Bieber concert at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, that’s how long it took for the show to sell out. The 16-year-old sensation, whose videos on YouTube led to his big break with pop star Usher, has the elusive “it.”
So what sets him apart from every other wannabe heartthrob? His fans point to singing ability, his hotness and, of course, that hair. Which he should probably never cut.
“Whenever he swings it in front of his face and all that, that makes a lot of girls go crazy,” says Alyson Amburgey, 12, who went to the concert with three other friends from Irving.
What makes him so popular? “His lyrics make a lot of sense,” she says, “and he’s really, really hot.”
Her friend Melissa Matkin, 14, said she didn’t see anyone faint from excitement or anything, “but I did hear that one girl went onstage and they had to take her off.”
Amber and Melissa went to the concert with Megan Bynum, 12, whose dad, Brent Bynum, bought the tickets as a treat for his daughter.
“It was her idea to go,” Brent says. “I’d say she has Bieber fever.”
He, however, is not afflicted.
“The first time I ever heard him, I thought it was a girl singing,” Bynum says. “It was hard to listen to.”
He suspects Bieber’s popularity has a lot to do with “all the marketing that’s behind him. He made his own break, but once that was there, everything else has taken off like crazy for him. He had the right marketing people, who hooked him up with all the bigger names.”
His fans are much less cynical, preferring to attribute the singer’s success to talent and pure magic. That’s why many of them lovingly created posters for the show – which were then left in a sad pile by the front doors, thanks to a last-minute rule change.
“We said they could take them in,” says ticket-taker Betty Malone, “but Justin Bieber’s people said they couldn’t.”
There sat the messages the singer would never see: “I love you. Marry me, Bieber.” “Can we meet you?” “Justin Bieber is Beast.” (This is apparently a good thing.)
Standing near the discarded handiwork were Lisa Morse and Patsy Brown of Celina, whose 12-year-old daughters were inside.
“They’ve been excited for about a week,” says Morse, whose daughter, Hannah, was invited by Brown’s daughter, Maddie, as a birthday present. “This is the first time we’ve allowed them to go to a concert by themselves.”
The moms admitted that they’re also fans; they just didn’t want to pay $100 apiece for two more tickets.
“Oh, he’s a cutie-pie,” says Morse, who suddenly recalled the time she went to see the Osmonds in Montgomery, Ala.
As she stood outside the venue, all dressed up and waiting for dreamboat Donny to appear, “Jimmy walks by and says, ‘Hi, how’re you doing?’ ” Morse recalls of the less-popular brother. I’m like, ‘Fine.’ Donny comes running by and is gone, just like that. I should’ve gotten Jimmy’s autograph or something!”
But poor Jimmy just didn’t have what it takes to make girls swoon or sell out shows in mere seconds. Jimmy was no Justin Bieber.
Also waiting outside Verizon was Justin Worthington and daughter Reagan, 2 ½ . They’d driven from Marshall so his daughter Caitlyn, 12, and wife, Nicole, could see the show.
Worthington said it wasn’t hard to get tickets: “I just paid three times what they’re worth.”
They were probably worth even more to Caitlyn, who later said she was screaming the entire time.
“The lady in front of us had to put earphones in,” she said, adding that she had company: “My mom loved it. She was jumping up and down, screaming and singing.”
While Caitlyn loves Bieber for his singing talent, she also couldn’t resist reviewing the hairdo.
“Oh, his hair!” she said. “When he swishes it, it just goes perfect.”
And another satisfied Bieber fan leaves the concert. For others, his appeal remains a mystery. When Caitlyn’s dad is asked why Bieber is such a hot commodity, he replies, “I have no idea. At all.”