Here’s a problem most rock stars don’t have—staying up past bedtime.
But Justin Bieber is on the national naughty step after he was two hours late for the opening night of his series of concerts in the UK last night, meaning that many of his 8-year-old fan base left London’s O2 arena before the gig got going, and the little darlings who stayed were jolly tired for their lessons this morning.
The Bieber was not on stage (descending in a pair of angel wings) until 10:35 p.m., 10 minutes before the gig was due to finish, and the gig wrapped shortly before midnight. Bieber's team tweeted an apology for his lateness, which is perhaps a new low in the history of rock ‘n’ roll and social media.
Angry parents said they were told the gig would wrap by 11 p.m. and they took to Twitter to express their shock and disgust at the scandalous notion of a pop star being late for a gig.
Dad Wayne Parsonage tweeted that he ended up missing Bieber's performance so he could make the last train home, and later added: "Discusting!! [sic] Waste of my time and money...never again."
Another tweet complained: "Justin Bieber needs to understand he has fans that are really young he can't come on stage like 1 hour and 45 mins late on a school night!"
It all raises the question of just what these parents did with their youth. Didn’t they ever go and see George Clinton? Axl Rose?
Of course, it is only fair to point out that many acts associated with a fashionably late arrival on stage have not built their fortune on the pocket money of six year-olds. Many people were at least 13 the first time they waited for Guns 'n' Roses to come on stage in the early hours of the morning.
It’s rock ‘n’ roll, folks (albeit a heavily sanitized version of it) not Sesame Street, and part of the deal is that we - the worryingly young and overly impressionable adoring fans - are put to unreasonable lengths by them - the pampered and indulgently coiffed pop stars.
We hang around outside venue doors after sound checks hoping to get a CD signed, only to be splashed by the limo as it roars off to a booze-fuelled hotel room party filled with groupies.
That's what we have signed up for.
And the truth, as all promoters know, is that nothing builds atmosphere like the agony of anticipation: being made to wait and wait and wait and then missing the last train home is what it’s all about.
Witness this tweet from true Belieber @hollyspinks95: “After seeing @justinbieber getting stuck in London with no trains left: (finally on way home in a taxi! been a great night thou, ly Justin <3Xxx”
Says it all, really.
Bieber issued a statement today reading: "I was 40 min late to stage. There is no excuse for that and I apologize for anyone we upset. I never have any intent to upset or let anyone down."
In a pop at the coverage of the story, he added, "I'm not okay with things being exaggerated."