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South Bay Catches Bieber Fever -- Oh, Usher Was There, Too

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South Bay Catches Bieber Fever -- Oh, Usher Was There, Too

Gwendolyn Jackson

Bieber performs at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre

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Justin Bieber and Usher performed in front of a sold-out crowd at Cricket Wireless last Friday. 

The Channel 93.3 Summer Kick-Off concert featured other hot artists as well, including B.o.B., Ke$ha, Akon and J-L-S. 

The crowd began chanting, "Bieber, Bieber," at about 9, achieving higher octaves than the prerecorded music blaring through the speakers.

The evenly flaired haired Justin Bieber hit the stage at 9:15 p.m. to the delight of more than 19,000 screaming fans.  Bieber moonwalked, break-danced and pop-locked onstage, showing off his dance moves. Wearing a light-gray hoodie, gray sweat pants and bright red high-top sneakers, Bieber belted out  "Somebody to Love,"  displaying his ability to reach older attendees. Bieber also sang covers of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," by Michael Jackson, and Aerosmith's "Walk This Way." Bieber Fever reached peak temperatures as the fans went wild hearing him sing "Baby."  The teen sensation also performed "One Time"; although he sounded good, puberty is definitely affecting his ability to hit the high notes in his songs.

Usher, arguably the prince of pop, illuminated South Bay as he opened his set, using bright red and green lights and psuedo fog.  Hip-grinding and crotch-grabbing is what fans saw as Usher performed the sensual "Nice and Slow."  Bieber, sitting on the stage floor on the side, watched as Usher defied gravity with dance moves. Speaking to the crowd, Usher called on the men as he sang "Confessions."  As with many of his songs, the lyrics depict a life experience for Usher as we heard when he performed the chart-topping hit "Papers."  Adults and tweens thoroughly responded to Usher through other songs including, "Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home)," "Yeah!," and "U Got it Bad."

The British boy band Jack the Lad Swing (J-L-S), opened the show. performing a cover of Rihanna's "Umbrella" and then turned to the radio friendly "Beat Again." Sean Kingston's pal, IYAZ,received a warm welcome from the crowd and low cheers as he sang "Replay." Bobby Ray Simmons, aka B.o.B, turned up the energy level in the crowd when he performed "Bet I," but fans screamed the lyrics to "Airplanes." 

Jason Derulo was phenomenal, moonwalking and gliding effortlessly across the stage while singing the contagious hit "In My Head."  After recently touring with Lady Gaga and appearing on American Idol, Derulo had the crowd on their feet as they sang along to "Whatcha Say."

A visual mixture of Madonna and Lady Gaga, Ke$ha made an offstage entrance, snging her debut single, "Tik Tok."  Dressed in a tight black patent-leather body suit, Ke$ha connected with the crowd with glitter cannons. 

Kelly Rowland, formerly of Destinys Child, introduced hip-hop artist Akon, who performed the dance-pop hit, "Right Now (Na Na Na)" and "Beautiful," featuring Kardinal Offishall and Colby O'Donis. Akon jumped on the guard rail, took his shirt off and encouraged fans to touch and rub his body, while being supported physically by his crew, Konvicts.

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