As a testament to his reformed lifestyle, Canadian Christian singer Justin Bieber transformed his recent "Purpose" concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California into a megachurch service, according to a Los Angeles Times reviewer.
Bieber started the show by riding his skateboard to the centre of the arena, then began singing acoustic versions of old and new songs. He then shared a film highlighting each song from his new album "Purpose."
But after doing so, Bieber surprised his audience by talking about his deep love of God. "Between the skateboarding and the singing, though, Bieber sat on a stool next to Judah Smith, the man described as his pastor, and more or less preached," writes Mikael Wood, the L.A. Times reviewer.
"He talked about the importance of maintaining a positive spirit and surrounding himself with encouraging people," Wood narrates. "He credited his connection with God for helping him to get back on his feet after a string of widely publicised tabloid troubles. And when a fan in the audience — one of a dozen or so selected by the singer's team for a question-and-answer session — asked if he had any advice on how to get through a romantic breakup, he demurred, flashing a bit of the humility that every religious leader knows is crucial in establishing a bond with one's flock."
The woman asked Bieber how she should handle her recent split, but Bieber told her that he is not really good at relationship counselling, since he himself failed to "keep a relationship going," most likely referencing his own failed relationship with fellow singer Selena Gomez.
The songs in Bieber's new album felt like an apology of sorts to the reviewer, who gushed about "Life Is Worth Living," "Children," and "I'll Show You."
"As transparent an image-rehab attempt as any in pop history, 'Purpose' finds the singer apologising for his supposed misdeeds," writes Wood. "In 'I'll Show You,' for instance, he's acknowledging that he's not perfect while angrily pointing out that perfection is an unreasonable demand."