Grey Cup Halftime Show Gets Mixed Reaction from Fans
Justin Bieber faced a hostile homecoming at the 100th Grey Cup on Sunday, with the jeering capacity crowd at the raucous Rogers Centre providing the teen idol with a reception as unyieldingly cold as a long Canadian winter.
The 18-year-old grew up roughly 150 kilometres down the road in Stratford, Ont., but that didn't help his cause with the rowdy crowd on hand, who took aim at the ubiquitous pop star whenever possible.
They booed when his face popped up on the JumboTron. They booed when a host spoke his name at the onset of halftime. And they booed with extra glee as he took the stage and throughout his medley of the finger-snapping, chart-topping hit ``Boyfriend'' and the disco-inflected club come-on ``Beauty and a Beat.'' If Bieber was bothered by the boo-birds, it didn't show.
``It's an honour to be here at the Grey Cup in Canada,'' he said, a smile tugging at his lips despite the reaction. ``Make some noise. I said make some noise!'' Unfortunately, the crowd obliged. More boos. After his performance he said, ``Thank you so much Canada,'' Bieber announced, ignoring the response. ``I love you.''
Indeed, recent Grey Cup halftime performers have skewed toward the comparatively heavy likes of Bachman & Turner, Nickelback, Theory of a Deadman and Lenny Kravitz, a drastic contrast to Bieber's fizzy pop confections.
`J-Biebs doesn't scream football, you know? Neither does Carly Rae Jepsen,'' agreed Calgary's Ryan Prisque, 22. ``Gordon Lightfoot _ that'll be the time I turn back from the
beer gardens and watch.''
The 74-year-old Lightfoot certainly did captivate the crowd Sunday. With the stadium lights down, Lightfoot opened the halftime show by materializing on a modest stage near the 50-yard line, dressed in black and strumming an acoustic guitar. The crowd roared.
His long grey hair swept back, the stalwart songwriter (originally from Orillia, Ont.) put in a gentle performance of his iconic 1967 hit ``Canadian Railroad Trilogy'' that lacked the
theatrics of Bieber's performance but nonetheless enthralled the audience, who gamely clapped along. When he was finished, they roared again.
Attention then shifted to set of three stages lined up along one side of the stadium, with a cluster of amped-up fans rushing in and clustering around.
Vancouver pop outfit Marianas Trench was greeted mostly with indifference after their performance, while 27-year-old Jepsen also received a mixed reaction at first but won the crowd over during an enthusiastic medley of her latest single, ``This Kiss,'' and her
dangerously infectious smash hit ``Call Me Maybe.''
(The Canadian Press)