Sifting through the threads

By: Kristin Helf, Staff Writer

Justin Bieber, currently on his Purpose World Tour, has been causing an uproar among middle-aged rock fans who wish Bieber would stop defacing the name of their precious grunge music.

This small but vocal community of mostly males who came of age in the 1980s and 90s aspiring to be Axl Rose, or someone of that nature, aren’t just upset with Bieber’s new outfit of choice—ripped jeans and a flannel—but with the band tees he’s been modeling onstage.

With a picture of Bieber sporting a Kurt Cobain T-shirt attached, Consequence of Sound tweeted, “Justin Bieber defecated on the memory of Kurt Cobain with a very cringeworthy Seattle gig.”


It probably didn’t lift the spirits of the good-old classic rock fans when Jaden Smith subsequently tweeted, “Kurt Cobain Is Still Alive,” and, “He Lives Inside The Souls Of The Youth.” Maybe that’s true, and if anyone is interested in being on a panel with me where we discuss, “Was Cobain Reincarnated as Bieber?” hit me up.

Anyway, leading up to my favorite Bieber band tee moment, here’s my ranking of Justin’s old school T-shirt looks.

Tupac: this one just gets an honorable mention. Bieber has been spotted on his World Tour wearing a Tupac shirt and I don’t have much to say about it other than, “Only God Can Judge [you],” dude.

Nirvana: The Biebs has been rocking the Nirvana/Cobain T-shirts on and off-stage in recent years. All jokes aside, let’s just hope he doesn’t view his music as being on par with Nirvana’s.

A recent New York Daily News headline reads, “Justin Bieber tried his hardest to look like Kurt Cobain at a recent Seattle concert,” where he wore not just one, but two flannels in addition to the Cobain tee. I’ll let it slide for now, especially since he was just recently photographed with Cobain’s widow Courtney Love and ex-Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic.

Metallica: Justin has sported band shirts well before the Purpose tour. In fact, heavy metal fans lost their cool when paparazzi pics of the singer dressed in Metallica garb went viral several years ago. In 2013, when Q Magazine asked the members of Metallica if they were Beliebers, frontman James Hetfield replied with a curt “yes.”

Marilyn Manson: The absolute best thing that Bieber has worn on Purpose, and probably ever, is his black Marilyn Manson tank that reads “Bigger Than Satan” on the back. First, Manson shared a picture of Bieber wearing the tee with the caption, “Preach. Where are you now? Church.” Then, a selfie of Bieber with Manson was posted to Justin’s Instagram: “Night out in la with the boys.” Pop rock meets shock rock.

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