MEXICO CITY (AP) — Thousands of "tween" girls jammed a vast square with their parents and screamed in unison throughout teen superstar Justin Bieber's free concert Monday night, an event that was expected to draw 200,000 people to the historic center of Mexico's capital.
Bieber opened with his hit song "Baby," while his adoring fans filling the city's main plaza sang along or shouted "Justin! Justin! Justin!"
"Mexico City, there is a lot of people today!" Bieber told the crowd. "Every one of you is my biggest fan."
Dressed in white jeans and a gray sweatshirt that he took off to reveal a white T-shirt, the singer wore neon yellow tennis shoes and was accompanied by five dancers in neon colors. Four giant screens showed parts of his music videos to the crowd of mainly girls and their parents, who braved a light, intermittent rain during the concert.
The crowd went wild when Bieber asked a fan onto the stage, gave her a bouquet of flowers and sang "One Less Lonely Girl" into her ear. The girl didn't stop crying.
The gray and reddish stones of the plaza were covered in a sea of purple as the mainly 10- to 14-year-old crowd paid homage to what is reported to be Bieber's favorite color.
After singing a couple of songs while playing an acoustic guitar, Bieber changed into an all- black outfit and sang some of his more energetic songs, including "Somebody To Love."
At a news conference before the concert, the teen star said there is no artist he would spend days in line waiting for.
"There is no one I admire so much to do something crazy, but if Michael Jackson were here, I would do it for him. So, I do understand the emotion that the girls feel and that makes me feel very honored," Bieber said.
Hundreds at the Zocalo, which was filled to capacity, had to cover themselves in plastic rain capes sold by vendors who came prepared for a rainy evening.
Mariana Villanueva, 12, traveled from the western city of Guadalajara for her idol's concert. She was near the stage, where she said she almost fainted because people kept squeezing her.
"It was worth it!" Villanueva said. "I have no words; it was magnificent!"
The concert closed with fireworks and confetti spewing from the stage.
Earlier, girls shuffled through security checkpoints with hats and umbrellas, staking claim to some of the roughly 80,000 spots allocated in the plaza itself. An additional 120,000 or more fans were expected to watch on giant TV screens erected on nearby streets.
Fernanda Gutierrez Aparicio, a 13-year-old seventh grader at a local middle school, said she spent a week camping out with her mother on a nearby street in hopes of being among the first to enter. She said they returned home only to bathe and look after Fernanda's 15-year-old sister, who recently had surgery.
But her mother, Adriana Martinez, 41, gave up on trying to get her daughter into the front rows because of the press of other fans.