Forget the Spice Girls -- if you want girl power, come to a Justin Bieber concert.
The estrogen meter in downtown Winnipeg was off the charts Thursday night as girls, both young and young at heart, descended upon the MTS Centre for Bieber's sold-out concert.
They came wearing concert and homemade T-shirts as well as hearts and "JB" painted on their faces. (Some mothers, whose first concert may have been the Backstreet Boys, and daughters wore matching outfits.)
And the excitement level? Many young fans were out of breath at the mere prospect of seeing the 18-year-old heartthrob more than an hour before he was scheduled to take the stage.
Danielle Morrissey, 15, was practically beside herself with excitement in the foyer before the show.
"I've been a Belieber since before he was even famous," she said.
When her dad, Troy, 43, was asked if he was accompanying her inside, he was brief.
"Not a chance," he said. "I took her to the Jonas Brothers three years ago and that was too much for me. I'll stick to my music."
Paige Morrow, 15, and Maddi Soubry, 14, weren't sure if they were going to scream or cry -- or both -- when Bieber took the stage.
"We're at a perfect age for him to date us," Soubry said with a laugh. Their seats were in the upper deck, but Morrow didn't care.
"We're breathing the same air. We're so close!" she said.
For Elle, 6, tickets to Bieber's show were the greatest birthday present in the world.
"He's so cute!" she said.
She and her friends, Renee and Katie, needed virtually no prompting to demonstrate their favourite Bieber dance moves.
But Elle's older brother, Kai, wasn't sure why he was there. "I don't know," he shrugged.
Security staff at the MTS Centre were all wearing hearing protection. They weren't as worried about the music as the non-stop shrieks of a capacity crowd. Some said they expected the Bieber show to be the loudest concert the MTS Centre has ever held.
It's not that there wasn't any testosterone in the building, it's just that it belonged to the occasional Bieber look-alike, bulletproof vest-wearing police officers and dads who brought their daughters and their friends into the main concourse and then bolted for the exits.
The Morrisseys were joined by Jaiden Crocker, 10, and her mom, Serena Stroppa.
"I'm going because he's really cute. When he comes on stage, I'm going to cry," Jaiden said.
Her mom could only get a pair of tickets, so she opted out. When asked how many Justin Bieber songs she could name, she couldn't think of a single one. Troy Morrissey could, though. "Baby," he said.
Asked how many Backstreet Boys songs he knew, he smiled and replied, "all of them."