Concert previews: Bieber, Baauer, Fun.: Three pop phenomena descend upon Columbus, but are they already old news?

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From the July 11, 2013 edition

If pop culture didn’t race forward these days with the recklessness of rich teenagers in borrowed Audis, it would be easy to imagine those same teenagers pouring out their lungs to Fun.’s “We Are Young” while traveling southbound on 315 from some resplendent Powell homestead toward Nationwide Arena for Friday’s Justin Bieber concert, pausing briefly to shoot iPhone videos of themselves gracelessly percolating to Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” in the parking garage.

That “Harlem Shake” meme has been dead for months, but you’d better believe it’s resurrecting every time the Brooklyn bass music DJ steps to the decks this year, and possibly for the rest of his life. Before the song’s 15 minutes expired, it burned brightly enough to cross over into Bud Light “Wassup!” territory, to be re-enacted along with “Borat” quotes in hell and at family reunions for all eternity. Michael Scott just discovered it and is subjecting his family to it right now.

Monday at Skully’s, Baauer’s Infinite Daps Tour with fellow (superior) trap-rave superstar RL Grime hits Skully’s. It promises to be a fine primer in recent EDM trends, what with dreamy deconstructionist Ryan Hemsworth and artful house prodigy Jim-E Stack in tow. If club music really is in the mainstream DNA to stay this time, any of these guys could be throttling arenas a year from now. “Harlem Shake” aside, there’s still time to be something of an early adopter.

Not so with Fun., late-registered pop stars who graduated from the indoor LC to the parking lot out back (a.k.a. the “festival setting”) in a year thanks to their beautiful bright glistening fantasy, Some Nights. An emo/classic rock/hip-hop hybrid genetically engineered with Kanye West producer Jeff Bhasker, the record made the former Basement-dwellers superstars on par with Mumford & Sons, the only other act to headline that stage recently. They’ll be joined by indie pop stalwarts Tegan and Sara, fresh off a digital transfusion of their own.

To many kids who’ll pile into Sunday’s show, Fun.’s overnight success is ancient history. In 2013, last year’s new world order is this year’s Instagram: Was there ever really life without it?

And what does that mean for Bieber, who’s been lumbering around since paleolithic 2009? He’s practically Barry Manilow. There are no more current events, just selfie-laden nostalgia ceremonies. “Remember what a great time we’re having right now?”