Justin Bieber Fever on the ‘Today’ show Plaza

By Chris Ariens 

30 Rockefeller Plaza is back to business this afternoon after Bieber fever struck early this morning. More than 12,000 people packed the plaza for Justin Bieber’s performance. This could go down as the biggest in the 15 years of the “Today” show summer concert series.

“Today” show EP Jim Bell tells TVNewser this morning’s concert reminded him of the 1999 Ricky Martin concert during the “Livin La Vida Loca” days. “It virtually brought midtown Manhattan to a halt,” says Bell who was working for NBC Sports at the time. “It was virtually impossible to get through Rockefeller Plaza to the office.” (After the jump, Bell’s top concerts in his six years at the helm of “Today.”) Bell is anticipating another big crowd next month when Lady Gaga performs July 9th. “We’ve already gotten a huge response,” he says. “We expect a massive crowd that morning.”

Bieber was interviewed by Matt Lauer in the 8am half hour, the teenager even doing his own Lauer impression.

Then, at the start of the 8:30 half hour, watch as Jonah Hill and Elizabeth Moss try to promote their new movie “Get him to the Greek” amid screaming tweens.

Bieber then came on stage to perform three songs in the 8:30 half hour and more in the 9am.

The show’s anchors got in on the act a bit too. (But nothing like this from 2005).

Al Roker took some pictures (but no Tweets). And you may continue to see a familiar behind-the-scenes “Today” show face. Senior broadcast Don Nash makes it a point to leave the control room to catch the concerts in person, and the show’s director makes it a point of making sure Nash is put on camera — which, we hear, he hates. Spot him in the clip below:

• Much more on the concert, including clips of Bieber performing, on TodayShow.com.

This is EP Jim Bell’s 6th summer at “Today.” Here are his top six shows in terms of the crowd, in no particular order:

Justin Bieber, 2010 — He performed on TODAY in 2009 just as he was breaking out & that experience helped us have him back now that he’s a total phenomenon.

Taylor Swift, 2009 — Every fan knew every syllable, every note to every song.

Bon Jovi, multiple times — Their fan base is passionate & they never fail to deliver an incredible show.

Coldplay, 2008 — Great timing as they were just going from really popular band into hugely popular elite band status.

Miley Cyrus, 2008 — Bieber-esque total tween madness and fun.

Bruce Springsteen, 2007 – our white whale… incredible.

Honorable mentions:
Dave Matthews Band, Jonas Brothers, Kings of Leon