MIDTOWN — Neither rain, nor sun, nor school, nor finals could keep Justin Bieber fans from seeing their "Baby"-faced idol perform on the "Today" show.
Hundreds of teenage girls and their moms crowded into pens on the sidewalk and street outside NBC studios to camp out for days in advance of the heartthrob's arrival for a Friday morning performance.
In some cases, the Beliebers' devotion meant a two-day absence from school.
That was the situation for Nikole, 13, and Libby, 12, of Clifton Park, N.Y. They'd been on the street with their mothers since 8 a.m. on Thursday and planned to park themselves there for nearly 24 hours to watch the Biebs perform.
"She's missing big tests! Like, finals!" Nikole said, looking at Libby. "Yeah," Libby confirmed, with a shy smile. "My teachers said I could take them on Monday. They're Bieber fans too!"
Nikole's mother said she was "absolutely OK" with her daughter missing school. "They're good kids. They're good students," she said with a wave of her hand. Libby's mother nodded in agreement. "And it's for Justin Bieber!" Nikole said with authority.
"I like the Biebs," said Nikole's mother. "I'm the cougar. But he's of age!"
Glittery signs and short shorts abounded in the crowd. Some girls pressed against the barriers, shouting and waving signs that said "Beep for the Biebs" at passing cars and trucks, many of whom obliged. Other girls lounged on blankets or chairs under umbrellas or in the sun, sleeping, talking, or playing on their phones.
Madie, 13, from Alexandria, Va., was camped out with her father. She was also missing school for the concert. "It's the last two days of school," he father rationalized. "Anything's worth it for Justin Beiber," Madie said.
An occasional male face could be spotted in the mostly female crowd. One man, Anthony, 24, from Long Island, said he'd been planning to come to the Bieber show for a month. "I've been a fan since he came out with his first video," he said.
At the head of the line, Haley, 17, Stephanie, 17, Grace, 14, and Yasmin, 13, from Winchester, Va., had been camped out on lawn chairs since 3 a.m. on Wednesday. School was out for them, and they said they'd been planning to go to the show since Beiber announced the performance on Twitter in May.
Haley and Grace's mother, Anne, admitted that she, too, was a Bieber fan.
"I do like his music," she said. "But I'm not saying I would have necessarily done this [camped out] otherwise."
"It's pretty friendly," said Haley, of the mood inside the pens. "But it's gonna get much more hyper...tonight's gonna get aggressive as people start trying to cut and move up in line. But we're ready!"