Last Friday night, Justin Timberlake lit Nashville with a match. As his shadow rose up from inside the stage, JT dazzled a sold out audience. Thousands witnessed much more than a dapper Timberlake in a variety of well cut Tom Ford designed suits. He took on multiple people, much less multiple personalities. He was a suave Jay Gatsby, putting on an extravagant party; James Bond, complete with his Bond girls. He was a madman facilitated by a voice changer. He was Phantom of the Opera, Rocky, Johnny Cash, Elvis and Michael Jackson, all rolled into one. It was pulled off with ease.
He kicked things off with “Pusher Love Girl”, exuding a sweat less charm. Amid searching spotlights, he transitioned into “Rock Your Body”, getting the audience sizzling hot. He featured holograms of himself in front of a backdrop. He talked to the crowd, hilariously and very animated.
Timberlake featured ‘Tennessee Kids’, the 13 member band he’s been using for quite some time. They’re very enthusiastic and they move as one. Their bumping horn section gave the music a sharp edge. They flicker their guitars to master R&B and rock. They’ve got grooves made for elaboration, like “TKO”. The melodies and beats of their pieces were filled with finesse and fluidity.
JT worked his mike stand like a dance partner. His backup dancers skipped rather than stomped, referencing moves of a more elevated era. The star’s raps had their own gentility. He gave the age old, song and dance routine his own sweet update. He kept it clean and simple.
As part two of the “20/20 Experience” continued, concluding a 10 minute intermission, he took his time, nice and slow for the Music City. Dancing and flirting his way around the arena, offering the audience a bonus. “My Love” and “Summer Love”. The intro to “What Goes Around Comes Around”, executed perfectly on the acoustic guitar. Whether taking onto a keyboard, guitar or piano, he banged out. There was sexual tension at its height. “Senorita”, had just about every woman in the audience drooling, wishing they were that acoustic guitar.
He went from the main stage, to the platform that elevated and floated over the audience, to a smaller stage in back of the arena. This had to be the coolest thing ever seen at a concert. His moves were choreographed and executed flawlessly. He even took a shot with the VIP section on the back stage.“Oh my god, i touched his leg,” an exuberant female fan screamed.
It was like a well crafted film with cinematic elements splashing across the screen. Timberlake gyrated through some of his ancient hits as well, like “Justified”, much to the fans’ delight. This was an exquisite experience.