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Crítica «FutureSex/LoveShow»: Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH – At last, Pittsburgh got to see the sexiness Justin Timberlake had promised to bring back.

It wasn’t too racy, except for a few brief instances deep into the second set of Timberlake’s sold-out Mellon Arena show Monday.

For the first 90 minutes, the new King of Pop presented a somewhat stylish, buttoned-down sauciness spiced solely by scorching dance steps.

A crowd of nearly 15,000 – skewed about 7:1 female-male – saved some of its lustiest screams for when the 26-year-old Timberlake did his patented move; a sort of hop, followed by a slow drag of the leg culminating in a smooth half-spin.

Taking the stage in a three-piece black suit set off by white sneakers, Timberlake began with the title track to his multi-platinum «Futuresex/Lovesounds». He picked up a white guitar to strum the next song, «Like I Love You».

With nine dancers on stage, this was a show focused more on choreography than musical transcendence, although Timberlake proved he’s a talented musician, playing four instruments, including a keytar, a handheld keyboard with a guitar neck. Actually, Timberlake added a fifth instrument if you count the vocal beat box trick he did near the end of his show.

A high-mark came 40 minutes in, when Timberlake tore into his hit single «What Goes Around», while seated at a center stage piano that spun around (and around and around and came back around again.)

Timberlake’s ace producer, Timbaland, entertained during the intermission, offering a deejay mix of hits from the likes of Aaliyah, Nelly Furtado, Michael Jackson and the Fray. While well-intentioned, the segment grew tedious and caused Timberlake’s show to lose a little steam.

Timberlake regained the steam when he unleashed «Damn Girl», which brought out gyrating dancers dressed like Vegas showgirls. One dancer climbed atop the seated Timberlake who stroked her thigh and patted her backside. Well, he did say he was bringing sexy back, right?

The next song, «Summer Love», also featured one highly suggestive move between Timberlake and a long-legged dancer. But otherwise, the former Mouseketeer and *NSYNC-er kept things PG-rated, working all angles of an in-the-round stage in a gray flannel hat and gray vest with matching slacks.

Before pausing to take a shot of tequila, Timberlake issued a toast honoring «Steeler country … and my new buddy Big Ben» Yes, Ben Roethlisberger had managed, rather conspicuously, to walk through the audience and get backstage.

Times Entertainment

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