BELFAST, UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 24: Justin Timberlake performs on stage at the Odyssey Arena on the first date of the UK leg of his ‘FutureSex/LoveShow’ World Tour on April 24, 2007 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Justin Timberlake kicks off European Leg
Star Justin Timberlake will kick-off his UK and European tour at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast tonight.
The Grammy-winning superstar is set to play two shows in Belfast as part of his current FutureSex/LoveSounds tour.
And fans of the pop artist will be in for a double treat as leading producer Timbaland is expected to join the Memphis mover on stage at some point during the concert.
Justin Timberlake is currently in the UK top 10 with Give It To Me, a collaboration with Timbaland and Nelly Furtado.
A number of lucky fans, who splashed out on exclusive tickets for the SexyBack Dance Club – a private area right in front of the stage – will get a chance to see Timberlake up close and personal.
A spokeswoman for Aiken Promotions said that standing tickets in the SexyBack Dance Club had been snapped up by eager fans, but that a few seated tickets remained.
Timberlake will perform tonight and tomorrow night’s show in ‘the round’ – which means the stage will be surrounded by concert-goers.
Following his Belfast dates, the star will head to Sheffield to continue on with his UK tour, before moving on to Europe throughout May.
He’ll be back in Ireland in June to play in Dublin, ending his tour with three nights in London.
Sexyback for more
By Maureen Coleman
Justin Timberlake was today gearing up for a second sell-out show in Belfast after a spectacular start to his UK and European tour at the Odyssey Arena.
And if the Memphis-born megastar was hoping for greater audience interaction on his FutureSex/LoveSound tour, he certainly got it last night – though more, perhaps, than he bargained for.
Up to 40 lucky fans managed to secure exclusive seating at a private bar area incorporated into the stage – the SexyBack Dance Club – which meant they could watch Timberlake strut his stuff from very close quarters.
On several occasions, the SexyBack star came right down to the bar area to shake hands with his screaming fans. Unfortunately, two male members of the SexyBack Dance Club took their devotion too far and ran across the stage as Timberlake was performing his final song.
The former NSYNC frontman, who only spotted one of the fearless fans, laughed it off, telling the crowd: “Give it up to Ireland’s biggest gumbie who just ran across the stage there. Well done buddy”.
The incident, however, didn’t spoil the night for Timberlake, who told the Belfast crowd that he couldn’t think of anywhere better to open the UK/European leg of his current tour. He last played here in 2003 and his performance last night was slicker and sexier than before. From the moment the show kicked off with FutureSex/LoveSound, the title track of his latest album, the crowd showed their appreciation with deafening screams, much to Timberlake’s amusement.
The fans sang along as he showed off his famous dance moves to tracks such as Like I Love You, Sexy Lady, Rock Your Body and My Love.
Dressed in a black suit, white shirt and white trainers, Timberlake proved why he is continuously voted one of the sexiest men on the planet.
But last night he also showed why he deserves the King of Pop title. His vocals were amazing, from the fast, raunchy SexyBack to the Britney Spears-inspired ballad Cry Me A River.
At one stage of the show, knocking back tequila, Timberlake toasted the audience.
“Here’s a toast to the lovely, lovely Irish folks”, he said.
“And to the first night of my tour and the first of two nights here in lovely Belfast. And what better excuse to have a drink”.
Halfway through the show Timberlake was joined by close friend and producer Timbaland for a number of tracks.
He ended the show with a message to his fans, thanking them for their ongoing support.
My private dance with Justin
As Justin Timberlake kicked-off his UK and European tour in Belfast, Showbiz Correspondent Maureen Coleman found out what it’s like to get up close and personal with the megastar himself
There’s something quite disconcerting about having a scantily clad woman shake her g-stringed booty in your face. If you’re another woman, that is.
But if that’s the price I had to pay for a private dance from Justin Timberlake, well hey, who’s complaining?
Last night I joined around 40 other Timberlake fans as a member of his exclusive SexyBack Dance Club at the Odyssey Arena. This meant I was in the enviable position of having a seat right at the bar, which was incorporated into the actual stage set.
Not only could I watch the sexy superstar perform just a few feet away from me, but – calm down ladies – I also got to touch his hand.
And his leg, but that’s another matter.
Before last night’s show kicked-off, one of JT’s enormous security guards gave each and every one of us the do’s and don’ts of club membership.
“Don’t put your drinks on the bar, keep them on the ledge in front”, he told myself and my two friends, Katrina and Michael.
“When he comes down, you can touch him, but what ever you do, don’t grab him.
“Oh watch her, she’s a grabber”, Katrina warned him, pointing at me.
The burly security man eyed me suspiciously and told me to behave.
It wasn’t me I was worried about.
As the show got under way, Justin, dressed in a tight-fitting black suit and trainers, danced and sang on an elevated area in the centre of the stage.
We sat at the bar, having a drink and trying not to catch the eye of his male dancers as they thrust their hips right in front of our faces.
One pointed straight at me and sang some lovestruck lyric in my direction. Katrina laughed hysterically.
But her laughs soon turned to screams when Justin Timberlake himself suddenly leapt onto the bar right in front of us.
As Michael grappled furiously with his camera phone, Katrina and I managed to touch Justin’s hand. It was fleeting, but it was real. I felt like a teenager again.
For most of the show, Justin performed in the centre, but we were confident he would come back down to the bar again.
At one stage, the half-naked female dancer decided to gyrate right in front of my nose. I didn’t know where to look. So this is what it’s like at a lap dancing club, I thought. I was tempted to stick a fiver in her corset, but there was always the chance Justin would be back.
And he was. Just as Katrina and I were discussing the lack of size zeros on stage, Justin suddenly reappeared again, right in front of us. Katrina nearly fell off her seat.
I tried to touch his hand, but he moved too quickly and I ended up feeling his leg.
Honestly, it was an accident.