Justin Timberlake, SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Herald Scotland — As a man famed for his collaborations (both professional and personal), Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience Tour was all about the singular last night.
The man himself entered in Suit & (bow) Tie, singing Pusher Love in front of a giant honeycomb-style set and his 15-strong swing-meets-soul band.
Deafening Hydro-style cheers led Timberlake to say: “Is that how we’re feeling tonight Glasgow, Scotland?” before he strutted along the runway at the front of stage, telling the crowd they were just getting warmed up.
Rock Your Body sent temperatures soaring (complete with the first of the night’s slick choreography) closely followed by dance routine of the night for – Michael Jackson inspired – Like I Love You with his five dancers.
The ‘Experience’ relied on Timberlake’s triple threat: falsetto vocals, killer dance moves and inherent sex appeal (his band The Tennessee Kids weren’t half bad too, perhaps best showcased in the music making of My Love).
A sultry LoveStoned was followed by a pared-down Until the End of Time before a shortened version of Jay Z collaboration Holy Grail segued into act one closer Cry Me A River (arguably Timberlake’s most mainstream track).
Asking for audience validation throughout, the former Disney poster child and boy bander followed through with anthem to Glasgow Drink You Away, catchy Señorita (big nod to the wild drummer), and a rousing Let the Groove Get In which saw the hydraulic runway bridge take Timberlake and four of his crew across the arena, a winning moment of the evening.
A quick shot drunk to “forget what happens” was followed by an Elvis cover (Heartbreak Hotel) and Michael Jackson’s stunning Human Nature before Take Back the Night took Timberlake back to the main stage for a funky Jungle Boogie.
A trio of Suit & Tie, SexyBack and Mirrors closed the show’s second act and firmly secured this class act’s ultimate top rating.
Marianne Gunn’s verdict: Five stars
The fans’ verdict: Justin Timberlake, SSE Hydro
Evening Times — When Justin Timberlake’s silhouette appeared at the back of the stage at the beginning of the first night of his 20/20 experience tour that kicked off tonight in Glasgow, the audience stood up on their feet to welcome their idol.
Over two hours later, around 30 songs played and an impressive display of professionalism, the fans were still on their feet singing along with the hits that made JT’s career
Jennifer Wallis from Paisley has been a fan since when JT was part of boyband N’Sync.She said the concert “was amazing, outstanding, really cool”.
Ainsley Swanson from John O’Groats travelled more than 8 hours to see the concert. “The show was outstanding and I really love the venue as it is my first time here”.
Emma Miller is from Glasgow and “loved when he played Cry me a River which is my all time favourite”.She has seen JT in concert a couple of times “but this time the backdrop and his moves really impressed me”
Timberlake’s moves were also mentioned by Alexis McKenzie. “He makes look easy the way he dances and sing.”
She’s been a fan for around 10 years but this is her first time at a concert. “I had a fantastic time! I’m so happy he sang old stuff especially from the album Justified which I wasn’t expecting.”
Lynn Mcindoe and friend Suzanne Gallagher from Glasgow said: “The whole experience was amazing, the band coming from the floor and the old songs were the highlights for us.”
Happy fans confirm that once again JT brought the sexy back to Glasgow in an evening that will remain on everybody’s mind.
Brought his 20/20 Experience to a 13,000-strong audience
The Journal — JUSTIN Timberlake brought his 20/20 Experience World Tour to a 13,000-strong audience in Glasgow’s Hydro last night.
Nobody can deny it was a suave and smooth affair. Against a polished and flawless backdrop, Timberlake had the crowd on its feet, dancing the night away.
Looking slick in his “suit and tie”, Timberlake exploded onto the stage with ‘Pusher Love Girl’, the first track off his latest album. A sort of elegance was brought into his performances thanks to a blues-style live band.
Timberlake wasted no time before launching into some of his biggest hits: ‘Rock Your Body’ and then ‘FutureSex/LoveSound ‘, but it was ‘Like I Love You’ that just about brought down the roof.
Timberlake then slowed things and showed a more intimate side of himself by serenading the crowd under a spotlight with a piano and giving us a rendition of ‘My Love’.
In the second-half of the show, Timberlake came out to strong, bright strobe lights and, having changed from a white suit into a black one, also held an electric guitar. He quickly built a rapport with his fans and joked: “90% of the time I have been in Scotland, I can’t remember what has happened as we all like to drink a wee bit”. Toasting to the crowd, he took a shot, much to the delight of the audience.
The stage then raised taking Timberlake around the venue as he sang ‘Señorita’. He also belted-out his own rendition of Elvis’ ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Human Nature’. With his smooth dance moves and effortless moonwalk, the covers suited Timberlake’s style to a tee.
Slowing the pace once more, ‘What Goes Around… Comes Around’ had the audience belting it out alongside him — and it wasn’t long before the party kicked-off again when he showed-off his high range of vocals with ‘Take Back the Night’.
As the concert drew to a close, Timberlake definitely saved the best three songs for last: ‘Suit and Tie’, ‘SexyBack’ and ‘Mirrors’. By far, it was these three numbers that drew the biggest reaction from the crowd with everybody on their feet, clapping, screaming and singing along.
A superb night was had by all, including those who had travelled to Glasgow from far and wide, to be crooned by the once sweet and innocent boy band member who is now undoubtedly a superstar in his own right.
The Journal gives five stars to the American superstar on the first night of his 20/20 Experience World Tour in Glasgow.