Justin Timberlake at Phones 4u Arena, Manchester
The Bolton News — WITH his sharp suit and even sharper dance moves, Justin Timberlake was every inch the pop superstar when he landed in the North West on Monday.
Having graduated from the Mickey Mouse Club to boyband N Sync, the 33-year-old is a respected and talented artist in his own right and, with a performance like the one at the Phones 4u Arena, Manchester, it is easy to see why.
He may be on the 50th date of The 20/20 Experience World Tour but he looked like he was enjoying every second, working the packed and sweltering 23,000 capacity arena as easily as a 200 seater church hall.
A fantastic stage platform stretched from one end to the other meaning the singer could run up steps to get even closer to his audience and when the structure started to move out into the arena, while Justin and his dancers strutted their stuff above, the crowd went into a frenzy.
He arrived on stage at 8.30pm on the dot, looking dapper in a white Tom Ford suit, and what followed was a dazzling two and a quarter hour show, including a 10 minute interval, which showcased Justin’s strong and soulful vocals.
His live touring band, the Tennessee Kids, rose out of the stage floor with their instruments and provided an energetic, big-band orchestra backdrop to the show.
With a set list of more than 30 songs, Justin performed his back catalogue of hits including Rock Your Body, Like I Love You, Cry Me a River, Señorita, What Goes Around… Comes Around and Take Back the Night, as well as tracks from his latest album The 20/20 Experience.
Hailed as the best male dancer since Michael Jackson, you can certainly see the inspiration of the late singer in Justin’s slick and spot-on dance moves.
He paid tribute to the music legend by performing his 1983 track Human Nature, with the Memphis-born star notching up the cheese factor a level by urging the crowd to sing loud enough for him to hear.
Throw in a bit of Elvis, Pulp Fiction’s Jungle Boogie, as well as Justin playing a gleaming white piano, and you have all the ingredients for a dazzling show without a dull moment.
It was brought to a fitting close with an encore of 2006 hit SexyBack and sing-a-long track Mirrors before Justin, his band and dancers took their much-deserved bow to rapturous applause, ahead of their return to the arena on Tuesday evening.