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Crónica e imágenes: «The 20/20 Experience» World Tour en Ottawa, 22 de jul.

Justin Timberlake razzles and dazzles

Ottawa Sun — Showbiz can be a cruel master.

Even more-so with its most vulnerable, the child stars who are so often chewed up and spit out the industry machinations to devastating effect.

And while that other Justin may be a perfect case study still in the making, it was Justin Timberlake who showed there’s a way to escape.

His tag as a «former» child star now a distant memory, Timberlake’s transformation from teen idol to iconic entertainer is nearly complete, with his mammoth 20/20 Experience Tour bringing the «President of Pop» to a sold-out Canadian Tire Centre Tuesday with a performance that lived up to that well-earned honorific.

But his show truly transcended the conformities of pop music, with elements of R&B, rock, and hip-hop — all rolled up in a tightly-choreographed, laser-lit arena spectacle — and all the while, it was clear that the head of the class in this new school is a genuine old soul.

Everything about Timberlake’s performance held an unmistakable air of elegance, evident right from the opening, with the 33-year-old superstar cast in his own immense silhouette, flanked by a shadowy string quartet for the show’s overture.

When the curtain fell, Timberlake was alone on stage, in the flesh and decked out in black-and-white, singing out in his pitch-perfect falsetto as a massive 16-piece band emerged from the stage floor to join him on Pusher Love Girl, the epic opening track from his 2013 double-edged opus, The 20/20 Experience, which signaled Timberlake’s grand return to the music industry after a lengthy hiatus that saw him conquering just about every other avenue the entertainment industry can offer.

The absence has been even longer for the Ottawa faithful, as Timberlake acknowledged during a break, where he recalled the last time he spent a tour stop in Ottawa, way back in 2000, and then with prototypical boy band ‘N Sync.

«That’s unacceptable», he said, «But we’re gonna make up for it tonight».

The fans sure made up for it, as the deafening roar that erupted from the 18,500-strong nearly drowned out the opening strains of the beat-drop on Rock Your Body, and Timberlake seemed genuinely affected by the response he received during the roaring ovation he earned after the ultra-funky TKO.

A natural-born showman and consummate performer — oozing charisma wherever he goes, from Hollywood roles to hosting duties on Saturday Night Live, to the studio and the stage — at the heart of it all he’s an entertainer. And a masterful one, at that.

Seemingly equally-gifted in all disciplines of the entertainment game, Timberlake showed off his fancy footwork on the first choreography of the evening as his cadre of dancers emerged for Rock Your Body, the funk-laced hit single from 2002’s Justified, Timberlake’s christening as a legitimate r&b star in the first phases of shedding his past boy band baggage — one of the era’s few survivors who can claim such a clean break.

The sexy FutureSex/LoveSound followed with its thick slab of bass mingling with a swirling exotic stew, and the band stepped out on My Love, with his lead guitarist striking the classic rocker pose at centre stage for a screaming electric solo.

But whether amidst the roar of the band, or in the intimate moments where he took sole command of the stage, seated at a white Grand piano for the ballad Until the End of Time, or leaning into an acoustic guitar on Drink You Away, it was Timberlake who stood alone as the star of the show.

And, time may tell, as the uncontested superstar of his generation.

Justin Timberlake puts on a show for sellout crowd in Ottawa

Ottawa Citizen — With a voice that soared to the rafters and feet that flashed like quicksilver, Justin Timberlake delighted a sellout crowd of 18,500 crammed into Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday, his first concert in the nation’s capital in more than a decade.

At one point, Timberlake recalled being in Ottawa only once before, way back in the year 2000 during his ‘N Sync years.

«We’re going to make up for it today», he promised. «We’re going to have a party here».

Sure enough, the 33-year-old singer-songwriter-actor-producer delivered a goody-filled bag of fun, a show that was not only packed with energy-loaded hits and crowd-pleasing covers but also delivered with a classic sense of showmanship.

Perhaps taking a cue from the show band era — or maybe to give himself a breather at the halfway point — Timberlake’s concert included a short intermission, a move that also eliminated the need for an opening act.

Of course, just as you would expect from one of the world’s biggest pop stars, Timberlake’s natural talent for singing and dancing was set off with a sumptuous production, featuring an enormous stage with a honeycomb backdrop, a hydraulic catwalk that moved over the crowd and eye-popping laser lighting design. (Notices were posted at all entrances warning against the use of binoculars or other lenses that might reflect the thousand beams of light emanating from the stage.)

The big show started with a relatively low-key entrance, the star shadowed at the top of a staircase, suddenly emerging in an explosion of white light. In a tailored suit, white sneakers glowing against the black stage, the former Mouseketeer eased into the proceedings with the sultry Pusher Love Girl, clapping and crooning as he sashayed down the stairs. By the time he got to the bottom, he had the ladies, who ranged in age from their teens to middle age, in the palm of his hand.

It was one of many steamy songs that came across as romantic instead of raunchy, thanks to Timberlake’s often gentlemanly delivery, not to mention the lush sound of his magnificent band, which came complete with horns and backing vocals. Anyone would sound like a star with that group of musicians behind them.

But don’t get the impression that Timberlake is turning into Buble — with little more than a spin and a pelvic thrust, he can ooze sex appeal, as demonstrated during the disco-like groove of Rock Your Body and the throbbing Future Sex/Love Sounds. His dancing was energetic and inventive throughout the performance, with moves that echoed everyone from Michael Jackson to Fred Astaire. What’s more, his singing didn’t seem to suffer from the physical exertion — this is a guy who can always hit the high notes.

In the end, the 20/20 Experience world tour, which started last year and has circled the globe, was a well-rehearsed, impeccably produced marathon of a show with a timeline that included nods to Elvis, Michael and Jay-Z. Alongside Timberlake’s own material, from booty-shaking to balladry, it was a blast.

Justin Timberlake Tour Takes Ottawa For 20/20 Experience In Sold Out Show

Inquisitr«We’re going to make up for it today», Justin Timberlake crooned to the stadium of sold out fans, «We’re going to have a party here».

Justin was of course referring to the fact that the last time that he played in Ottawa, Ontario while on tour, he was part of boy band ‘N Sync, which was well over 14 years ago (Are you feeling old yet? I certainly know that I am).

The sold out crowd was comprised of 18,500 fans all crammed inside the Canadian Tire Centre to see the man in action, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

When the Timberlake fans walked into the stadium, they were met with the warning to forgo the use of binoculars or specific types of zoom photography as the lenses would reflect the thousands of lasers that were incorporated into Justin’s stage show.

Ever the quintessential showman, Timberlake took to the stage and delivered on his promise. During the entire show, fans got the full treatment as he performed hit after hit as well as some timely covers. Timberlake offered up a full course of his body of work which spans nearly a decade. He entertained the crowd through the use of a prolific light show and dismissed any need for an opening act. That’s right, the folks in Ottawa got Justin and only Justin for the entire night. His show could be best described as Big Band Era meets futuristic space odyssey, if you can even imagine the two coexisting.

Timberlake played to the crowd, mostly comprised of teenage girls and middle aged women, using his lush vocals and the full backing of his band, which included plenty of brass. His dance moves were described as a mixture between Michael Jackson and Fred Astaire.

A natural-born showman and consummate performer — oozing charisma wherever he goes, from Hollywood roles to hosting duties on Saturday Night Live, to the studio and the stage — at the heart of it all he’s an entertainer. And a masterful one, at that.

Little wonder is it then that Justin Timberlake has won 60 awards, nine of which are Grammys, and been nominated for 177 total, despite the fact that he’s only released four studio albums.

Justin Timberlake on his 20/20 Experience tour
Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience Tour wraps up its epic run on December 20, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. If you’re interested in going to a show, get your tickets soon. Many of the cities on his tour are already sold out despite being one of the highest priced tickets available.

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