As fans scream, Justin Timberlake rocks their bodies
Orange County Register — Justin Timberlake’s fans are loud. Like really, really, deafeningly loud. There was hardly a moment Tuesday night at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles when attendees weren’t just absolutely howling with excitement.
From the second Timberlake appeared — decked out in a slick, dark suit and white sneakers — the mighty roar of delighted fans ignited and echoed throughout the arena. The 33-year-old “SexyBack” singer worked every bit of the stage, showcasing his dance skills and keeping pace with his hard-working back-up dancers while still actually singing.
Timberlake borrowed a few moves from his idol, the late King of Pop Michael Jackson, and every time he went for a crotch grab, a little moonwalk or some booty shaking, the ladies — and some fellas — lost their minds. No, really. Grown women — and some very enthusiastic men — in my section openly sobbed whenever Timberlake merely glanced in our direction and blew out their vocal cords screaming at the top of their lungs, probably rendering themselves voiceless for the rest of the week.
For a lot of those in attendance, this was the second time they’ve seen “The 20/20 Experience” Tour, which kicked off Nov. 6 in support of his third studio album, a two-part release, of the same title. He played Staples Center and Honda Center in Anaheim last November on the first leg of the North American jaunt before heading to Europe in March.
The show returned to the U.S. in July and the Staples Center stop was added and sold out. He’ll be back in the area, with this same tour, for two more nights, Nov. 24 at the Forum in Inglewood and Nov. 26 at Honda Center. That might seem like over-saturation for one dude on the same tour, but his loyal fans don’t care and will, no doubt fill up both arenas when JT hits the region again.
When he interacted with the crowd, he was playful and charming. One girl in the front row, Katie from Victorville, held up a sign that said it was her 21st birthday. Timberlake asked her if it was true and then asked her if she was drinking. She replied that she wanted to stay sober so she could remember the show, which made Timberlake reply: “Listen, the more you drink, the better I sound!”
Someone bought the girl a shot of tequila as Timberlake led the audience in singing “Happy Birthday to You”. The rookie imbiber eventually threw back the shot, and with all eyes on her, managed to spill more on her face and chest then into her mouth. “Well that … was unfortunate”, Timberlake said, laughing.
The two-part set, with a 10-minute intermission, was just about two and a half hours long and included several radio hits, fan-favorite cuts and quick snippets of songs and covers. Opening with “Pusher Love Girl” and “Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want)” led into a massive dance party as “Rock Your Body” cued up. Though Timberlake hails from Memphis, Tennessee, a fact he shared a couple of times during the evening, including right before a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel”, he gave his current hometown a lot of props, even indulging in a little “California Love” by 2Pac and “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.
Timberlake’s energy was infectious and relentless. Very few patrons sat throughout the set. Even during slower songs such as “Cry Me a River”, “What Goes Around … Comes Around”, a cover of Jackson’s “Human Nature” and “Until the End”, which found JT sitting at the piano, fans were on their feet, swaying, singing and slowly dancing along — or they were crying. There was an obscene amount of dramatic waterworks amid happy shrieks.
Of course, as with any mega-pop tour, the setup was extravagant. There were lots of visual elements displayed on a massive back screen, an abundance of laser lights and a stage that morphed throughout the night, bringing up Timberlake’s band, the Tennessee Kids, through the floor.
A mobile section of the stage broke away during “Let the Groove Get In” and lifted JT and a few dancers high above those in the center of the arena and carried them clear to the other side of the venue.
A mash-up of Kool & the Gang’s “Jungle Boogie”, JT’s “Murder” and “Poison” by Bell Biv DeVoe kept the house rockin’ as he headed into “Suit & Tie”. He took just a quick break before returning for the encore, heating things up once again with “SexyBack” and closing out the night with “Mirrors”, which turned into yet another loud sing-along.
Setlist: Act 1: Pusher Love Girl/ Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want)/ Rock Your Body/ Don’t Hold the Wall/ Future Sex/Love Sound/ Like I Love You/ My Love/ TKO/ Summer Love/ LoveStoned/ Until the End of Time/ Holy Grail (Jay-Z cover)/ Cry Me a River. Act 2: Only When I Walk Away/ Drink You Away/ Tunnel Vision/ Senorita/ Let the Groove Get In/ Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis Presley cover)/ Not a Bad Thing/ Human Nature (Michael Jackson cover)/ What Goes Around … Comes Around/ Take Back the Night/ Jungle Boogie (Kool & the Gang cover)/ Murder/ Poison (Bell Biv DeVoe cover)/ Suit & Tie. Encore: SexyBack, Mirrors.
Justin Timberlake Disses Donald Sterling During Concert From Clippers Homecourt
Yahoo! Music — Justin Timberlake managed to slip in a quick jab about former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling Tuesday during the pop star’s final U.S. date for The 20/20 Experience World Tour.
The “Suit and Tie” singer could not pass up an opportunity to celebrate Sterling’s ousting with Los Angeles fans. On the day Sterling’s forced sale of the Los Angeles Clippers closed, Timberlake gloated at the Staples Center, which is the joint home of the Clippers and the Lakers.
“No more Donald Sterling in this motherf—er!” Timberlake announced to thunderous applause, just before a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel”.
Timberlake’s two-and-a-half-hour concert drew a bevy of celebrity fans. Among the famous attendees were Glee’s Lea Michele and model-actor beau Matthew Paetz; Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara and new guy Joe Manganiello (of True Blood); Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and husband Justin Mikita; newlyweds Naya Rivera (of Glee) and Ryan Dorsey; Fresh Prince alum Alfonso Ribeiro; and 90210’s Shenae Grimes and her model-musician spouse, Josh Beech.
Tuesday was not the first time Timberlake dissed Sterling publicly. Timberlake also took a shot at Sterling at the Billboard Music Awards in May. When accepting his Top Artist award via a pretaped message, Timberlake said, “I want to thank everyone on earth, except Donald Sterling”.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer purchased the Clippers for $2 billion. In April, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the revoking of Sterling’s NBA membership after a leaked recording exposed the businessman making racist remarks about African Americans.
Justin Timberlake Wraps U.S. Leg of ‘The 20/20 Experience World Tour’
Yahoo! Music — Justin Timberlake and his Tennessee Kids backing band delivered a lively set Tuesday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, wrapping up the U.S. leg of their The 20/20 Experience world tour that included tributes to some of his biggest influences, in addition to the former ‘N Sync lead’s solo hits.
Here’s a recap of four of the night’s most memorable performance moments:
1. Timberlake makes arguably the best procession to the centerstage. While other acts move from main to secondary stage by being hoisted above the crowd in a harness, walking down the center aisle, or rising from an underground pathway, Timberlake topped them all. After the intermission, Timberlake’s performance platform elevated and hovered over the audience as it slowly traveled to the opposite side of the venue. Timberlake and his background singers continued with the show, singing and dancing across the moving contraption as he performed “Let the Groove Get In”.
2. Timberlake bows down to the King. The Memphis native paid homage to his hometown hero, the late Elvis Presley. Playing an acoustic guitar, Timberlake offered a bluesy cover of Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel”. Although Timberlake sang most of the song in his own natural singing voice, he did emulate Presley’s trademark vibrato near the song’s end. When wrapping, he invited the audience to show their support. “Two fingers in the air tonight for Elvis Presley, the king of rock ‘n’ roll”, he said.
3. Timberlake remembers Michael Jackson. Immediately following his tribute to Presley, Timberlake acknowledged another legend, the King of Pop. Singing Jackson’s “Human Nature”, Timberlake danced, but he mainly focused on hitting the song’s trademark falsetto notes and ad-libs, and getting the crowd to join in. “All right everybody, I need everybody to sing, ‘Why, why, tell ‘em that it’s human nature”, he sang.
4. Timberlake knows his 1990s hip-hop R&B. One of the night’s most high-energy moments was when Timberlake performed Bell Biv DeVoe’s 1990s hip-hop anthem “Poison”. After singing his song “Murder” that borrows a line from “Poison” (“That girl is [murder]”), he segued into the hit from the trio. The nostalgic peaked when Timberlake and his singers busted into BBD’s old school hip-hop dance moves, a sight more explosive than his “History of Rap” segments with Jimmy Fallon.