Sound mars Timberlake’s big party
The West Australian — Pop spunk Justin Timberlake finally scratched fans’ seven-year itch, bringing his mega-hits, cheeky grin and, yep, sexy back to Perth on Wednesday night at the first of two big gigs.
In 2007 the man known as Trousersnake – until he was made an honest man by Jessica Biel, who is on tour Down Under with her hubby – played Burswood Dome.
Despite eye-popping production, a messy sound and the many shortcomings of that now bulldozed monstrosity conspired for a distinctly underwhelming concert.
While Perth Arena is a far, far superior venue, Timberlake’s first Perth performance on his 20/20 Experience World Tour was also partly a disappointment, closer to 12 out of 20.
What should have been a tour de force greatest hits show featuring the 33-year-old superstar’s sweet falsetto, slick dance moves and shrink-wrap tight band, the Tennessee Kids, it was often derailed by its own magnitude.
After the band rose from below the stage in front of enormous screens made of hexagons covering the back wall and roof above the performers, Timberlake and co. dished up 2002 pop classics Rock Your Body and Like I Love You off his career-best debut album Justified.
The former Mickey Mouse Club and NSYNC member’s vocals boomed disconcertingly around the Arena, while the bombastic percussion from the Kids’ two drummers bounced off the wall to create a slapping echo. This blighted several songs, from the usually fantastic R&B number My Love to recent Drink You Away.
The slap went away on stripped back numbers, such as the electro ballad LoveStoned off 2006’s FutureSex/ LoveSounds or the superb Cry Me a River – the 2002 slow-burner about his break-up with Britney Spears was the first set’s big finale.
Funnily enough, the sound was best when JT and some of the Tennessee Kids performed on the B-stage. How they got there was a highlight in itself.
After the fun Latin- flavoured Senorita, the entire front expanse of the stage rose on hydraulics and then moved over the crowd towards the VIP bar ($1500 for two tickets) at the back of the standing area.
Timberlake belted out Let the Groove Get In and danced the show to fans on both sides of the Arena in a highly impressive display of showmanship and concert production.
With band members working the VIPs, Timberlake strapped on an acoustic guitar and paid tribute to fellow Memphis homeboy Elvis Presley with a rapturously received rendition of Heartbreak Hotel.
In addition to the King of Rock and Roll, the star paid debts to Michael Jackson, Jay Z, funk outfit Kool and the Gang and new jack swing trio Bell Biv DeVoe during the two-hour gig.
The excellent cover of Bell Biv DeVoe’s 1990 hit Poison saw Timberlake and two backing singers form an impromptu R&B posse on the main stage.
Timberlake came home strongly with saccharine latest Top 10 single Not a Bad Thing, the 90s-sounding Murder and synth-laden 2013 comeback single Suit & Tie leading to the inevitable showstopper, platinum-coated 2006 hit SexyBack followed by last year’s double-platinum smash Mirrors.
Fans came for and got a big party but, after waiting seven years, the at-times messy sound may have left some crying a river.
Timberlake played at the Perth Arena again last night.
Wednesday, October 8
Justin Timberlake buys Perth fan a drink
AAP — The pop star proved his generous nature after he responded to a fan’s request to buy her a drink during his Perth concert.
Timberlake engaged in some back-and-forth conversation with the lady whow as standing close to the stage at the Perth Arena.
A fan who was standing close to the lady who made the request posted a video online which captured the moment between Timberlake and the woman.
After the fan excitedly shouted her love for Timberlake he asked her if she had been drinking.
She said she hadn’t and asked the pop star to buy her a drink.
“I’m going to make sure you get a drink”, Timberlake said.
“I can’t stop the show but I’m giong make sure you get a drink”, he said.
But then, after taking a closer look at the fan, he said “Hold on, how old are you?”.
When she said she was 18 he seemed incredulous.
“You just happen to be 18?” he asked.
After the fan said she would show him her ID, he said if she was telling the truth she should get a drink.
Timberlake has since finished up his tour Down Under but he’s left one lingering and generous memory for his Aussie fans to enjoy.
Review: Justin Timberlake soars at Perth Arena
The Sydnay Morning Herald — No lip synching here — Justin Timberlake put other artists to shame with his sharp dance moves and smooth vocals at his Perth show on Wednesday night.
It was the first of two Perth performances, the last stop on the Australian leg of his 20/20 Experience world tour.
Like most of his other shows on the tour, Timberlake opened with Pusher Love Girl from the 20/20 album. Trumpets played alongside the drums, guitars and keyboard, giving the music a slick big band feel as the star toyed playfully with a chrome microphone stand.
Dressed in a black suit with white sneakers, Timberlake seemed energised by the crowd’s cheers.
“Is that how we’re feeling in Perth Australia tonight?” he shouted back, before he followed up with his 2003 hit Rock Your Body.
The dancers were at the top of their game, and they needed to be, because JT proved to be agile, energetic and perfectly in synch (no pun intended) with both his body and voice.
His vocal during FutureSex / LoveSound was drowned out by the music, but his incredible falsetto soared above the thumping bass as he sang his first solo hit Like I Love You.
Timberlake took to the piano himself for a slow, soulful rendition of My Love, accompanied by female backup singers, increasing the tempo for the latter half of the song.
“We are JT and the Tennessee Kids and we are very excited to be here in Perth Australia with you tonight!” he yelled.
“F—k it, let’s party!”
He whipped through three of his successful singles in quick succession — Summer Love, Lovestoned and Until the End of Time — before he sang his part on the Jay Z song Holy Grail.
Cry Me A River, which famously references Timberlake’s public split from pop princess Britney Spears, rounded out the first half of the show, before a 10 minute intermission was called.
He opened the second half with Only When I Walk Away, before engaging in some banter with his adoring fans.
“This is my favourite part of the show — I get to have a good look at each and every one of you”, Timberlake said as the house lights rose.
“We’ve got some Tennessee Kids and it’s their first time in Australia. I told them, don’t worry, Australians are like Americans except they have way more fun and they also drink twice as much”.
The singer attempted an Australian accent, before he singled out a young fan named Emily Rose and sang Happy Birthday to her.
“Don’t cry, you’re 18! Do some shots, get someone to drive you home and then at 3am you cry”, he told her.
During Let the Groove In, the clear perspex stage rose and shifted to the back of the arena, as Timberlake and his backup singers danced atop it.
He shared a moment with fans in the VIP section and downed a shot of tequila from the bar as the crowd chanted “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie”.
Timberlake took to the guitar by himself for Heartbreak Hotel, a tribute to Elvis Presley. He followed up a short time later with another tribute, this time to Michael Jackson, with Human Nature.
The stage returned to its original position for his more recent releases, Murder and Suit and Tie.
The band disappeared after the latter song, but the crowd kept screaming for more. Not surprisingly, the lights rose again a few moments later for an encore of Timberlake’s most successful solo song Sexyback and Australian top 10 hit Mirrors.
A second Justin Timberlake show will be held at Perth Arena on Thursday night.
Set list (Perth Arena – 8 October 2014)
Pusher Love Girl
Rock Your Body
FutureSex / LoveSound
Like I Love You
Until the End of Time
Cry Me A River
Only When I Walk Away
Drink You Away
Let the Groove In
Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis cover)
Not A Bad Thing
Human Nature (Michael Jackson cover)
What Goes Around
Take Back the Night
Poison (Bell Biv Devoe cover)
Suit and Tie
Encore: Sexyback, Mirrors
Justin Timberlake charms fans at Perth Arena
Perth Now — IT has been seven years since Justin Timberlake last performed in Perth — and the superstar singer still knows how to keep audiences eating out of the palm of his hand.
Fittingly decked out in his suit and tie, Timberlake was all class as he rose from the centre of the stage accompanied by an impressive big band set up before launching into Pusher Love Girl.
“Perth, are ya’ll ready?”, Timberlake asked, to a resounding yes from the audience.
The sleek and confident performer, whose last WA show was in 2007 to a capacity
crowd at the now-demolished Burswood Dome, was effortlessly cool and charming in proving to fans he had been very much worth the wait.
The dance moves were tight, his flawless falsetto on point and his charisma oozing, as he delivered the likes of Rock Your Body, Like I Love You, My Love, TKO, Summer
Love and Lovestoned/I Think She Knows.
The energy from the enthusiastic crowd was palpable as they moved and sang at the celebrity’s command, screaming at the top of their lungs in response to any interaction.
Multi-talented Timberlake took to a white piano, which popped up from beneath the stage, for Until the End of Time before a powerful rendition of Cry Me a River, which had the audience hook, line and sinker.
Following a ten minute intermission, Timberlake responded to shouts that a fan named Emily Rose was celebrating her 18th with Happy Birthday, with the young woman immediately dissolving into tears.
Picking up an acoustic guitar, he continued his lengthy set of greatest hits with Drink You Away and Senorita.
At this point, one segment of the stage lifted and split apart from the rest, taking Timberlake and his energetic troupe of dancers across the arena floor and bringing them up close and personal with the crowds at the back.
Let the Groove In, a cover of Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel and Michael Jackson’s Human Nature, and What Goes Around … Comes Around were performed with Timberlake rubbing shoulders with those in a special VIP area, shaking their hands and singing to them.
His showmanship, energy and obvious passion never wavered throughout the more than two-hour show and, flanked by an animated and gifted group of musicians and dancers, it is certainly a show not to miss.
Hits Suit and Tie, SexyBack and Mirrors set the bar at a whole new height, sending the crowd into an absolute frenzy to wrap up the evening.
Perth is the final stop on the Australian leg of The 20/20 Experience Tour, with the star performing again tonight at Perth Arena before next set to jet to New Zealand for three shows in Auckland, which kick off on Sunday.
Justin Timberlake performs at Perth Arena tonight, 8.30pm with tickets from $104.65 from Ticketek.
Timberlake brings the sexy back
The West Australian — Girls want him, guys want to be him.
Justin Timberlake pulled more than 12,000 fans to Perth Arena for the first of two concerts on his 20/20 Experience World Tour.
The former curly-haired, squeaky-clean heartthrob from boy band NSYNC turned solo pop megastar, Hollywood actor and all-round nice guy hit the stage looking suave in a Tom Ford black suit, with black T-shirt and white sneakers.
Ear-splitting screams heralded Timberlake’s arrival in silhouette before his big band, the Tennessee Kids, rose up from below the stage. The 33-year-old wasted no time in bringing sexy back, opening with the retro-futuristic Pusher Love Girl and then dishing up Michael Jackson-worthy hit Rock Your Body.
During the latter, the man nicknamed Trousersnake promised to get us “nekkid” by the end of the song.
Timberlake knows on which side his bread is buttered, sticking to a greatest hits set of lascivious R&B-pop songs running along a consistent theme.
The title track of his 2006 album FutureSex/LoveSounds segued into the excellent hyperkinetic Like I Love You before slipping into something more comfortable for the pulsating My Love.
See a pattern emerging?
The Memphis native maintained an exhausting pace — Timberlake crams nearly 30 songs into his concert on this tour, which kicked off in New York last November.
Big ticket prices matched the huge production. A few dozen cashed-up Timberlakers splurged $1500 for two spots in the VIP bar near the small second stage.
Since unveiling debut Justified in 2002, the restaurateur, fashionista and part-owner of the Memphis Grizzlies basketball franchise has only released four albums, half of them last year in the two The 20/20 Experience long-players.
Timberlake’s actress wife Jessica Biel joined him in Perth, enjoying dinner at Cottesloe Beach on Tuesday evening.
Before Biel arrived, the singer hit retro-themed nightspot Devilles Pad on Monday night.
Timberlake plays at Perth Arena again tonight before heading to New Zealand. for three concerts.
Timberlake meets obsessed Perth superfans
The West Australian — Justin Timberlake made two Perth superfans’ dreams come true last night.
The singer met Dominique Condo and Tara Bradley backstage at the first of his two Perth Arena shows five minutes before he took to the stage.
The 23 year-olds, who work in West Leederville, went on a social media campaign to meet the Sexy Back singer in person while he in town with his 20/20 Experience World Tour.
The pair, who also forked out on $400 tickets to the concert, created a website and wrote an open letter to the star featuring more than 20 of his songs and set up a Twitter account, DTwillmeetJT, to help draw attention to their cause.
“We are two #TNKids from Perth with some really bad dance moves and a dream to meet Justin Timberlake when he comes to Perth, Australia for his 20/20 Experience Tour in October 2014”, they wrote.
Last night, Timberlake’s manager and publicist made their wish come true after a number of pleading emails.
And by the look on Timberlake’s face, he appeared just as excited to meet the diehard Perth fans.
“He is just amazing and an incredible performer”, Bradley said of the star.
Timberlake, who is in town with wife Jessica Biel, plays Perth Arena again tonight before heading to New Zealand for three shows in Auckland from Sunday.
Perth Justin Timberlake fans’ online campaign to meet the superstar a success
Perth Now — TWO Perth fans who launched a social media campaign to meet Justin Timberlake had their dream come true last night at Perth Arena.
The dedication of the lucky pair, who bonded over his music in dance classes at Lesmurdie Senior High School, paid off last night when they were granted the opportunity to meet Timberlake at the first of two Perth shows as part of The 20/20 Experience World Tour.
JT grants diehard Perth fans’ wish
Dominique Condo and Tara Bradley, both 23, have been campaigning to meet Justin Timberlake at his Perth show and last night they achieved their dream.
Ms Condo said they had arrived early at the arena and managed to squeeze to the front of the stage when they received an email from Timberlake’s publicist and management 10 minutes before he was due to come on.
“We emailed back straight away”, Ms Condo said.
“Two minutes later his manager comes out and was looking for us and we waved and he goes ‘Hang on a minute’ and then he brings out two security guards and they escorted us backstage.
“Then they brought Justin out and he was like ‘How are you guys? Nice to meet you'”.
Ms Condo said both she and her best friend were extremely nervous during the highly anticipated meet and greet.
“I’m sure we said ‘How are you?’ about five times because we were so nervous and we didn’t want to say anything stupid”, she said.
“He was like ‘I’ve heard about your campaign to meet me’.
“I shook his hand and then Tara shook his hand and hugged him so I was like ‘Oh can I have a hug too?’ and he was like ‘Of course’ because I was like ‘I’m not missing out'”.
She said after having connected with many of his dedicated fans online, known as the TN (or Tennessee) Kids, who had supported their campaign, she felt compelled to tell him how much his admirers loved him.
“I was like ‘From your 35 million Twitter fans, you are so loved, everyone loves you and he was like ‘Thank you so much'”, she said.
“I felt like I had to say that so he knows we’re not the only ones”.
Ms Condo said the singer and actor was kind, “really humble” and dedicated to his fans.
“I think he does care so much for his fans because it definitely seemed like he’d been asked to do it by his publicist but he could have said ‘No, I don’t want to do this’, but I think he genuinely wanted to meet us”, she said.
Ms Condo said she and Bradley had just four hours sleep after the brief meeting and show because of their excitement.
“Last night we stayed together and we couldn’t sleep”, she said.
“When we woke up this morning we were like ‘Oh my god did that actually happen?'”
The ecstatic pair have purchased “the cheapest tickets available” to attend the second show at Perth Arena tonight.
Timberlake also serenaded 18-year-old Perth fan, Emily Rose, for her birthday during last night’s show, causing her to break down in tears.