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Crónica e imágenes: “The 20/20 Experience World Tour” en Sydney, 1 de oct.

Juzzo’s Back! Justin Timberlake kills his first Sydney show!

MTV — Hard to believe it’s been seven long years…

Probably the most important piece of information to come out of Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience is- when he’s in Australia, best you call him Juzzo.

“So excited to be back in Sydney Australia”, he greeted fans. “Seven years is too long… too long.

“Juzzo’s back! That’s what all my friends call me back here”, he added before the promise of making up for lost time, JT declared, “we’re going to fucking party tonight”.

The earth-shattering seven year gap since his last Aussie performance was quickly forgotten as the man of the hour lapped up every bit of love from the audience, at one point even doing a shot with the lucky folk in the VIP section. He also hilariously called out an eager fan for having “taken a pill”.

As the ‘Sexy Back’ singer gyrated, dipped, danced and ran on stage at the Allphones Arena, his backup dancers (who to be honest seemed a little uninterested) and the incredibly talented Tennessee Kids put on a show to be remembered by hard-core Sydney Juzzo fans forever.

There’s always a build up to the big moment when the artist steps out onto the stage to greet the flood of screaming fans and Justin’s dramatic countdown entrance was no exception.

As he seemingly levitated from the floor below, a huge shadow cast against the honeycomb-patterned LED screens- no doubt everyone was thinking ‘God has appeared before us’.

Instantly an A Capella of ‘Pusher Love’ kicked off and not long after the Tennessee Kids appeared as a full piece big band complete with guitars, base, keyboards, trumpets and backup singers in classic, all black costumes- roaring 20’s style.

Speaking of costumes, I hate to say it but they were pretty damn boring. I know you love a good suit Justin, but what was with those horrific early 2000’s style school uniform-inspired shirt and tie combos your dancers were rocking?

As the beat increased, so did the dancing and I don’t need to tell anyone how well Justin Timberlake can dance. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I could watch that man dance for days. He has a distinct certain swagger to his moves that hasn’t changed but rather evolved, into a sexy, modern version of Michael Jackson’s iconic style- crotch thrusts and all.

Speaking of crotch thrusts, a woman beside me is inspired to tell me that Justin is ‘well endowed’. From then on it was impossible not to stare at his suit pants. Unconfirmed as to how she is privy to such intimate details. Congrats, Jessica Biel.

Throughout the whole first half of the show (yes, there was a brief intermission) the hits kept coming, most started off A Capella style before moving into all-out jaw dropping performance. My favourite would have to have been ‘Like I Love You’ which saw JT hit they keys on a stunning white grand piano before “dropping that shit” and moving into the beloved up-tempo tracks.

‘Holy Grail’, ‘Til the End of Time’, the classic f*ck you Britney track ‘Cry Me a River’, ‘Drink You Away’ and ‘Tunnel Vision’ satisified our JT live fix, there was even an ode to Jay Z’s ‘Tom Ford’ thrown in the mix.

The legendary singer/songwriter honoured other legends before him with incredible renditions of Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson which really highlighted his passion and skill, telling everyone t to sing along so “he can hear it”.

Tear-jerking moment was instantly shattered when a massive hydraulic platform sky-rocketted JT and a handful of the Tennessee Kids above the audience and slowly moved over the mosh below him back to the main stage.

He teased a crowd surf, but we all knew that wouldn’t happen. JT doesn’t crowd surf. He gets close enough for you to see the creases in his shirt but you’ll never touch him- ever.

Before closing off the show with ‘Sexy Back’ and ‘Mirrors’ he thanked everyone for trekking it out to the desolate wasteland that is Homebush and reminded us all why Aussies are the shit.

“Australia’s just like the rest of the world but they just have way more fucking fun. They can also drink twice as much as you. Which is probably why they have so much fucking fun”.

And that we did Justin, that. We did.

Justin Timberlake’s music career was back and better than ever

Renowned For Sound — If anyone needed reassurance that Justin Timberlake’s music career was back and better than ever, fans at Sydney’s Allphones Arena were given it last night with the pop prince performing the second of two shows in the city.

After several years out of the music spotlight to focus on a fruitful acting career that saw the musician deliver fine performances in The Social Network, Bad Teacher and In Time, in 2013 he offered us his first two studio albums since 2006′s FutureSex/LoveSounds in the shape of the commercially successful The 20/20 Experience and its quick follow up The 20/20 Experience — 2 of 2 with the singles Suit and Tie and Mirrors solidifying his return as one of music’s most successful artists.

Changes in Timberlake’s style have been clearly evident. Where his earlier material was rooted in pop, the end of his 7 year hiatus has allowed him to emerge with a much more R’n’B sound thanks to the help of Timbaland and rap heavyweight Jay Z who Timberlake resumed his live performances alongside when the pair co-headlined the brief 2013 Legends of the Summer tour. In naming his tour “The 20/20 Experience”, JT is setting clear expectations that his show is going to give audiences a unique concert experience. “20/20” implies sharp visual acuity, or clear focus so I was curious to see how this was going to translate into the show.

The dramatic opening to last nights performance included JT appearing at the back of the stage first, followed by the entire band, The Tennessee Kids, complete with 2 drummers, horns, guitars and backing vocals, rising up from underneath the stage in front of him and launching into an extended rendition of Pusher Love Girl. The stage featured a backdrop of inter-connected white hexagons spanning the width of almost the entire arena and extending up over the top of the stage, which hid lighting as well as projected various pre-recorded graphics, videos, and live video throughout the performance. Dressed in retro black and white, JT immediately showed off his trademark dance moves and delivered a first set with songs from all four of his studio album releases and included the singers signature hit Cry Me A River, My Love, and Rock Your Body. On each of the songe delivered in the meaty 29-song set, his voice was smooth and lush, and he slipped in and out of his falsetto voice making it seem effortless. He engaged the audience along the way and at one point had the entire arena singing along, with lighters (or cellphones) held high.

After a short intermission, the second set kicked off with three songs from his The 20/20 Experience albums, which is where the show got more interesting. While the first half of the set was made up of songs that were perhaps a little lesser known to your casual Timberlake listener, the latter half of the set gave the night a kick of energy and was evidently the draw to the show. The front part of the stage was elevated by large hydraulics on each side of the arena and separated itself to form a narrow catwalk which began slowly moving across the arena floor. JT, 2 horn players and a few backing vocalists were performing along the catwalk which had a clear Lucite floor allowing fans below a unique view from underneath. Stairs extended up and outwards over the main floor to above the first section of seats, allowing fans seated in those sections to get a very up-close view of Timberlake as he passed directly over them while he performed and engaged the audience. After reaching the back of the arena, he performed much of the second half on a small platform, including covers of Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel, Kool and the Gang’s Jungle Boogie and Michael Jackson’s Human Nature which was fitting given his recent collaboration on the King of Pops latest collection as well as an acoustic performance of What Comes Around, the highlight of the second half. After travelling on the catwalk back to the front stage, he closed with Bel Biv Devoe’s Poison, and then Suit & Tie. He returned to the stage in front of an ecstatic crowd to finish the show with Sexy Back and finally the gorgeous Mirrors before bowing out to the salivating crowd.

While there were a couple of lulls in the performance which were found mainly in the opening half of the set list, the overall feeling from the crowd was that this was a night to remember. The stage set up was impressive which too many moving parts to keep track of and the vocal finesse of Timberlake proved why he is regarded as one of the finest performers of the past 20 years. Throughout the set the musician moved effortlessly through the up-tempo dance numbers, glided through the ballads and offered fans diversity with his recent material proving just as popular as his classic Justified hits.

Set list

Set 1:
Pusher Love Girl
Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want)
Rock Your Body
Don’t Hold the Wall
FutureSex/LoveSound
Like I Love You
My Love
TKO
Summer Love
LoveStoned
Until the End of Time
Holy Grail (JAY Z cover)
Cry Me a River

Set 2:
Only When I Walk Away
Drink You Away
Tunnel Vision
Señorita
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
SexyBack
Mirrors

Justin Timberlake review: Looking for some dirt on Mr Timberlake

The Sidney Morning Herald — You don’t have to be Joe Orton to recognise that sometimes even the best behaved of us want a bit of rough. It’s true: you know it, I know it. Not brutal, not relentless, certainly not all the time but at the very least a hint of danger, of risk, of … well, to be honest, someone else’s bad behaviour.

Watching Justin Timberlake, who would like to be edgy but isn’t sure whether that edge cuts both ways, is an intriguing exercise in neediness. His and ours.

Does he ask himself if the beard is enough, even if it sits politely somewhere between teen boy fluff and hipster forest? Can a casual, one could say almost perfunctory, crotch grab late in the show do it? Does a few “we’re going to f—ing party” raise the bar enough?

On his first tour here, in 2004, an impressive Timberlake played extended jams of ’70s soul and funk in and around his fine R&B/pop hits, flummoxing a healthy portion of his audience who came for squeals and got a little too much “for reals”. Three years later, Timberlake offered a massive pop enterprise that never paused, threw everything (musical and technological) at us and, given it was set in the round, had no hidden corners or secrets — musical or personal.

Now? Now it’s something of both. There were a few (limited) jams, a few throwbacks (Kool and The Gang’s Jungle Boogie; Bell Biv DeVoe’s Poison; Michael Jackson’s Human Nature) and few fripperies on a relatively bare stage, bar the hydraulics taking all the band and singers up and down in one go.

This was balanced by extended dance sequences, a heavy reliance on keyboards and augmented sounds (vocal and instrumental) and a fairly gobsmacking moment when a wide section of stage lifted up and transported Timberlake and others across/above the audience out to the B-stage/“pay extra money for a bar ambience” seats.

Likewise, there was a patchy first half, where the hits — Rock Your Body, LoveStoned, Like I Love You — seemed a bit sluggish in a set whose songs were stronger on moves than tunes and things always felt caught between wanting to be cerebral or full on celebratory.

But this was balanced by a second half which flowed better and generated more energy whether in the suggestion of Latin-meets-Jackson in Let The Groove Get In (aka his Wanna Be Startin’ Something) or the extended disco sequence which began with Turn Back The Night, tried on Jungle Boogie and ended with Murder and Poison.

It was a pop show done well but it, and he, was pretty spotless and skated a little too close to anodyne at times because of that. Like (the lesser talented) Jason Derulo and (his real all-round entertainer competition) Bruno Mars, Timberlake is so clean you could eat off him. But scratch that pristine surface and you sense he tries on roles more than inhabits them, that his songs’ lovers and fighters are parading rather than engaging and that on stage he is still telling, not showing us.

It’s why I at least wouldn’t mind a bit of dirt, a little roughing up, a genuine touch of risk in the entertaining Mr Timberlake.
★★★½

Lockout laws: Justin Timberlake misses own Sydney after-party

The Sidney Morning Herald — For all their criticisms Sydney’s lockout laws have apparently proved classless after Justin Timberlake’s entourage were denied entry to a club on Friday morning.

The international superstar was expected to stop in at the official after-party for his 20/20 Experience World Tour but when his management arrived at the Oxford Street club at 1.45am they weren’t let in, the club’s owner said.

Sydney’s liquor-licensing laws mean that people cannot enter a bar or club in the lockout zone past 1.30am. Miind nightclub owner and licensee Kunal Singh said that although he tried to explain how the lockout laws worked, Timberlake’s management could not understand why they weren’t allowed inside.

“They were really angry”, he said. “They actually thought we refused entry because we didn’t want them in the club”.

And once it became clear the entourage of about 50 weren’t coming inside, Timberlake was never going to either, Mr Singh said.

On Twitter on Friday night Timberlake tweeted that he wasn’t at the club on Friday morning.

After 15 minutes of arguing with the club, Timberlake’s management cancelled the official tour DJ’s set that had already started inside, Mr Singh said.

However, Steve Johnson, who plays under the name DJ Freestyle Steve, has denied Mr Singh’s claims on his official Facebook page.

He wrote on Facebook that Timberlake was “never, never coming” to the club. Fairfax Media has contacted the DJ for comment.

Mr Singh believes incidents like this do not bode well for the industry.

“We rely on big performers that draw in crowds and this sort of thing travels very quickly in the industry”, he said. “Unless [the artists] understand the laws, how they perceive it is that the clubs are crap”.

Although there were back-up DJs, the club ended up closing at 2.30am instead of the expected 4am.

“Once the news spread that this is it, there’s no one else coming, the club did die”, Mr Singh said. “What can you do?”

REVIEW: Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience, Allphones Arena

Take 4U — It has been seven long years since Justin Timberlake graced our shores with his FutureSex/LoveShow and boy are we glad to have him back.

Kicking things off in style with Pusher Love Girl, it becomes immediately evident that this is a slicker, more mature incarnation of performer than his 2007 self – but tinged with the same classic JT charm that can woo a stadium and then some.

Justin is the consumate performer who knows that after making us wait seven long years to dance with him again that he needs to provide a generous selection of both old and new. And generous it is, with JT scattering old favourites like Senorita, Like I Love You and My Love in amongst his latest hits Suit and Tie, Mirrors and TKO.

The staging wasn’t a fussy affair (bar the hydraulics that lifted Justin and his dancers to the back end of the stadium) – with the beehive-esque screens in the back and some pretty awe inspiring lighting the only high tech elements to the show. But that allowed the music shine even brighter – with Justin’s Tennessee Kids providing a rich and full bodied backing to Justin’s voice.

JT also pays homage to the idols that shaped his sound, taking on Elvis’ Heartbreak Hotel and Michael Jackson’s Human Nature – calling on the audience to sing as loud as they can ‘so he (Jackson) can hear us’.

Highlights for this reviewer included a glorious snippet of his collaboration with Jay Z, Holy Grail that bled straight in to the ultimate breakup anthem Cry Me A River.

This is a performer utterly in his element and well aware of his onstage pull – with a back catelogue that most pop stars could only dream of.

Plus he tells a pretty mean Matthew McConaughey joke.

Dapper Justin Timberlake brings sexy back to Sydney with his show at All Phones Arena

The Daily Telegraph — JUSTIN Timberlake strutted on stage last night wearing a dapper black suit without the tie bringing sexy back for his Sydney fans.

The pop sensation arose from underneath the stage into All Phones Arena to the tunes of Pusher Love Girl from his third studio album 20/20 Experience.

Timberlake wore a black suit, untucked white shirt and white sand shoes but no tie unlike the title of 20/20 Experience first single release, Suit & Tie.

As he broke out into the first song he yelled ‘Sydney, y’all ready?’ to the cheers of the audience and then also asked ‘Is that how we are feeling in Sydney tonight?’

The arena was close to a sell out with only some spare seats spotted.

Former world number one tennis champion Pat Rafter attended the event with his wife, Lara, and children Joshua and India.

“We’ve seen a few concerts now so we take the kids along to as many as we can now”, Rafter said.

“I think (Timberlake) is a good entertainer and they enjoy his music and his dancing”, he said.

But Rafter said he wouldn’t be busting out any moves of his own during the concert saying “I’ll be leaving that to the kids”.

It was all too much for one young female fan who was lifted across the ground level barrier and carried by a security guard to the first aid area.

Michayla Lynn, from Terrey Hills, said last night’s show was the first concert she had been to.

“This is my first concert, I’m starting late but I had to wait for someone as good as Justin”, the 23-year-old said.

“(I) was offered a ticket last minute because someone pulled out so I’m just really lucky”, she said.

Justin Timberlake — Sydney, Allphones Arena 02/10/14

Music Feeds — With his megastar status, it can be easy to forget that Justin Timberlake is a seriously talented musician and performer. Anyone lucky enough to see last night’s gig in Sydney won’t be forgetting that any time soon. Not only was the show hugely energetic and visually exciting, as any good pop show should be, Timberlake demonstrated his adroitness by covering a range of musical styles while simultaneously engaging with the hundreds of people in the room.

The evening started with the Common Kings, which unfortunately I did not see. I did hear their last song as I cursed traffic and parking for my lateness. The DJ was then tasked with hyping the audience that was still slowly trickling in. It was certainly interesting watching people dancing for upgrades to the coveted VIP section.

The arena was almost full when the lights dimmed and abstract images of optometry equipment — this is The 20/20 Experience after all — were projected on the white honeycomb backdrop, a welcome relief from the usual video screens and LED projections. The stunning visual effects using pre-recorded and live videos, along with lighting, integrated seamlessly into the performance throughout the night.

Appearing in silhouette to shattering screams, JT kicked things of with Pusher Love Girl from his most recent album, with the band rising out of the stage soon after the orchestral start. I have to admit, even though I’ve always seen myself as being “all about the music”, I was a little star struck, almost to the point to thinking he pointed at me in particular… Swoon!

Timberlake’s band, the Tennessee Kids, created a depth and complexity to the set, and the arrangements of the songs deviated sufficiently from the recorded versions to make the familiar feel fresh and interesting. Together they worked through hits from Timberlake’s first two albums (Justified and FutureSex/LoveSounds), with the dancers and Timberlake even incorporating some of the moves from the original music videos (at least, that’s what my friend pointed out).

Hearing some of my favourites like Rock Your Body and Like I Love You definitely took me back to my younger days, but for me the best number of the show was My Love. As Timberlake deftly traversed musical styles I was, like many around me, completely enthralled.

Dressed in a black suit over an interesting choice of black T-shirt with lightning bolts, which looked almost like a tribal neckpiece, Timberlake was comfortable in front of his neat casual band. Black and white was the theme of the evening, matching the palette established since the first 20/20 Experience single Suit & Tie.

Some little banter, with a pretty good attempt at an Aussie accent, was interspersed between a few more songs, including personal favourite Summer Love. The crowd took a little while to remember the words, inducing a little staged panic in the star. The first half of the set wrapped with Cry Me a River, mashed up with a little bit of Smells Like Teen Spirit.

The second half opened with a pretty laser show and more of Timberlake’s faultless falsetto, accompanied by an ever enthusiastic Tennessee Kids. Songs like Tunnel Vision and Senorita preceded a dramatic platform rise, Timberlake and his four back-up singers atop.

The platform, with stairs at either end, floated across the crowd to Let the Groove Get In, and Timberlake thrilled fans by getting a bit more up close. The Tennessee Kids continued with a blues jam as JT greeted his fans. This morphed into an Elvis tribute — another (almost) Tennessee native — with a cover of Heartbreak Hotel.

Another tribute followed with a cover of Human Nature for the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. A quiet version of What Goes Around…Comes Around followed, which merged into a full throttle coda as the performers moved back onto the platform to be transferred onto the main stage.

The set closed out with Suit & Tie, before an amazing encore of Sexy Back and Mirrors finished the night on yet another high.

Keeping the band at the centre of this show really worked for Timberlake. The full sound and the creativity of the musicians boosted Timberlake’s familiarr three album repertoire. I just hope he doesn’t wait seven years before he comes back again.

The only downside of the night? Despite multiple requests for Dick in a Box, it did not make the set list.

Justin Timberlake shows off electric moves

Daily Mail Australia — Justin Timberlake was true to his word when he opened his concert on Wednesday promising fans: ‘Tonight we party’.

Emerging on stage in a black suit and lightening bolt emblazoned shirt, the 33-year-old showman appeared from a cloud of smoke as he greeted his audience at Sydney’s All Phones Arena saying: ‘How ya going?’

And after gyrating with a bevy of dancers, he apologised for his Australian accent, telling a packed auditorium at his 20/20 Experience show: ‘Sorry Sydney, why does my voice always go up an octave when I do that?’

The performer, who was last in town in 2007, bowed humbly as crowds erupted in rapturous applause adding: ‘It’s been way too long. Seven years. Remember me?’

Stomping around on stage and break-dancing to strains from a 15-strong orchestra, he opened his first Sydney show with is 2013 track Pusher Love Girl.

He later stroked the ivory keys of a white grand piano and strummed his guitar to Drink You Away.

Pausing only briefly, he bellowed: ‘Australia is like the rest of the world, except you guys have twice as much fun.

‘And you drink twice as much, too. Sydney, Shake your a**!’

Quite what his wife of two years Jessica Biel makes of his on-stage antics is a matter only for conjecture but no doubt she will express her views after she touched down in Sydney on Monday.

Serving up a mix of old and new tracks, as well as covers including Elvis’s Heart Break Hotel, JT, glided around the stage in a pair of brilliant white trainers.

Gyrating with synchronised precision beside his backing singers, a sweaty Justin tossed aside his jacket to reveal black lightening bolts emblazoned across his shirt.

His adoring fans, who also included former Miss Universe Australias Jesinta Campbell and Laura Dundovic, dutifully obeyed when he urged them to ‘put your hands up like I do’.

Jumping onto a section of the state that moved, he glided over the standing crowds and danced Latino style to Señorita before jumping off to do a shot with fans bellowing: ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie’.

The world class performer whipped the audience into a frenzy when he crooned What Goes Around, Murder, Mirrors and Suit And Tie.

Jessica’s beau of seven years is currently nearing the end of the year-long world tour that kicked off in New York in November 2013 and is expected to close in Atlanta in December.

Receiving stellar reviews from critics across the globe, the tour was launched to support his third and fourth studio albums The 20/20 Experience and The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2.

The Tennessee-born star took a break from music to focus on acting between 2007 and 2012, when he starred in box office smash The Social Network, as well as flicks Bad Teacher and Friends with Benefits.

When he’s not been entertaining crowds on stage, Justin has been making the most of his time Down Under – playing golf and taking in local sights.

Last Thursday he had fun at the zoo when he got up close and personal with a koala called April, who appeared to return his affection by clinging tightly to his famous torso.

A keen golfer, he also played a round at the exclusive Royal Adelaide Golf Club, which he visited when he was last in Australia in 2007.

He has a slew of accolades against his name with his work earning him nine Grammy Awards and four Emmys.

His other ventures include record label Tennman Records, fashion label William Rast, and restaurants Destino and Southern Hospitality.

He will take to the stage in Sydney again on Thursday before performing in Perth for two days on October 8 and 9.

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