10 years ago, if you were to ask me to go to a Justin Timberlake concert, my reply would be more negatively blunt than negatively polite. Tonight, all that changed.
The hype that’s been buzzing over the past few weeks since he announced his return to music has been truly justified (that’s not meant to be a pun by the way!) When JT launched Justified in 2002, it didn’t really break boundaries, but it did position the ex-boybander as a potential force to be reckoned with. Then there was the break, and then the return with a new direction; a more focused one. FutureSex LoveSounds launched with SexyBack. At the time, I hated it. After 10 plays, I hated it. Then I heard it in a club and realised exactly what him and Timbaland were doing when they created it. It was a masterpiece. Then came My Love, What Goes Around etc etc.
Hiatus again, then the surprise comeback a few weeks ago. Similar to SexyBack, I didn’t quite ‘get’ Suit and Tie at first – then it grabbed me. Justin is a powerhouse, and a force to reckon with.
Tonight’s show continued this theme. He went through his back catalogue, opening with Like I Love You and then straight into My Love. Going through his discography set fans and musos crazy – you genuinely forget the crowd-pleasing hits this guy has had. Then he followed into new album track ‘Pusher Love Girl’; it’s great but best wait until you hear the album edit before you witness the live version – you won’t be disappointed though. Next it was Summer Love, another standout from FutureSex LoveSounds.
Now, before I continue, the tracks he sung from his sophmore album weren’t his ‘radio friendly’ versions; no, it was the full track – interludes aplenty.
Then came Senorita which set the crowds crazy – the guys did the ‘fellas’ bit, the girls did the ‘girls’ bit… or the ‘birds’ as JT shouted. Next track, another newbie, ‘That Girl’ – slightly down-tempo, but lovely all the same.
Then the surprises started.
Changing the tone, JT threw in a full version of INXS’s ‘I Need You Tonight’. The crowd were happy; the atypical teenage screaming girl fans at the front didn’t get it; everyone else who were there for real music loved it
After a couple more tracks (LoveStoned, Until The End Of Time, Rock Your Body), JT and his ‘Tennessee Kids’ rocked in to the most amazing rendition of the Jackson 5’s ‘Shake Your Body’. Dance routines were, quite simply, wow. Vocals – on point. Strings, horns, not normal
Suit and Tie did what it was expected to. Fans were expecting Jay-Z (who didn’t appear), but JT filled the rap-gap perfectly.
Then the encore of SexyBack – I really wish I could relive this brilliant moment.
It wasn’t just his vocals with this gig, it was everything. Everything was perfection – I’ve never used that word in a review before. He was cool. He was effortless. Flawless. Impeccable vocals. Dance routines followed that – subtle yet special. Production was incredible. Backing vocals / dancers – wondrous. Lighting – deserved awards.
Videos have now been finally added below; make sure you watch in HQ and FULL SCREEN!. If you have the opportunity to go to Wireless Festival this year, I highly highly suggest you go. This could go down as the greatest gig I’ve ever been to. Bravo JT, bravo!