Justin Timberlake. The world’s most loved Mouseketeer since Annette Funicello. Everyone’s favorite member of NSYNC. And there he was last night, in all his glory, at the MGM Garden Arena to grace us with his many blessings on his 20/20 Experience Tour.
Let me start by saying, hands down, this guy is one multi-talented, handsome, witty, entertaining and all around good natured Southern Boy. He has a voice that rivals the best of the best, past and present. And clearly, his fans love him, scratch that, they absolutely crave him.
While I really couldn’t say even one actual negative thing about Mr. Timberlake or his show, I will say this, watching a performer who is idolized for who he is by his fans, is a lot different than watching a show where the crowd idolizes the music itself. Justin’s fans desperately ache for him. In a way, it would be like watching Elvis Presley perform as women are passing out, screaming their heads off and going totally bananas for Elvis himself. (Which of course, I would have been one of the many.) Justin, as an individual, is an idol to his fans. It’s not that he doesn’t write some fantastic songs, because he is a talented musician without any doubt. But last night the energy was clearly out of obsessive love FOR JUSTIN. If that makes any sense at all?
The show seemed a bit overproduced and scripted at times, almost like his lines were “Are you ready to party, (insert city name here)?!??” “(Insert city name here), are you ready for more?!?!???” Somewhat mechanical at times in my opinion. He told the crowd twice, “What happens in Vegas, everyone should know about,” as if he were reminding us all to be sure to post binge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Just struck a strange chord with me. And please don’t take my words in the wrong way. I’m certainly not harshing on Justin’s talent or his fans. I dig him just like everyone else does… just doing my best to describe the scene from my perspective.
Justin is looking slightly beefed up (yummm!) and his footwork was as fancy as ever. This boy has got serious rhythm.
Some personal highlights of the show were a guitar-heavy “Cry Me a River,” beatbox style “Rock Your Body,” a superb rendition of “My Love,” a burning hot “Love Stoned,” and a soulful “Until the End of Time” on the piano with an arena lit up by cell phones (made me miss the old days of LIGHTERS).
The crowd went absolutely nutso to Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” and Kool & The Gang’s “Jungle Fever,” but I about flipped my lid when he started in on Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison”… OMG … AWESOME!!
“Suit and Tie” was the first taste of dessert and “Sexy Back” was over the top! The laser show throughout was impressive but during this song, it transported me right to the club.
Off the hook.
While the show overall didn’t totally blow me away, it was truly excellent, Justin sounded just as good as I would’ve imagined, his band and dancers were spectacular and the crowd was clearly in a frenzied state of mania. Let the groove get in you…