It’s good to be Justin Timberlake in 2013. With a musical comeback attempt that really could have gone either way, given the long hiatus — and, trust, with 1.5 million copies of The 20/20 Experience sold in just over a month, plus two Top 5 hits off the record dominating radio, it’s going the right way — the world’s most time-taking pop star is making sure to hit all the right marks, promotion-wise, and the real winners here are the fans who’ve been missing JT for the past six-plus years.
Timberlake’s latest public appearance came courtesy of an intimate MasterCard Priceless Premieres gig at New York’s Roseland Ballroom on Sunday (May 5) evening. (Well, intimate by Justin Timberlake standards — the sold-out venue housed 2000 screaming, dancing, giddy and drunk MasterCard holders.) Perhaps as an artistic acknowledgement of his long absence from the live stage, Justin and his full band of “Tennessee Kids” opened not with a new song from his latest album, but rather his very first solo single, “Like I Love You.”
Other JT “classics” (I guess we can call them that at this point, right?) mixed in included “What Goes Around…Comes Around” (watch above), “My Love,” “Senorita,” “Cry Me A River,” “LoveStoned,” “Summer Love” and “SexyBack,” with Timbaland sauntering on stage for the latter (watch below).
Justin Timberlake & Timbaland — “SexyBack” (live at Roseland Ballroom)
Surprisingly, JT opted out of many of his highly-regarded 20/20 cuts. He and the band tore through “Pusher Love Girl,” “Let The Groove Get In,” “That Girl” and, of course, “Mirrors” and “Suit & Tie.” But skipped over were album standouts like “Don’t Hold The Wall,” “Strawberry Bubblegum” and “Blue Ocean Floor.” Perhaps he’s saving them for his upcoming Legends Of Summer jaunt with Jay-Z?
Bringing out Justin’s right-hand man for the bulk of his career, Timbaland, was certainly a nice surprise, and the perfect way to cap off the night. The only complaint: They didn’t take it one step further by serving up “Carry Out.”
All in all, between this gig and the announcement of the release date for the second volume of The 20/20 Experience, not a bad weekend for fans of the man who, less than a year ago, we assumed had all but given up on any further music aspirations.
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