Saturday, July 13, 2013

Review: Justin Timberlake at Wireless 2013

"I'm sorta drunk," says Justin Timberlake, adopting a cor blimey 'ave a gander at them luverly cockles London accent. "I'm a sloight bit pissed".

If we ever needed conclusive proof that he should give up acting, this was it... Except he'd already destroyed any memories of his cruelly-overlooked performances in "Black Snake Moan" and "Yogi Bear: The Movie" with a non-stop, solid gold, rump-shaking 2-hour spectacular.

He hit the ground running with Like I Love You, My Love, Cry Me A River - a trio of hits most artists would reserve for an encore. "Are we there yet?" he asked, as he finally paused for breath. "I think we're there".

Translation: "Have I played enough of the good ones that you'd excuse some of the tedious crap off my new album?"

Only that wasn't it at all. Justin had de-crapped the crap ones. Pusher Love Girl shed its 92-minute b-section; Tunnel Vision gained a chaotic climax that veered thrillingly into drum and bass; He didn't play the one about the Spaceship Coupe at all.


Accents aside, he's a versatile performer, playing electric piano on a salsafied Señorita and twanging his acoustic guitar for What Goes Around / Comes Around. But it was the footwork, not the fretwork, that really impressed.

Justin's feet, as we know, are fitted with steam jets and hummingbird wings that enable him to glide across the stage on a cushion of air. He dances with such effortless panache that you think "oh yeah, I totally see how he does that" until you try it out and collapse in a bitter twist of leg parts, elbones and underpants.

The audience only kept up with him once, during a cover of The Jacksons' Shake Your Body Down (To The Ground). "I wanna shovel the floor," Justin grinned, as he mimed clearing a snowdrift off his drive... In the middle of summer. In a car park covered with astroturf.

The Jacksons song, the obvious inspiration for his "brand, baby-spanking new" single Take Back The Night, wasn't the only cover in a set targeted firmly at a festival audience. We also got INXS's Need You Tonight and Jay-Z's I Just Want To Love You (Give It To Me), before the real Jay-Z appeared during the encore for Suit And Tie.

"I'm stunned," said Justin as he surveyed the Olympic Park audience. "I won't leave it this long again next time." Then he promised "a few more surprises" over the weekend. Jay-Z headlines the festival on Saturday, and the two superstars play a joint set on Sunday. Given that Justin had earlier teased a verse from N****s In Paris, it might be worth snapping up the few remaining tickets tonight.


Like I Love You
My Love
Cry Me A River - incorporating N****s In Paris
Pusher Love Girl
Summer Love
That Girl
Tunnel Vision
Let The Groove Get In
FutureSex / Lovesound
Need You Tonight
Lovestoned / I Think She Knows
Until The End Of Time
Take Back The Night
Rock Your Body - incorporating I Just Want To Love You (Give It To Me)
Shake Your Body Down (To The Ground)
What Goes Around... / ...Comes Around (acoustic)

Suit And Tie

And a final word from JT...

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