Justin Timberlake donned a suit and (bow) tie at the Roseland Ballroom on Sunday night in New York City and The Source was on the scene.The sold-out concert, which was part of MasterCard’s Priceless Premieres program, attracted nearly 3,000 fans and dozens of VIPs including Julianne Hough, Olivia Wilde, Jessica Biel, Marcus Samuelsson, Jason Sudeikis, Brooke Shields, Andy Samberg, Uma Thurman and more.
Although it was Timberlake’s first show in NYC in six years, he’ll return to the Big Apple in July for his show at Yankee Stadium with Jay-Z.
The two-hour show took fans on a roller coaster of Timberlake’s expansive repertoire from the past decade although it highlighted his most recent record The 20/20 Experience.
Timberlake started the show playing the guitar to “Like I Love You” before yelling “Anyone drunk yet?” as he segued into “Cry Me a River.” But something seemed different. Both songs, in addition to “Rock Your Body,” which he sang later on, seemed decidedly grown up due to different arrangements and Timberlake’s maturity onstage.
Backed by his elaborate 11 piece band The Tennessee Kids and four backup singers, the superstar sang a full 18 song set while performing choreographed dance moves Motown style with his backup singers and smiling through nearly every song.
Timberlake rounded the night out with “Mirrors” and “Suit and Tie” to a crowd that couldn’t get enough. For his closing song, Timberlake brought surprise guest Timbaland to the stage to finish with “SexyBack.” But even that mainstay took on a decidedly different feeling than it had before.
But maybe that’s a good thing. Only so many performers can rely on old gimmicks and former fame. He’s carved out a genre only he sits in right now (his latest record is R&B and pop with jazz and motown inspiration). And despite being one of the biggest superstars in the world, Timberlake seemed totally relatable—like the audience was just sitting in on a jam session only he and his friends were privy to.
Whatever it was, he’s still got it. He’s got that same crazy charisma that seems way more genuine than it should be. He’s got those same dance moves that makes you giggle and swoon at the same time. And he’s got that same voice that you’re never quite sure what to make of it except that it sounds good. He’s still got it. And all we can do is sit back and watch.