Review and gallery: Justin Timberlake, LG Arena

What do you do when Justin Timberlake is directly in front of you and just 15ft away?

Do you:

a) try and maintain your composure?

b) smile and look cool?

c) look awkward, clap, do your best ‘mum’ dance (you know, that steppy side to side thing that all mother’s do) and feel relieved when he passes?

This is precisely the predicament I found myself in last night as JT brought his 20/20 Experience World Tour to Birmingham and it’s safe to say, I opted for the latter.

I say opted, but it just kind of happened.

You see, there I was dancing away and minding my own business, when the stage decided to take on a life of its own. As the front section detached from the main stage, raised about 30ft off the ground then mechanically wheeled itself over the audience and towards the back of the arena, it was then that I came (almost) face to face with the superstar – close enough you felt you could reach out and high-five him.

And I promise, I tried to maintain my cool while side stepping (so not cool) along to Let The Groove Get In. But when moments later JT swept past on the platform passing right by me, I panicked and became disgustingly starstruck. And mum-danced. At a Justin Timberlake gig.

Because you see, being that close to JT in the flesh does strange things to a woman (well, to me at least).

Indeed, Justin Timberlake does to grown women what Justin Bieber does to his teenage fans. He makes them weak at the knees.

As evidenced last night at his gig at the LG Arena where I was completely and utterly bowled over by the trousersnake.

He’s come a long way from his beginnings on the Disney Channel and part of boyband *N Sync and is every inch the superstar. He is slick, polished and effortless in both style and performance. Arguably being one of the world's most handsome men doesn't hurt either.

The crowd was on its feet as soon as he opened the show with Pusher Love Girl and what followed was more than two hours which showcased more recent tracks as well as favourites such as Rock Your Body, Cry Me A River and My Love. An all-rounder, his voice sounded excellent despite his dancing, which was of course faultless.

But this was by no means a one-man show. Accompanying Timberlake was his amazing band, The Tennessee Kids. The collective of drummers, horn players, singers and percussionists, were as captivating as the headliner. Clad in black and white to complement JT (who looked smart throughout in blazers and shirts) they played their instruments with gusto and could give JT a run for his money on the dancing front, performing well rehearsed moves and at some points, completely letting loose and really going for it, making the show feel like one huge party that everyone was invited to.

The clear highlight was when the stage took off and transported JT to a smaller stage in the centre of the arena. The high-tempo was slowed down, songs a bit more stripped-back and he paid homage to his hometown of Memphis and also to Michael Jackson with a mix songs including Human Nature and What Goes Around.

As he was transported back to the main stage, the show returned to full party atmosphere as he belted out Take Back The Night.

But it was his last songs in the mammoth set (which spanned more than two hours) that were most warmly welcomed. Suit & Tie and Sexy Back were greeted with the loudest cheers of the night, before he ended on a high with Mirrors.

JT is back at the LG Arena tonight, before he returns to the region to play V Festival at Weston Park this summer.

And if you’re off to see him at either gig, believe me, you’re in for an absolute treat.

By Lisa Wright

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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