REVIEW: Justin Timberlake at The LG Arena
Singing and acting superstar Justin Timberlake graced the LG Arena in Birmingham for the first of two sold-out shows, both of which were the last in the UK of his 20/20 Experience tour which showcases his latest album of the same name.
Timberlake’s decision to have no support act could have been seen as arrogant but when the 33-year-old came on stage all decked in a white and black tuxedo, the roar of the crowd instantly dispelled any such notions. He opened with Grammy Award winning hit Pusher Love Girl, which saw the whole audience immediately spring to their feet, beautifully singing and dancing along.
Pitch-perfect all night, Justin played songs old and new, including his second ever solo single from 2002 – Cry Me A River. As well as his clearly tuned vocals, Timberlake’s dancing impressed as he jumped, jigged and gyrated around the grand stage in a style very reminiscent of internationally renown performer Michael Jackson. Shadowed by equally impressive backing dancers, dressed in similar attire to the Tennessee-born performer, they managed to put on what turned into an admirable and surprisingly fresh show considering it’s lengthy international run.
It wasn’t only Timberlake’s performance on stage that thrilled the sell-out crowd, but also his understanding of local dialect. The American appeared to take great pleasure in correctly pronouncing the city’s name as “Birming-hum” as opposed to the usual over the top “Birm-ing-haam”, which the city is subjected to by a lot of visiting US artists. However, that wasn’t the only thing the musician seemed to be proud of. Justin took time to note to the audience, “If you take one thing away from tonight, let it be that the American said it right.”
The former ‘N’Sync’ star showed his multiple talents as he wowed the audience with his piano and guitar playing, which may have left everyone in the room thinking, “He can sing, dance, act, play guitar and piano. What can’t this man do?” Along with Timberlake’s instrumental performances, his backing band – which spanned from two guitar players to a brass section – were on form all night long as they gave a stunning performance themselves.
The show’s set up filled the entire stage with the large band, the backing dancers and a sterling vocal performance by the Hollywood star himself, Mr “J. T.” His silky tones rung out throughout the arena all night long which left me struggling to find any flaw with his performance, as his voice held out all night through both halves of the show.
Justin Timberlake carries on his ‘20/20 Experience’ tour including dates in Switzerland and Germany.