I'll have two of whatever Justin Timberlake is having. (Which is, presumably, Timberlake's newest venture into tequila, Sauze 901.)
For two-and-a-half hours, Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids brought a party unlike any other to the Smoothie King Center on Sunday night in New Orleans, Louisiana. In a summer of arena and stadium shows, Timberlake makes everyone else simply look like an opening act.
As he ran from one side of the arena-spanning stage to the other, he barely stopped for a moment. It was in those rare moments, though, that he did something so many artists forget to do: connect with the audience. Timberlake laughed telling the audience that if he was moving slowly (not for a second, by the way), it was because of the gumbo he had before the show. He even sang "Happy Birthday" to one lucky lady in the front row. He bowed repeatedly to the crowd that roared so loudly, sometimes it was difficult to hear the music.
For the visuals of the show, the video screen displayed artistic images and the light show turned the Smoothie King Center into a Vegas nightclub. The VIP section, located on an elevated platform in the back, was a classy bar set-up with tables and a Prohibition-era feel to it. Naturally, Timberlake's tequila was the drink of choice in this section.
If you thought you might not have the best seat in the arena, that quickly changed halfway through the concert. Timberlake's stage lifts up and rolls through the entire venue, and as it does, they continue on with the show. It was like Disneyworld for adults: everyone's eyes widened and mouths dropped.
Displaying no fear of heights, Timberlake dances and runs across the moving stage with grace and poise, looking like he's having the time of his life right along with the audience. Next, he utilizes the stage in the VIP section. Not a bad seat in the house for the man who's thought of everything.
One of the most impressive things is the way Timberlake displays his backing band so prominently; he recognizes this isn't a one-man show and sings alongside of them, proving his bubblegum pop days are over. This is the soulful music he should have been making his whole career, but it's only now that it feels sincere. The Tennessee Kids play the part well and help form an atmosphere that's unstoppable, much like Timberlake himself.
It's clear that the "20/20 Experience" refers to the vision it takes to create such a masterpiece of a show.