Gig review: Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake performs on his 20/20 Tour. Picture: Getty

Justin Timberlake performs on his 20/20 Tour. Picture: Getty

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Forget Gary Barlow. Robbie be gone. For the consummate transition from boyband heartthrob to credible solo artist, witness the stellar career path of Justin Timberlake – a singer with a killer falsetto, natural charm and, crucially, musical ambition.

Justin Timberlake - The Hydro, Glasgow

****

Timberlake absorbs most of the glory, in that Southern gentlemanly way of course, but this 20/20 Experience tour would be nothing without his brilliant big band, the Tennessee Kids, arranged onstage like an old school soul revue.

They drove so many highlights: the slinky 70s-style soul jam Pusher Love Girl; the undeniable grooves of Rock Your Body and Suit & Tie; an epic, thunderous Cry Me A River; precision-tooled SexyBack; a mighty burst of Kool & the Gang’s Jungle Boogie and a fun and funky Senorita with Timberlake presiding on upright piano.

This was no mere gimmicky pop show but, as compulsory hydraulics go, Timberlake’s bouncy moving walkway, taking him to the back of the hall and tantalisingly close to the front of the circle, was an impressive coup de theatre, breaking down the fourth wall, as musicians and dancers hung out in the crowd, waiting for their cue.

“90 per cent of the time I’ve been to Scotland, I don’t remember what happened – and it’s all your fault,” he teased the crowd in a reciprocal raising of glasses. But after this masterful display, it is hard to imagine Timberlake as anything but in control, shrewdly eyeing his long-term and very bright prospects as a hip pop crooner.

Seen on 04.04.14

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