On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, Jay and I saw Justin Timberlake perform his 20/20 Experience World Tour in Raleigh, NC at the PNC Area. It was absolutely awesome. He performed songs from all of his solo albums for three solid hours, with one intermission. Supporting him was his very talented back-up band, the Tennessee Kids.
I’ve attended my fair share of concerts over the years, but this one was one of the best I’ve ever been to. I think one of the most important aspects about a great concert is that not knowing all of the artist’s songs does not impact your ability to enjoy the concert. I’ve been to shows where I’ve had a great time singing along, then bam, a more obscure song is pulled from the catalog and suddenly I’m bored and hoping to move on quickly. This was not the case at all with the 20/20 Experience tour. Every song that was played was so thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining that you didn’t want it to end. My co-worker went to the concert, too, and had not heard much of either parts of the 20/20 Experience albums. The next day, I burned her copies of both albums because she loved hearing the new songs so much that she wanted to listen to more of them.
Since we bought the program, it came with a setlist inside, which I loved having in advance. Pretty much every song was a highlight, but if I had to pick just a few, I’d go with “My Love,” which started out in a lounge singer/cabaret style exchange between Justin and a female member of the Tennessee Kids. It was great. “Let the Groove Get In” was also a high point. During that song was when Justin and members of the TK rode a bridge from one end of the floor seats to the other end of the arena, putting him closer to us.
Another wonderful thing about the 20/20 Experience: Any song of Justin’s from before the most recent albums were all re-worked into different arrangements so that they didn’t sound like you’d magically stepped into 2007 again. During “Like I Love You,” Timberlake threw in a little shoutout to everyone’s favorite narcissist: “I am a god, hurry up with my damn massage!” I swear they even played the riff from Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” in the middle of “Cry Me a River.” The first half of “What Goes Around” was a beautiful acoustic version with just Justin and his guitar. In addition to some quick music nods within songs (see Jay’s Instagram of Timberlake doing “The Rhythm is Gonna Get You” in the middle of “Let the Groove Get In”), there were also some cover songs thrown in. We had Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” and Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” during the middle of the second act. The concert finished with “Suit & Tie,” “SexyBack,” and “Mirrors.” Turns out “SexyBack” is still just as fun to sing along to in 2013 as it was in 2006. I always marvel at the decision to make “Mirrors” a single because it’s just not that singalong-worthy to me, but I’ve listened to it about 90 times since Wednesday night after hearing it live. Timerlake owned every single song he and the Tennessee Kids sang, then made you want to go back and listen to them again and again.
I have the set list, some pictures, and videos taken by me, Jay, and random YouTube users (thank you, fellow concert goers!) below. Since I can’t really do the concert justice (I have sat down to try to write this post every single day since Thursday, but had writer’s block), I figured it’s better to just let you try to live the experience through pictures and video. Enjoy! If Justin Timberlake comes to your area, GO SEE THE SHOW! It’s worth every penny!
And what you really care about, here’s some video:
Highlights from Pusher Love Girl, Rock Your Body, Like I Love You, My Love & TKO
My Love (full, the part I talked about earlier starts 30 seconds in) :
LOTS MORE after the jump!
Summer Love and LoveStoned/I Think That She Knows:
Teaser of “Holy Grail.” If you can’t get past Jay’s lovely singing, here’s a link to another version.
Second half of “Cry Me a River.” Somehow, my phone must’ve been on a delay from when I hit “record” to when it actually started recording. It starts in the middle of the chorus before the second verse. Here’s one with the first verse.
Snippet of my other favorite from 20/20 Part 2, Only When I Walk Away:
Beginning of Drink You Away:
Highlights from Let The Groove Get In, Heartbreak Hotel, Not a Bad Thing, Human Nature, Take Back the Night, SexyBack, and Mirrors:
Let the Groove Get In (full):
Suit & Tie:
P.S. If you want to buy either part of The 20/20 Experience, you can do so here: