by Jenn Cohen
Twenty-four hours ago, I thought of Justin Timberlake as having some good songs, and being a funny mother f***er. And now? I admit I’m a little bit in love. Timberlake, who’s up for seven Grammy Awards this Sunday, Jan. 26, adorned the Pepsi Center with his 20/20 Experience tour, and proved to any doubters why he’s worthy of these nominations.
Timberlake’s performance—and it was a performance, not a concert—showed how his lifetime in the entertain business has taught him how to make a show to 15,000 strangers feel like a group hug at a house party. He consistently engaged the audience with shout outs like, “How’s it goin, Denver?” and “Let me hear you, Denver!” And, this being 2014, “It smells legal in here tonight!”
Most impressive, to me, was seeing this man move. And he has moves. He made 3 hours of constant dancing look effortless, all while scaling a wide range of octaves gracefully. The first portion of the show was JT and the Tennessee Kids, comprised of musicians, back-up singers, and dancers who were beyond talented, and able to easily compliment the moves of Timberlake.
Timberlake looked genuinely happy and confident, in a non-arrogant way, as he bestowed his swagger, dancing, singing, and jumping around the stage; looking around at the proverbial empire around him. Almost like he understands that he’s earned his place in this entertainment kingdom, but it still feels like an improbable fairytale. And perhaps that’s just another reason why he’s so likeable.