Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Timberlake Is Hot on a Cold, Wet Night

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Timberlake Is Hot on a Cold, Wet Night

Article excerpt

It's funny to think back on 2001 when Steelers fans were inflamed that their beloved new stadium was being christened/cursed by a dreaded boy-band, namely 'N Sync.

Just a dozen years later, complaints about its frontman taking that honor would be few and far between. Justin Timberlake, still only 32, is a new King of Pop contender, having cultivated an image of a Michael Jackson-style pop/R&B talent in a Rat Pack suit.

JT's talents were back on lavish display Saturday night at the Consol Energy Center in his first show here since 2007. He's touring at the tail end of a triumphant comeback year, having topped the charts with both "The 20/20 Experience" and its sequel "The 20/20 Experience -- 2 of 2."

He clearly loves this mixed bag of material, because over nearly three hours he played most of the 22 songs from those albums, while also hitting highlights from first two solo releases and a few choice covers. No lip service to 'N Sync like the last time.

In his boy-band days, he had some wild get-ups. Now, he's all about the suit-and-tie -- or black tux -- and that formality extended to his backup dancers and his 15-piece Tennessee Kids, with their Copa-style bandstands.

"I see you dressed up very nice," he said to some fans up front. "I did too," he added, tugging on his tie.

The stage looked like a million bucks too (no, more than that), with a backdrop made of hexagons that stretched the width of the floor and extended upward. It functioned as a cool screen while also shooting lights, lasers and strobes.

It actually looked better than it sounded, because going for a booming club volume, the result was loud and tinny, obliterating some of the music's intimacy.

He arrived with "Pusher Love Girl," launching the hour-long first set heavy on "20/20" and "FutureSex/LoveSound" songs. This was super slick dance-pop, delivered with an impenetrable wall of sound. …

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