Home World Justin Timberlake ‘Forget Tomorrow’ World Tour: L.A. Concert Review

Justin Timberlake ‘Forget Tomorrow’ World Tour: L.A. Concert Review

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Who says the pop star is dead? At his triumphant tour stop in Los Angeles Saturday night, Justin Timberlake led a revival for the reigning Prince of Pop, with a setlist of greatest hits and new material that proves the Grammy-winning entertainer is here to stay.

Timberlake took the stage shortly after 9 p.m. at Kia Forum in Inglewood, for the tenth stop on his Forget Tomorrow World Tour, and the second of two nights in L.A. The sold-out tour, in support of his sixth studio album, Everything I Thought It Was, was billed as a chance for fans to hear songs from the new LP along with “everyone’s favorite hits,” and Timberlake expertly blended them into a two-hour, feel-good fest.

Dressed in a glittery black suit and trousers, the singer opened with “No Angels,” a disco-lite cut off EITIW that immediately had the crowd on its feet. Backed by a trio of background singers and a full band (including a four-piece horn section), Timberlake and his “Tennessee Kids” followed with a tight triple whammy of “LoveStoned,” “Like I Love You” and “My Love” before slowing things down with “Technicolor,” a seductive slow jam that finds the singer worshipping his “modern day” Marilyn Monroe.

Timberlake has made headlines over the last few months for his off-the-cuff comments, but on Saturday, the singer let his music do most of the talking, while showing off some slick choreography that proved he — literally — hasn’t missed a step. Playful, self-assured and just a tad rambunctious, Timberlake was at his best on crowd-pleasers like “FutureSex/LoveSound” and “Summer Love,” the latter of which gave the star a chance to bust out some rump-shaking moves during a mid-song dance break.

About a third of the show was dedicated to songs from Timberlake’s latest album, which debuted at number four on the Billboard 200, becoming the singer’s first album since 2002’s Justified to not take the top spot. The crowd was noticeably unfamiliar with the new material, though Timberlake worked hard to incorporate the tunes into the setlist, seamlessly transitioning from the call-and-response chant on new song “My Favorite Drug,” for example, into the crowd-pleasing call-and-response refrain from Justified‘s “Señorita.” Another highlight was “Drown,” a moody, slow-burning track that saw Timberlake crooning over an atmospheric beat while a video of the singer being submerged in water played on a rotating screen above the stage.

Fans immediately leaped back to their feet when the familiar piano opening of “Cry Me a River” began to play. “That got your ass up!” Timberlake quipped about his controversial track, which came surprisingly early on in the night.

Timberlake didn’t say much else during the concert, though he did note that it was “a special night,” with many of his friends and family in the L.A. audience. Wife Jessica Biel wasn’t seen in the crowd, but an acoustic medley of ballads performed on a side stage included Timberlake’s recent single, “Selfish,” which the singer wrote about his longtime partner.

Indeed, Timberlake has been entertaining fans for a long time, too. “I feel like we’ve grown up together,” the singer said at one point of the night, shouting out “a little group called NSYNC” for giving him his start in the music industry (while NSYNC reunited for a one-off Timberlake show at The Wiltern in March, there was no reunion, alas, on Saturday).

“I’ve grown up with you and you’ve grown up with me,” the singer said. “I’m never going to forget it and I have so much gratitude for each and every one of you here tonight.”

Timberlake closed out the concert with “Mirrors,” suspended high above the crowd on the rotating screen that had now become a mobile platform. The superstar singer towering over his adoring fans made for a striking image, and one that felt aptly fitting after the rapturous reception he received: for at least one night, Justin Timberlake was back on top.

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