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My take on Justin Timberlake’s latest tour performance
A couple days ago one of my childhood dreams came true and I went to the Justin Timberlake concert in St. Paul, MN! Twenty years ago I was dancing in my bedroom to *NSYNC songs and staring at my Justin Timberlake poster above my bed. I remember watching their concerts on a VHS tape almost every day and making my mom dance with me. It was only fitting that she went with me to this concert too!
The doors opened at 6:30 and we were there waiting outside. We made our way through security and headed right to the merchandise booth. They had t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, and sweatshirts available to purchase. I would have loved a sweatshirt but $65 seemed like too much money at the time, so I settled for the $40 t-shirt. Pretty outrageous I know but It was part of the experience!
After the merchandise booth we walked around the Xcel Energy Center because we had never been there before. That had tons of food vendors all the way around the building. We settled for mini donuts, pizza, and a pop. The donuts were delicious and I didn’t think $6 was too bad. The pizza wasn’t bad but nothing special and it was $8 a slice, they were a decent size though. We each got a fountain drink and those were $6 a piece. It would have been smarter to eat before the concert but we didn’t think we had time. They had plenty of places serving beer and cocktails but those were $12-$15 each.
After getting our food we made it to our seats and waited for the show to start at 7:30. Right on time, DJ Freestyle Steve came out and started playing a mix of different songs to get the crowd hyped up. I was thinking he would play for around 30 minutes but he stayed up there for an hour. My favorite part was when he had the crowd sing “Bye, Bye, Bye”, of course! At 8:30 the DJ introduced Francesco Yates. Francesco wasn’t really my cup of tea. I don’t know if it was because I was getting pretty impatient waiting for Justin to start or if his music wasn’t really great. He had a pretty good voice but I was just ready for the show to get started.
Finally, around 9:00 it was show time!! Everything went dark and suddenly one bright light was shining from the center of the stage. The Tennessee Kids (Justin Timberlake’s band) came out one by one and finally Justin arrived!! He came out singing Filthy. It’s hard to describe my joy at this moment. It might sound crazy to some of you but I literally had tears of pure happiness. My heart was so full. In a matter of seconds, every moment of listening to *NSYNC as a preteen, jamming out to his first solo album, Justified, and every album since flooded my mind. 20 years of waiting and he was RIGHT THERE! I was completely in awe.
Once the concert started, every moment was non-stop. Justin only took two VERY short breaks, otherwise he was singing back to back songs. The special effects during the show were AMAZING! The laser light show during “Suit and Tie” was completely mesmerizing. During “Cry Me A River” the entire stage was covered in fog that looked like water and the lights on the crowed also looked like a water effect. Incredible! At one point he had a gas fire, with real flames, on the stage with him – fitting very will with his “Man of the Woods” theme. There really was not a bad seat in the house. Hi entire stage took up the whole stadium and he constantly moved from one end to the other so everyone could see him. The stage had fake trees to fit the theme and at certain points there was even long grass that showed up next to the sides of the stage.
I later read some reviews of the show that stated that Justin himself got lost within all of the special effects. They felt that the effects took over the show but I disagree. It was exactly what I would have expected and I may have been disappointed without all the added extras. I would completely recommend seeing Justin in concert if you have the opportunity! You won’t regret it!