Justin Timberlake - The Other Half of the Stripped/Justified Tour


Sep 4, 2003


The Bottom Line I miss the Justin I used to know (of).

Preamble
You know I love NSYNC.

You know that I am so *anxious* for NSYNC to get back into the studio and record again.

You know that I love JC. Where the hell is his solo album?

You know that I adore Justin. I don't think that his solo effort was all that. It was fine - had its high points and mediocre points.

After seeing him in concert - for the bazillionth time - but this time - by himself, I am convinced that I like him better with the group. Why? Well lots of reasons that I'll cover in this post-concert analysis.

The Mundane Details of Everything Except the Performance...
...Can be found in my Christina Aguilera review. There you'll find info on the venue, parking, sound, security, etc...

The Pre-Justin Experience
So okay, we (Chad and I) got back to our front row seats about five minutes before Justin came out. Young skanks - as opposed to the typical older skanks - somehow, made their way to the front by our seats. I was convinced, after hearing them talk, that their brains had been removed in some odd science experiment.

In order to avoid becoming irritated fast, I started looking around in the immediate area. Behind me and to my right was this - well woman. Heck, maybe she was my age or 5-6 years older. The point here is that she was not a mad-crazy, hormonal, love-squeezin' teen. I was so stunned by her appearance that I found myself staring.

She had on brown, leather shorts - no biggie. Her top, if you could call it that, was this crochet-halter top. It would probably look nice on J-LO. On her, it was shocking. See, she had these boobs that stood. Yes, you read that right. Stood. I don't think I've ever seen breasts stand so still when a chick jumps up and down. I'm telling you, if you've never seen it, it's like the boobs are controlling the rest of the body. Interesting. Whatever. I could have gone on and gotten over this had it not been for the fact that she turned to the side. She should have gotten a nose job instead of a boob job. Her nose was a funny shape with this crooked little jig-jag on the end. Priorities, people. And did I mention that her pre-teen daughter was with her?

The Justin Experience
Lights out. Piercing screams (my own included). While the band played some intro, a video screen with Justin climbing the stairs flashed in the background. We were all fools thinking that Justin would be the first out. It was actually his choreographer, Marty. And by the way, why anyone thinks that this guy is a great choreographer is SO beyond me. He's a goon that can barely dance.

He was followed by the other male and female dancers. And no - Jenna was not a part of the group. If you have to ask who Jenna is - well - then you must not keep up with the gossip.

Justin eventually came out and the band fired up Rock Your Body (otherwise known as, the BALI commercial). First about what he was dressed in. All white. Head to toe. White pants. White jacket. White hat. He must have wanted to get in all of his white in before Labor Day. He looked like my dad used to look before he went to work - ready to hang drywall.

Now, I like Rock Your Body and I think I would have liked it more if Justin would have actually sang it. Girls (and boys). I was disappointed. He let me down. Was there a reason that his first song was lipped??!!

Other things that I noticed about his appearance - he's dropped weight and his face looks really gaunt. You know I love scruff, and he certainly had that going on but it just didn't look appealing at all.

When Rock Your Body was over, he talked to the crowd, doing the typical, what's up Indianapolis thing. Note to performers - think up something more original to say. He did apologize for the concert being postponed and then he promised that it would be worth it.

I'm sure that the reason he launched into Gone and Girlfriend is because he didn't have enough of his own solo material. I could barely hear his vocals on Gone and to make matters worse, he had FOUR back-up singers with him for the rest of the show. Sigh. He has four other guys he could have used...

I liked Senorita and this was a song that he actually took the time to sing instead of lipping-it. Most of the crowd didn't understand the lyrics - have they not picked up his cd?! Sheesh!

I was hugely disappointed in Cry Me A River. I like that song a lot and definitely not because of the Britney connection. The bass guitar totally drowned Justin out. When Justin got to the end of the song, he inched out on the catwalk and moved into You're So Vain (yes, Carly Simon song), only tailoring it for Britney, calling her that B word (which I found totally distasteful).

sigh

Somewhere along the way, Justin changes from that white outfit to a black outfit and then to this red, white, and black outfit. For Let's Take A Ride, he does a NSYNC think, gets on a crane, and travels out to the far ends of the arena. While out there, he breaks into his beatbox stuff, pulling out DJ Furious on stage with his turntables in full motion. This seemed to go on forever. I was tempted to look back to see if the woman with the freeze-frame boobs was still there. But I didn't. Too frightened.

When we got to the part where he introduced his dancers, I was reminded how blah they were next to Christina's. They seemed to be void of any fun. It's probably because dancing for big named star is so passe for them. Half of them had danced with Janet on her tours. There was this one chick who I thought was better than all of the others. Too bad she was paired up with some butt-ugly guys.

Wait. This is funny. Elevated up, above the stage in the back, was a three piece instrumental group - I think a trumpet player, sax, and something else. They were somewhere in their late 40's/50's. They cracked me up. Not only did they look out of place but when they tried synchronized movement (side, rocking back and forth, snapping their fingers), I felt sorry for them.

Justin's biggest mistake of the night was the outfit he wore for Take It From Here. He had on some weird, earth-toned color clothing that just didn't jive with his skin coloring. I wanted to make him go back and change. For this song, he made a big deal out of playing a guitar for an entire song. Woo wee. I can do that.

The close-out of the show was Like I Love You. It was high-energy and enjoyable, especially during those times that Justin chose to sing for us. As he walked off, there was a ton of booms - I thought that the pyros for his show were SO unnecessary.

When the show ended, I was fine but disappointed. Justin seemed to phone-in much of his show. He didn't have that enthusiasm that I had seen him display 6 previous times in performances with NSYNC.

In the end, he gets a 2.5 out of 5 stars. Wife-beater shirts might have bumped him up to a full three stars however, none of those - MAJOR disappointment.

Songs
Rock Your Body
Right For Me
Gone/Girlfriend
Senőrita
Still On My Brain
Nothin' Else
Cry Me a River
Let's Take a Ride
Beatbox
Take Me Now
Take It From Here
Like I Love You

Other Things
* Justin's Aunt and Uncle were in town for the show and they sat behind me and to the right of me.
* No sign of Cameron Diaz.
* The Justified/Stripped tour is going to be released on DVD on November 18th.
* Videos from Justin's cd will be released September 23rd. It will also have other things on it like a Brit Awards performance and the making of the videos.

Comments please. I know you want to. The boobs at least deserve a mention.

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