JT, "What Goes Around" at Boston Garden, 8/10/07
We've reviewed Justin Timberlake enough that we didn't expect to have anything new to say about his show at the Garden last night, a return trip on a tour that Sharon has already gushed about anyways. Partly we wanted to see how the crowd makeup changes when he had a so-called rock band opening (answer: an even larger ratio boost, this time it appeared to be about 12:1 women). Partly we wanted to see what the HBO special is going to look like.
The last time we saw JT -- a couple of days after the album leaked, but before most of his fans had heard it -- "What Goes Around" was greeted with blank stares. This time it was the centerpiece of the set, with Justin playing piano while rotating on a platform in the middle of his in-the-round stage. (He appeared to be playing an electric keyboard; if memory serves, he had a real-live baby grande at Avalon. What gives?) In the middle of the song, he started singing some new lyrics, and for a second we couldn't place them. "Come pick me up . . . " No, it couldn't be. "Take me out." Oh my god. "Fuck me up." Holy shit. "Steal my records, screw all my friends." Jesus H. Christ. Justin Timberlake is sneaking in the chorus of "Come Picke Me Up," a song from Ryan Adams' Heartbreaker, which still hovers in our mental all-time top 10 albums list. We suspected that maybe we were hallucinating. But when the song came back around to the bridge he did it again, sneaking in pretty much the same lines. We have no audio evidence or even a pictoral illustration, so we guess you'll just have to take our word for it. Video found! See above! (At the 1:47 mark you can hear him sing, "I wish you would . . . fuck me up . . . steal all my records.")
- We also suspect Justin's a Trent Reznor fan. NIN's "Closer" (aka the "fuck you like an animal" song) blared as one of the two get-back-to-your-seats songs immediately before JT took the stage (the other one was, even odder, the Rapture's "House of Jealous Lovers"). And the semi-transparent-scrim stage treatments, with Justin visible behind the video projections, seemed a pretty overt homage to/ripoff of Trent's performance of "Hurt," which if you haven't seen you should.
- Timbaland's DJ set is mostly blah (here it is in three parts on youtube, but if anyone has seen it HQ, please give a shout); or, at least, as a DJ set it's pretty disappointing. As self-promotion, though, it's pretty great, and even the lack of a solid flow all the way through can't obscure some of the whoa when he drops "Billie Jean" into that Keri Hilson "Since You Been Gone" remix. Might even be better Way better than the Robyn cover of "Since U Been Gone" that's been making the rounds.