Justin Timberlake’s Thursday began with a surprise Oscar snub for his latest film project, Inside Llewyn Davis, in which he has a smallish part as a 1960s Greenwich Village folk singer. Thursday ended – literally, it was very close to midnight – with Timberlake bringing down the house at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on his 20/20 Experience World Tour after an almost three-hour concert in two acts that was absolutely thrilling. So, who needs the Oscars anyway? These awards go to … Justin Timberlake:
Best Actor in a Musical
The show began at precisely 9 p.m. and Timberlake emerged at the back of the stage, looking dapper in a white dinner jacket and shirt, black vest, pants and bow tie, and launched into Pusher Love Girl. By the time he got to the front of the stage and ended the song, he was clearly surprised and overwhelmed by all the Vancouver love directed his way. Hands in his pockets, oh-golly like, he looked around as if to say “Really? For me? Wow. I can’t believe it.”
The Wolf of Wall Street Award for overuse of a single word.
No, not the f-word, but the V-word (not that one) was exclaimed repeatedly. “How we feeling tonight, Vancouver?” “Vancouver, you ready?” “Vancouver, let me see you shake your ass.” “It’s all love tonight, Vancouver.” “Finish it off, Vancouver.” “Vancouver!”
Best Set Design
When the strip of the stage that Timberlake and his dancers occupied began to rise at one point up into the air, the crowd went nuts. Then that catwalk of a stage continued to move, this time across the arena, over the crowd. If it felt precarious, Timberlake and his crew didn’t let on, not allowing the narrow stage or its height prevent them from carrying on with the funky moves. Or from doing it again, all the way back to the stage, as other members of the band danced in the aisles with the audience. What a party.
When Timberlake launched into Michael Jackson’s Human Nature, he urged the audience to join in – and to sing really, really loud. “So he can hear us.” Good luck with that.
The All is Lost Award for Endurance
Timberlake, who turns 33 at the end of the month, never let up on the hip-shimmying, the fist pumping, or the fancy footwork – if anything kicking his mad dancing skills up a notch as the evening progressed. Close to three hours after he got the party started (including a 10-minute intermission), Timberlake was still bouncing all over the stage, keeping the wearying working stiff audience energized through the final 1-2-3 punch of Suit & Tie, SexyBack and Mirrors.
Best (Big) Picture
I’m guessing it was the Oscar snub Timberlake was referring to (along with an unflattering column in a local newspaper) when he said, “They don’t make awards for this [stuff] right here.” “This is all I need,” he added. “Can we keep this party going?” You bet. And he did.
Justin Timberlake plays the Air Canada Centre in Toronto Feb 13 and 14.