|photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com|
I had the amazing good fortune to be among the audience at the Hollywood Palladium last night to witness Justin Timberlake's return to the stage after a far-too-long absence from music (it's been nearly six and a half years since his sophomore solo album, Futuresex/Love Sounds [RCA, 2006]). But nothing in his set, his performance or his voice, gave any indication of just how long it had been since he'd put on a show like that.
Starting just after 11:30pm, he opened with "Like I Love You" and continued to play songs from his two previous albums, as well as a handful of new ones from the forthcoming album, The 20/20 Experience (due out March 19 on RCA, but available as a pre-order now on Amoeba.com in both CD and LP formats). He even worked in two cover songs, most surprisingly "I Need You Tonight" by INXS. I never would have thought of that song choice for him, but he pulled it off and made it his own. Given his background in soul music, his other cover, "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" by The Jacksons was the type of song I would have expected him to perform. I don't intend that to disparage the choice - far from it - but rather to highlight the pleasantly surprising INXS pick. It would be amazing to hear a recorded version of that cover (hint, hint Mr. Timberlake!).