Show Recap: Justin Timberlake at the Hollywood Palladium + JT Pre-Order Up on

Posted by Rachael McGovern, February 11, 2013 10:21pm | Post a Comment
Justin Timberlake Hollywood Palladium
photo © Kevin Estrada /

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 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!).

JT was backed by an 11-piece band, plus an additional four back-up singers. At various points thoughout the night he played guitar, piano and an electric keyboard. But there weren't any gimmicks or dancers or costume changes, and it wasn't heavy on choreography. It was just him with his band, having a great time. I didn't get a chance to watch his GRAMMY performance until today (I was waiting at the Palladium when the West Coast feed aired his appearance), and I was struck by the difference between the two versions of "Suit & Tie" last night. On the GRAMMY performance he had three backup dancers and the song was almost entirely choreographed. At the Palladium show, his attention wasn't diverted toward choreography, and I think that allowed him to move more naturally and, frankly, to focus on his singing. And damn, did he sound great.

As I had hoped and predicted, Jay-Z came out to perform their single "Suit & Tie" as the second to last song. The crowd went insane, so much so that I had a hard time seeing HOV, which is not usually a problem for my 6'1" frame. And then it was Timbaland's turn to come out for the final song, "Sexyback," which was a perfect way to end the night. 

I'm not entirely sure what JT means by naming his album The 20/20 Experience, but if last night was any indication, it means having one of the best nights of your life.

Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience

Justin Timberlake
The 20/20 Experience (RCA)

Pre-Order CD
Pre-Order LP


  1.  Pusher Love Girl
  2. Suit & Tie
  3. Don't Hold the Wall
  4. Strawberry Bubblegum
  5. Tunnel Vision
  6. Spaceship Coupe
  7. That Girl
  8. Let the Groove Get In
  9. Mirrors
  10. Blue Ocean Floor
Justin Timberlake Hollywood Palladium
photo © Kevin Estrada /
Justin Timberlake Hollywood Palladium
(Photo by me. Note the difference in quality and also the proximity to the stage.)
Justin Timberlake Setlist Hollywood Palladium
Photo by The Hollywood Palladium
Justin Timberlake Hollywood Palladium

An incredibly well-produced lyric video for "Suit & Tie."

Justin Timberlake Live at the GRAMMYs

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Justin Timberlake (10), Show Recap (36), The Hollywood Palladium (1), The 20/20 Experience (1), Jay-z (25), Timbaland (2), Pre-order (6)