Fifteen minutes after midnight, Justin walked out strumming the opening chords of "Like I Love You," donning his signature fedora and a novelty tuxedo shirt. Throughout the set, Justin performed hits from his first two albums (2002's "Justified" and 2006's "FutureSex/LoveSounds") and three songs ("Pusher Love Girl," "That Girl" and Suit & Tie") from his anticipated '20/20' release.
He freshened up the classics with a little personality, occasionally beaking out into hooks from some today's biggest rap songs. The singer rode the opening keys of "Cry My River" into the hook of Juicy J's "Bandz A Make Her Dance." He inserted lines from Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Ni--as in Paris" and Trinidad James' "All Gold Everything" throughout the breaks of his hits.
The audience never stopped singing along in unison; the crowd even organically broke into a "fellas" vs. "ladies" competition to the closing of the Pharrell-produced "Señorita" while Justin simultaneously two stepped and played the keyboard. JT took fans by surprise when he transitioned from a hard-edged, electric guitar-fueled "FutureSex/LoveSounds" into a thrilling cover of INXS' "Need You Tonight."
The singer, who was introduced as the "biggest star in the whole world right now" before taking the stage, closed his 45-minute set with a smooth rendition of "SexyBack," and left everyone in the room pleading for an encore. Sadly, the one more song the crowd wanted never came -- the only complaint from a show whose anticipation and execution proved that JT remains at the top of his game.