After wowing the nation through an early stream of his upcoming album, The 20/20 Experience, and several televised performances, it's safe to say that Justin Timberlake doesn't have anything to prove. But at last night's SXSW MySpace Secret Show, the singer performed as if he did.
Justin Timberlake didn't miss one step during the third show of Myspace's three-day SXSW show series, all held at Austin's Coppertank event venter.
The wait between Questlove and Justin Timberlake was only 15-minutes, but with heavy whispers of guest appearances (Jay-Z, Timbaland) and setlist choices (new music versus fan favorites) overheard throughout the venue, even before doors opened at 10pm, the wait felt longer.
Fifteen minutes after midnight, Justin Timberlake walks out strumming the strings of "Like I Love You," donning his signature fedora and tuxedo jacket with a novelty tuxedo shirt. The singer, with great support from his band, let each song ride to its very end as one member of the band took the lead transitioning into the next song with a solo.
Justin Timberlake performed hits from his two albums (Justified, 2002, FutureSex/LoveSounds, 2006) and three songs from his upcoming third studio album ("Pusher Love Girl," "That Girl" and Suit & Tie").
He freshened up the classics with a little personality. He broke out into hooks from some today's biggest rap songs. The singer rode the opening keys to "Cry My River" by rapping the hook to Juicy J's "Bandz A Make Her Dance." He also inserted hooks from Jay-Z, Kanye West's "Ni--as in Paris" and Trinidad James' "All Gold Everything" through out the breaks of his hits. Fans first got a taste of Justin Timberlake's like for "All Gold Everything," when including it in a recent 'Saturday Night Live' stint.
While some of Myspace's very own roamed throughout the venue, such as talent director Lisa Binkert, director of content, Benjamin M. Ingram, and Neda Azarfar, SD, marketing communications & strategy, Tim and Chris Vanderhook and those from Chevy, who sponsored Myspace's third SXSW secret show, looked on from the VIP section, right of the stage.
Sherlen Archibald, Chamber Group's senior director of Media Relations; Ngoc Nguyen, publicist; Jamie Dominguez, senior director of SESAC
Sherlen Archibald, senior director of Media Relations + Digital of the Chamber Group, Jamie Dominguez of senior director of SESAC, and Ngoc Nguyen, publicist, were in the center of the action, taking their cool off for Questlove's DJ set.
Atlantic Records' Digital Marketing managers, Jesse "Punch" Edwards and Rahim Wright, made their rounds socializing with writers and NBA 2K's Ronnie Singh, sharing their showcases they got to catch from earlier in the SXSW music week.
Atlantic Records Digital Marketing Manager Rahim Wright and NBA2K's Ronnie Singh
Snoop Dogg's A&R, Justin Li, was spotted taking his spot in VIP.
Conversation throughout the crowd varied. While some were speculating whether Justin Timberlake would bring out a special guest, specifically Jay-Z as he's done with recent televised performances of "Suit & Tie," others were sharing as to how, though satisfied, they were relieved that the strenuous week at SXSW was coming to an end.
Ashley Outrageous, blogger, artist and social media management; artist Jasmine Solano
Many strolled through their Twitter timeline to catch tweets from those in attendance at Samsung Galaxy's SXSW show with Tribe Called Quest and Prince occurring streets away at La Zona Rosa. But, they quickly switched over to their camera app as soon as Justin Timberlake stepped on stage at 12:15pm CT.
Ashley Outrageous, blogger and artist/social media management, and artist Jamine Solano, enjoyed themselves through out the entire show. They headed over into the photo booth, tucked away at back of the venue, afterwards and took a few shots of themselves goofing off.
The audience never once stopped singing along in unison; they even organically broke into a men vs. women competition to the closing of the Pharrell-produced "Señorita," all while Justin Timberlake two-stepped and played the keyboard simultaneously.
JT took fans by surprise when he covered INXS' "Need You Tonight," after transitioning from harder edged "FutureSex/LoveSounds," led by the electric guitarist.
The singer, which 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." Although in a state of bliss, Justin Timberlake left everyone pleading for an encore, or at least one more.