Saturday, September 02, 2006

JT Brings Late Night Sexy Back
By PopCultureWhore

The line at Roseland Ballroom stretched for more than three city blocks by the time my friend Nicole and I made it to the venue at 11 p.m. on Thursday. We ended up standing on line for more than an hour, finally getting inside around 12:40 a.m. Along the way, we spotted former O-Town singer Ashley Parker Angel (actually, I spotted his spiky bangs and black fedora …) and MTV host John Norris (his orange highlights were also rather striking). Shout out to the two PR whores with VMA tags around their necks who took advantage of some drunks kids and cut in line behind us, claiming their names were at the door.

When we got up front, the people taking tickets didn’t even scan the UPC tags on the printed tickets from Ticketmaster (or even look at them), so I basically could’ve made a dozen copies and brought along a few friends!

Around 1 a.m., a cheer went up in the crowd and cameras began flashing like crazy toward the VIP balcony. Diddy had made his entrance with an entourage that included music producer Brian Cox. From my spot on the floor, I got a quick glimpse of his face, but what I actually noticed was the ENORMOUS ring on his hand that was more blinding than the camera flashes.

Thirty minutes later, the lights went down and the theme song to “Peter and the Wolf” filtered through the venue. Justin emerged from a stream of blue lights in a suit vest and red fedora and launched into “Cry Me a River.” It had more of an angry and edgier tone to it than the radio version, but it definitely got the crowd going.

He then took to the keyboard for “Senorita” before previewing some new material from the upcoming “Future Sex/Love Sounds” album – with the help of some famous friends. Midway through “Damn Girl,” from the Black Eyed Peas joined Justin onstage and T.I. emerging from backstage to inject a little something into “My Love” before performing one of his own songs

Later, the Three 6 Mafia (“Hard Out There for a Pimp” Oscar winners) came out for “Chop Me Up.” When Justin was jumping around onstage with these rappers, I had to laugh a bit because who would’ve thought this is the turn his career would take back when he and the N’Sync kids were singing in a padded room for the “Drive Myself Crazy” video? But just when you thought Justin was becoming truly “street,” he’d open his mouth and his rather high-pitched speaking voice would remind you of the afro-sporting former boy band heartthrob.

Not that he’s forgotten his roots. Mid-way through the show, Justin brought out N’Sync’er JC Chasez. With Justin on keyboards, JC sang a boisterous song about not playing with fire, which received a warm reception from the crowd. Given his lackluster post-N’Sync career, it’s probably in JC’s best interest to stick with Justin instead of past Hollywood buddies like Britney, Tara Reid and Eva Longoria

Justin slowed things down a bit at one point and did a few slow ballads, including a “Cry Me a River”-esque song called “What Goes Around Comes Around.” A little ode to K-Fed perhaps?

But the show was most enjoyable when Justin kept the energy high and delivered with hits like “Like I Love You” and “Rock Your Body.” He didn’t show off the signature dance moves too much during the show, but there were a few pelvic thrusts and Michael Jackson swivels during “Rock Your Body.” Sadly, he was not naked by the end of the song …

Timbaland joined Justin onstage toward the end and sang a snippet from “Promiscuous” and “My Humps.” Both then sang the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” and an extended, go-go version of “SexyBack” to close the show. When I first heard the song, I thought it was a little robotic and didn't know how it would translate live, but that and "Rock Your Body" were definitely highlights of the show.

Justin apparently enjoyed himself as well. “I’m drunk,” he announced before he sauntered off stage around 3:15 a.m. Word.

PS: At the end of the show, Justin introduced his band and backup singers. Guess who is one of his singers? Denosh, one of the finalists on "Making the Band 3" - and almost a member of Danity Kane.