I went to a Justin Timberlake concert once, sort of. I hadn’t meant to exactly, but he and Jay-Z were touring together for their Legends of Summer tour. They had songs in common off their respective The 20\20 Experience and Magna Carta Holy Grail albums, so it felt like a good fit to co-headline a tour that ended up playing to more than half a million fans over 14 sold-out dates in just under a month. It was a great show in Toronto’s Rogers Centre (where the Blue Jays play). Sean treated me to luxurious floor seats and I can’t think of any other show where I felt so wrapped up with love, with 53 000 happy people surrounding me. JT and Jay-Z had great chemistry and impressive collaboration, and although I hadn’t intended to see Timberlake, I was glad that I did. With great back and forth and no one-upmanship, the two ended the show on an exceptionally high but sad note: Young Forever dedicated to the memory of Trayvon Martin.
As soon as The Legends of Summer tour wrapped up, Justin embarked on a 2-year tour in support of his album. This film, directed by Jonathan Demme, is the culmination of all that hard work – the final show, January 2nd 2015 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
With only brief introductions from the supporting members of his band and stage show, the movie launches into concert mode and stays there. There’s great camera work and Demme keeps the whole piece feeling energetic and gives you front-row access so you feel like not only are you there, you’ve got terrific seats. But apart from the brief before and after footage, there’s no real interviews or behind the scenes access. And since I’m only familiar with his radio hits, there are lots of songs that I find hard to get into. So if you’ve always wanted to see JT up close and personal without emptying Sean’s wallet, here’s your chance: it’s playing on Netflix, and it’s a great concert doc. But it’s no more and no less than that.