Whatever your feelings about Magna Carta Holy Grail or The 20/20 Experience, or Jay’s Samsung deal, or JT’s supposed contractually obligated return to music, there’s absolutely no denying that these two guys put on one hell of a show.
Jay Z and Justin Timberlake’s summer tour is a master class in what a concert should be — an experience — and a reminder of just why they’re legends in the first place.
But besides their expert showmanship, there’s the surprising element of rabid mania and shrieks of joy and adoration they’re still able to elicit from grown women and men alike. (In Justin’s case, I guess you can take the boy out of the boy band, but you can’t take the boy band out of the boy?) Let us count the ways in which they transform their audience into a pack of idolizing middle schoolers.
1. When Jay Z and Justin finally appear together onstage, it doesn’t matter how cool and collected you were trying to be — you’re ready to wild out for the next couple hours.
2. Every time Justin skips across the stage, your heart skips for joy.
4. You actually feel kind of jealous every time Justin’s wedding ring flashes on the screen.
5. You don’t feel jealous of Jay Z, though, because he’s married to Beyoncé and they belong together forever and are the best couple in the world.
6. When JT whips his glorious relaxed hair back and forth, it actually makes you want to go and buy Herbal Essences shampoo right then and there.
7. Throwing up the rock makes you nostalgic for the days of The Blueprint.
8. You even break out your special Timberlake and Carter 20/20 jerseys for the photo op.
9. Even Dad’s getting in on the action.
11. “Hard Knock Life” still sounds as fresh as it did in 1998.
12. Remember when you used to scream the hook at the top of your lungs whenever it came on? You still do that.
13. Justin’s fancy footwork transports you back to the days of “Bye Bye Bye.” Boy’s still got moves.
14. You actually think it’s kind of adorable that they coordinate their outfits…
16. When it’s time for “Mirrors,” it doesn’t matter how high up in the nosebleed section you’re sitting, the love and energy fills up the whole stadium.
17. When Jay performs “N****s in Paris” and the whole stadium raps right along with him.
18. You get chills down your spine when Justin sings Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” and then lose your mind when Jay Z comes in for “Empire State of Mind.”
Even if you normally think that “Empire” is cheesy as hell and overplayed, there’s no denying you feel the massiveness of the song when singing along with tens of thousands of fans in a stadium. No, seriously, even Bostonians were singing loud and proud during the show at Fenway Park.
19. When JT and Jay ascend the staircase, bro-hug it out, and toast goodbye to the audience with their champagne, your heart melts.
What are they doing after the show?? Are they best friends in real life? Can I come?
20. You know they’re saving “Suit & Tie” for the encore. And you’re ready for it.
21. When Jay points out a girl’s “fatty” in the crowd, you can’t help but blush.
Who’s the lucky winner???
22. When “Young Forever” plays during the encore, you look around the stadium and feel so happy and blessed and, well, young — no matter how old you are.
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