Justin Timberlake Returns to the Q to Help Cleveland Feel the Rhythm
Still under construction, Quicken Loans Arena managed to open its doors just in time for Justin Timberlake's second Cleveland appearance of the year last night. While much of the show's setlist was largely the same as Timberlake's March concert, the place was still packed to the gills with screaming fans and their obliging partners (who probably, not-so-secretly, enjoyed themselves).
For about two hours on the nose, Timberlake brought his audience through an array of his greatest hits — like the stunning "Cry Me a River," the much too short "SexyBack" and the immaculately lit "Suit & Tie." The set also included a campfire covers session as well as new tunes off his 2018 effort, Man of the Woods. Touring behind the album for the better part of a year, Timberlake, 37, has perfected his transitions with the help of his talented backing dancers and musicians, the Tennessee Kids. Dancing his ass off, playing guitar and keys all while singing entirely live was masterful to watch. At times, he could have sang a little more rather than leaving it up to the audience, but that's a small quibble. Not many other artists on the planet could have pulled off this caliber of a show.
For those who wondered, LeBron James didn't hit the stage again last night, but Timberlake did call out Baker Mayfield for being in the house, sending a ton of fans into Browns chant hysterics. Timberlake even said he was happy to be back in Cleveland, sprinkling the city's name into his songs throughout the show.
The final number of the concert, the Trolls hit "Can't Stop the Feeling!," brought an electricity to the Q. Despite its simplistic lyrics, the song couldn't be denied. All people wanted to do was "dance, dance, dance" into the night.
— Laura Morrison
October 2, 2018
Photos by Joe Kleon