Here's a brief glimpse of the Justin Timberlake and Friends Show Benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children...
More photos are to come.
The jam-packed Convention Center @ Mandalay Bay.
Jay Sean started out strong with a beatbox-filled set. During his anthemic hit "Down," he sang at a slowed, R & B tempo that elucidated his limber vocals. Then he got the crowd's endorphins racing by doing brief warm-up covers of songs hinting at each of the artists to perform.
A gorgeous, cute Taylor Swift bounded onstage fast and furiously in a flapper-style silver dress and sequin-bedazzled guitar. Her performance included songs "Forever and Always" and "Love Story" - and a whole lot of ferris wheel-style hair twirling. (Then again, you'd be head-shaking too if you had hair like hers....)
Alicia Keys is one of those artists who can instantly enduce tears with her jaw-droppingly lush voice and soulful piano skills. During a passionate rendition of "Falling," the whole stadium seemed to chant the lyrics along with her, "how do you give me so much pleasure. And cause me so much pain," as she pounded out her love angst on the piano.
Performing the first reunion show in years since their third member Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes passed away in April 2002, TLC had the crowd cheering and intent throughout. Fit, confident, and glowing, T-Boz and Chili performed classic hits like "No Scrubs" and "Waterfalls." Meanwhile, they slid through complex dance routines with their dance teams while dressed in sparkling tuxes (at least until Chili stripped down to her bikini and showed off toned abs.)
Photo by Getty
When Ciara strut onstage, she brought boys everywhere to their knees with a drop-dead leather cat-suit/bodice outfit. After a racy "Love Sex Magic Don't Stop" duet w. Justin, she reved up the show with her back-up dancers, while performing "Goodies" and "One Two Step." Prrr....
Though Snoop Dogg rolled in with an entourage - he entered the dim-lit stage alone, shaded by black shades and a trench coat. Despite the simple attire, his stage presence was mighty and absorbing as he debuted a new song "Gangsta Love" along with other favorites ("Drop It Like It's Hot" brought back memories and a lot of break-out dance grinds, for shizzle.) It was just as his Twitter proclaimed: "its live jacc!!! Get wid it or get rolld on, ya dig?!?"
As MC, Justin pulled off his job with magician-like charisma - blending in with the specific style of each artist during shared sets, while entertaining the crowd during set changes with sports scores, jokes, and ad-hoc piano sessions.
A particular highlight? When JT and his "boy"- singer-producer extraordinaire Timbaland- premiered the new song "Carry Out." We promise you- the beat is devilishly SICK. And Justin and Tim were magnetic on stage - dancing in sync, rapping, switching up beats, beatboxing, and warming up the audience till they 'put their hands up in the air' on command. (See a spectators' video of it HERE).
While the musicians performing in his Justin Timberlake and Friends Concert prove Justin's diverse musical tastes, so did his musical choices throughout the performance: rapping w. Snoop, beatboxing w. Tim, doing wicked mash-ups including of King’s of Leon “Use Somebody” with "Cry me a river" and Coldplay’s "Viva La Vida" & "Lovestoned," - he even riffed hard through the chords of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at one point.
A renaissance musician, Justin deserves a big applaud for last night as do all the musicians who generously performed to honor a good cause - Shriners Children Hospitals which provides free healthcare for children under 18. For a good cause, and for the love of music, it proved to be a hallmark night of music - new, old, and almost everything in between.
More concert news: http://www.justintimberlake.com
More info on JT Shriners Open: http://www.jtshrinersopen.com
Photos by Getty & Faith-Ann Young