I intended to kick off my concert season for 2018 in late March with P!nk but she had to cancel her Detroit show. I’m definitely excited to hear the new date, but I quickly set my sights on Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods Tour stop in Detroit just this past Monday.
If you count NSYNC, this was the fourth time I have seen Justin and he never, ever disappoints. While my favorite show was probably his stadium tour with Jay Z, the MOTW tour is a close second.
I heard about the amazing set and was told more than once even walking into Little Caesars Arena I would be blown away. Everyone was right. The sprawling stage that took up the majority of the floor was dotted with trees and featured grass that popped up from time to time and a campfire. Have you ever seen a show that featured a campfire? I think not.
The laser lights and screens that featured outdoor scenery added to the ambiance, though I can see how the screens likely obstructed the view for those in the upper bowl, giving them a less than stellar view of Justin, the star of the show.
After making a couple laps of the Arena, Mom and I headed down to our seats. We chose the lower bowl to avoid the general admission floor. While I always prefer the floor and the energy it creates, I don’t like general admission situations. This floor looked pretty calm, but I was thrilled with out seats that gave us a good view of literally the entire show.
Justin took the stage and save for a couple short video interludes, the show was non stop for two hours. This is a much better format than the two act one Justin featured in his last tour. We’re not on Broadway here, though the set and smooth transitions do create a stage musical like atmosphere that is unique.
Justin seamlessly walked the entire length of the stage throughout the show and interacted with the crowd, which was awesome to see.
But we all went to see Justin be the fantastic performer he is and he delivered. Singing, dancing, playing the guitar and piano, even using a mixing device to incorporate some of Eminem’s Forgot about Dre with My Love, Justin is hands down one of the best performers currently and will likely go down as one of the best of all time.
Justin Timberlake totally crushed it tonight. Such a great entertainer with the singing and dancing and even better with the Tennessee Kids backing him! What a way to kick off my concerts for 2018! 🎊🎉 #concertjunkie #music #dance #sing #fun #nightout #detroit #michigan #littlecaesarsarena #bestnightever #takemeback #family #memories #littlecaesars #lca #livemusic #justintimberlake #tnkids #whatgoesaround #manofthewoodstour #manofthewoods #motwtour #motw @justintimberlake @tnkids_ #danceparty #cantstopthefeeling #mirrors #stressrelief
Justin’s new songs have received mixed review and though I really do like some of them like Say Something and Higher Higher, it was fantastic that he worked in all our old favorites. Mirrors, Drink You Away, What Goes Around Comes Around, and of course Can’t Stop the Feeling really brought the energy that makes concerts so magical. Everyone singing along, moving to the beat.
Like pretty much all shows, there was a lull in the middle when the backup singers each sang a song and pretty much the whole Arena sat down (not me, even in five in platforms). While I commend Justin on letting his backup singers shine and singing background for them, it didn’t fully work. The final quarter or so of the show also felt a little rushed as he ran through partials of four or five songs strung together.
Still, Justin shows why he is still a star, why after about twenty years of making hits he’s still headlining the Super Bowl halftime show and selling out Arenas. He is great at what he does and it is a joy to see him in person, the energy he brings to the show spreading throughout the crowd. I’ll see every Justin tour forever and ever, and if you have the chance to see him, don’t miss it. Even if you don’t think he’s your thing. Even if you think he’s just another pop star. He will prove you wrong and have you swaying to the beat.