Tel Aviv said "I'm Lovin' It" at Justin Timberlake's unforgettable concert
Justin Timberlake at Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park on Wednesday, May 28, 2014. (Image: Haaretz.com)
Justin Timberlake is cool. How cool is he? So cool that he can rock an unforgiving cotton white shirt in the muggy and sweltering Tel Aviv heat, sweat through it, and still look calm and collected.
So cool, that he can sing lyrics like, “I’m bringing sexy back/them other boys don’t know how to act… you see these shackles baby I’m your slave/I’ll let you whip me when I misbehave,” and not be relentlessly mocked for it. Also note – he brought S&M references onto the pop music scene years before Rihanna made an album dedicated to it.
So cool that he can hold his own in a concert with 45,000 people while wearing clothes fit for a Michael Jackson impressionist on casual Friday and still look, well, pretty freakin’ cool. The sleek and mesmerizing graphics flashing behind Timberlake during his 20/20 Experience tour – which featured a nine-piece band, four backup dancers and three backup singers – only served to reinforce how suave the 33-year-old singer-songwriter (and actor) is.
When Timberlake addressed the thousands of fans in Park Hayarkon and asked, "Are we gonna party in Israel tonight?" The answer could only be an unequivocal and resounding 'yes.' Like many pop artists, Timberlake has made a career singing about the various stages of love. Falling into it (Summer Love), basking in it (Mirrors) and inevitably falling out of it (Cry Me a River).
And love was certainly in the air in Tel Aivv last night when Timberlake scanned the crowd and spotted a couple holding a sign saying "He promised to propose to me if I could get a selfie with you." Timberlake, always game for some impromptu fun (see his Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon appearances for evidence of that), smiled and hopped off the stage to join the young couple. Flanked by several stern bodyguards, Timberlake leaned against the barricade separating himself from the couple and smiled as the most famous selfie of the night occurred.
"We've been together for eight years…will you marry me?" the boyfriend – on the verge of tears – asked as a grinning Timberlake and thousands of fans looked on. She, of course, said yes.
"They're getting married!" Timberlake gleefully announced when he sauntered back on stage. "You never know what will happen tonight. My first time in Tel Aviv and people getting engaged!" The joyful episode offered an apt segue into his hit "Summer Love," in which Timberlake seemed to proclaim his undying affection for the entire audience.
Earnestly singing, "Tell me where you from, what you do, what you like/ Let me pick your brain, girl/ And tell me how they got that pretty little face/ On that pretty little frame, girl," every girl there maybe fell a little bit in love with the pop star.
Later, the internet was abuzz that this event was fabricated as a cheap attempt to get a selfie with the pop star or something Timberlake's folks came up with to liven up the audience. But does it really matter? In a pop extravaganza like this one, it's all about appearances, getting caught in the moment, enjoying the cheesy lyrics and slick dance moves for the unadulterated fun that they are. It was not a flawless night however.
Timberlake made the odd choice of opening with "Pusher Love Girl," a mediocre song off his latest album. Out of all the chart-topping hits he performed that night, it almost seemed as if he was forcing his fans to embrace this latest offering. In the words of Regina George from "Mean Girls," someone should have told Timberlake, "Stop trying to make Pusher Love Girl happen." But that was just one miss in a night with very few misses. Who can complain when you have a pop star at the height of his popularity totally immersing himself in a two-hour performance where he sang, danced, played both the guitar and piano to the best of his ability? Not I. And certainly nobody else in Park Hayarkon.
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