Justin Timberlake - Madison Square Garden - 2/20/2014

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Credit: C.S. Muncy. See all the photos from last night.
Better Than: Black Snake Moan.

The last time I saw Justin Timberlake live, he was still part of *NSYNC and filling stadiums with excited children and annoyed parents for the boy band's final tour. Since then, he's gotten married to someone who is not Britney Spears, pursued a film career, and with every album, embarked on a brand new level of musical maturity. It started with 2002's Justified, the rootsy R&B release that has become the template for successful male pop star maturation in the 12 years since its debut. He progressed with the even better FutureSex/LoveSounds in 2006 and has most recently added the massive, two part musical "comeback" of sorts, The 20/20 Experience.

At Madison Square Garden, part of some of the last dates of the second North American leg of his world tour, Justin Timberlake was in rare form. Comeback is an inappropriate way to describe this particular performer -- one with an already hefty canon of solo hits from four albums and two released within only the past year. With ease and charm, Timberlake makes the lengthy wait for new material and live performances seem like it was more than worth it all along.

See also: How To Properly Hoard *NSYNC Memorabilia

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How To Properly Hoard *NSYNC Memorabilia

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For Thanksgiving one year, I made my grandma follow the peach cobbler recipe from an article in some teen magazine that was said to be the same one Justin Timberlake's grandma used. I love, love, loved *NSYNC, and was not afraid to show it. I had *NSYNC lip balm, *NSYNC hoop earrings, and countless *NSYNC books. There may have been an *NSYNC notebook I kept with a photoshopped wedding picture of me and Justin Timberlake. What follows is an incomplete document of all-consuming madness.

See also: What We Talk About When We Talk About Seeing Britney Spears Live

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We Know What Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake Did Last Summer

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Today and Saturday, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake take the stage at Yankee Stadium for their Legends of Summer tour. While they're both certainly living legends in their own right, it's interesting to look back on how truly different both Hov and Timberlake's summers have been over the years, and yet both paths lead to this weekend's shows. Let's take a look back at 20 years of summer fun for the two.

See also: No One Cares About Jay-Z's New Music

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Bow Down to This Week in Music Writing

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Bow down to the stories included in this edition of This Week in Music Writing, which were at some point scrolled through by Voice music writers. See a story you think should be included here? Let us know.

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Riff Raff vs. Spring Breakers and Other Music Stories We <3

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Left: Jody Christian as RiFF RAFF. Right: James Franco as Jody Christian as RiFF RAFF.
Here's a round-up of the music stories Voice writers have been reading recently. Take a spin through the links below and tip us off if there's something you like that we may have missed.

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Let's Get All Internet-y on Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience

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Oh, what's up JT? Nice of you to join us over here in the music world again. You abandoned us in 2006 after Future Sex/Love Sounds--quick note: that was seven years ago, and seven years is roughly the age of a first grader, so we are now a first grader's life away from the previous JT record--but that's okay, because you're back. You told us a few months ago that you felt "inspired" (or, maybe, a contract you signed obligated you) to make new music. Some people were stoked. Others weren't. But regardless, here we are, and your third studio album The 20/20 Experience--currently streaming on iTunes--is set to hit shelves on Tuesday. It's a hodgepodge of sonic trends over the past few years, and will probably take some time to fully absorb, process, and understand. But, because this is the year 2013 and this is the Internet, let's prematurely evaluate the hell out of it, shall we?

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SNL Sound-Off: Justin Timberlake

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THIS WEEK'S SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: BETTER THAN CHRISTMAS.

THAT MERITS ALL CAPS. AND BOLD. AND UNICORNS. AND ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY IN THIS WORLD.

912 cameos happened! "Suit and Tie" happened, with Jay-Z! The Dick in a Box Guys happened! STEFON HAPPENED! You guys, I felt like a teenager discovering The Beatles on Ed Sullivan in 1964, the episode was that good. When you've got Dan Aykroyd, Alec Baldwin, Candice Bergen, Paul Simon, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Martin Short and Tom Hanks popping in over the course of your opening monologue there's nowhere to go but down, but Timberlake, who hosted SNL for the fifth time last night, was pretty much flawless from the get-go. He eulogized Chavez via a "Candle in the Wind" rewrite as Elton John. He Harlem Shook it while dressed like a giant hunk of tofu. He kept a straight face when he said "I woke up with my penis in a lion's mouth" while wearing a breastplate. (That Maine Justice sketch was awkward for everybody as I don't think anyone, including Jason Sudeikis and Timberlake, knew what was going on, exactly, but we'll forget about those unfortunate six minutes for the purpose of this recap.)

See also: Justin Timberlake! Destiny's Child! My Bloody Valentine!: The Week of Triumphant Returns

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Justin Timberlake Watch 2k13: "Suit & Tie" Music Video Edition

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Justin Timberlake's comeback is exhausting. After a musical drought, it feels like we've suddenly been welcomed with a constant stream of JT news, appearances, performances, videos and Target commercials. From the initial release of his "prepare ye the way of the Justin" warning video on, he's been keeping himself -- and us -- busy every couple of days.

See also: Justin Timberlake! Destiny's Child! My Bloody Valentine!: The Week of Triumphant Returns

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Defend Your Ballot: Drew Millard, Pazz and Jop 2012 Contributor

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You can't really know where you're headed unless you know where you've been. For that reason, we're taking a look back at Pazz & Jop 2012 to drill down into the ballots of contributors and voters who participated. Maybe amongst the rubble we'll find clues about what lies ahead for music lovers in 2013. Here, Noisey's Drew Millard defends his ballot.

See Also:
- Pazz and Jop 2012: Top Albums


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Forget Justin Timberlake and Destiny's Child -- Timbaland and Pharrell Are Back!

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So, Justin Timberlake and Destiny's Child dropped two singles over the weekend, and people who mostly grew up in the last decade rejoiced. Everybody else was like, "What the hell is this all about?"

Both these major pop entities haven't dropped new music in a long while. Timberlake, who hasn't released an album since that monster hit FutureSex/LoveSounds in 2006 and has been spending his time trying to be a movie matinee idol, had people worrying he might end up being the white-boy version of D'Angelo. Meanwhile, Destiny's Child hasn't released any music as a group since their 2004 album Destiny Fulfilled. I'm sure we all assumed the show on those three were over since Beyonce Knowles went on to become THE BIGGEST POP DIVA OF ALL TIME. So, why the hell would she need to get the band back together again?

See Also:
-12 (More) Big Deal Albums We're Hella Excited For
-Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, And The Shifting Nature of Pop Star Fandom
-I'm A White R&B Singer From Red Hook, Brooklyn: Should I Even Bother?


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