Music 

PEER REVIEW: JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE + JAY Z @ FENWAY PARK, SATURDAY 8.10.13 [PHOTOS]

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“Legends of the Summer,” indeed.

Photo Credit: Ian Doreian || @LoRoxPhotog

Justin Timberlake and Jay Z’s Legends of the Summer Tour is a sign of how the thump and stutter of hip hop has become pop’s guiding principle. The self-proclaimed “best rapper alive” and the prodigal prince of pop are a deft tag team;

Timberlake’s boundless, artfully goofy energy is the perfect foil for Jay Z’s victory-lap swagger.

Timberlake was determined to win over the huge crowd from the get-go, dancing like your gay cousin at a wedding, peppering his patter with 617 shoutouts, donning a Red Sox jersey, and showing off a Boston Strong guitar strap. In the Frank Sinatra impersonation that framed “Empire State of Mind,” Timberlake even replaced the final refrain with “Boston, Boston!”  Compared to the Tennessee Kid, Jay Z was a more reserved presence, tipping his Nets cap from time to time but otherwise letting his unimpeachable flow do all the talking.

The show was framed by their shared singles. The bombast of “Holy Grail” got us out of our seats, while the debonair “Suit & Tie” drew things to a close. The two strolled the stage in jackets holding flutes of champagne like proud hosts, neither drinking nor spilling a drop.  But the real highlights were the older material that showcased the supple assurance that makes Jay Z and JT a natural pairing. Timberlake tackled a verse of “Want You Back,” sounding eerily like a sixth Jackson, before it transmuted into the beat of Jay Z’s anthemic party-starter, “H.O.V.A.” Timberlake’s “My Love” stands out from the crump and blare of most radio fodder with its limpid weightlessness, and Timberlake nailed every little ache and swoon.

And the ballpark fairly convulsed when Timberlake called in the beat for “SexyBack.”

My wife of eight years, who has cheerfully waved me out the door to innumerable shows, was chewing her knuckles in bitter envy when I left on Saturday night. Biking northeast up the Southwest Corridor through a glorious summer evening, I stifled the urge to boast to total strangers.

Seeing these two titans together – Jay-Z hyping “Rock Your Body,” Timberlake juicing the raucous riff on “99 Problems” – was like being invited to sit in on a meeting of pop’s Illuminati.

“Legends of the Summer,” indeed.



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3 Responses to PEER REVIEW: JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE + JAY Z @ FENWAY PARK, SATURDAY 8.10.13 [PHOTOS]

  1. traci jaye traci jaye says:

    I was there; it was awesome! I got this video of Sexy Back…you have to watch..towards the middle/end I pan the crowd behind me! EPIC PRODUCTION!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucGIhWHDi04

  2. Pingback: EXIT POLL: CHARLIE @ JAY Z + JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE @ FENWAY PARK | DigBoston

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