One of the planet's brightest entertainment stars brought his tour to the Twin Cities Sunday night, but reviews of Justin Timberlake's show at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul were mixed.
The multitalented 33-year-old's marathon 2 1/2-hour show dragged, Star Tribune critic Jon Bream said, noting that even charismatic megastars need some show editing (or directing or producing).
Bream said the show "seemed to last as long as a dramatic reading of all 10,000 lakes in the state of Minnesota (there is a Timber Lake in Jackson County). There’s no way JT’s elaborate and ambitious presentation would rank in the same league as recent shows by Pink and Bruno Mars."
The Pioneer Press' Ross Raihala was kinder: "Everything about the evening screamed: 'Justin Timberlake Is A Superstar, Y'all!'"
He wrote that JT brought his set list of "slinky, sexy and groove-heavy numbers that translate perfectly to the stage. He opened the evening with 'Pusher Love Girl,' coaxing the first of many lustful screams from the crowd."
Raihala reported one notable flaw.
"If there was a problem, it was with actually seeing Timberlake himself. For all the glitz and glamour of his stage, it was too dark, with murky purple lights often obscuring the action. When JT swapped out his white jacket for a black one, the shadows threatened to swallow him alive."
The critics note that for the 16,000 fans, perhaps the highlight of the show was Timberlake and four backup singers sailing above the crowd on a lifted platform during “Let the Groove Get In.”
Timberlake also played the Fargodome on Friday, and the Fargo Forum's John Lamb noted that the last time JT came to town, it was as an 18-year-old boy bander, in 1999.
"He returned to the Fargodome on Friday night older, wiser and even more of a lady-killer," Lamb wrote.
Meanwhile, at least a few fans who bought tickets on StubHub said their tickets had been double sold – so when they arrived they weren't able to get into the arena, KSTP reports.
Timberlake tweeted that he enjoyed his stop in Minnesota: