After selling out Chicago’s United Center for two consecutive nights back in March, Justin Timberlake returned to the Windy City last night for another sold-out show.
As the crowd began to make their way to their seats, DJ Freestyle Steve kept the energy at an all-time high, supplying the hits.
The night officially kicked off with Toronto native and Atlanta Records Artist Francesco Yates. Yates emerged on stage with high octane energy straight from the jump, decked out in a sliver sequin jacket. The singer & songwriter bopped all around the stage performing some of his original cuts and a thumping cover of Bruno Mars’ ‘Finesse’. Francesco Yates performance style is a great mix of Michael Jackson, James Brown, & Prince and when you add in Yates’ own flare, it’s a win-win combo.
During the performance of his recently released “Somebody Like You”, Yates walked to all the sides of the stage and handed roses to the ladies in the audience (Yates mentioned during our interview). Not only is the “Do You Think About Me” singer talented at singing and dancing, Yates can also play the electric guitar – This was on full display when performing a powerful cover of one of Prince’s classics. Yates vocal ability is an insane sight to see and hear live as he reached high-notes effortlessly. This would have to be the highlight of his set as the Chicago crowd was engaged and enthusiastic throughout the whole performance. Before Francesco concluded his set, he thanked Chicago and finished with his Robin Schulz assisted tune “Sugar”. Francesco Yates is a phenomenal performer and is sure to be on his way to the top of the charts.
Next up was the man of the hour, who so happens to be the self-proclaimed “Man of The Woods”. The Chicago crowd erupted as Justin Timberlake took the stage rocking his own “Bio Beige” Jordan 3 Retro JTH, (the shoe game would change once more during the course of the night) and opened with ‘Flithy’.
The Man of Woods Tour is a huge production – three separate stages laid across the entire arena floor, with the audience surrounding each stage. Since the theme of the tour is the woods, the outdoors – throughout the night the arena would reflect different seasons. All the elements such as rain, snow, and fog were vividly visible and represented digitally and practical. JT was backed by his band the Tennessee Kids, who each got a chance to showcase their singing talent when one of the stages was converted into an actual bond fire under the pale moonlight.
The “Mirrors” singer had the audience in the palm of his hands from the get-go, Timberlake has a very dense discography and made sure to include all the fan favorites, all the while adding new dance moves, such as Blocboy JB’s “shoot” dance to his repertoire. New dance moves weren’t the only new twist JT had up his sleeve, “Until The End of Time” and “What Comes Around… Comes Around” were both given the acoustic treatment.
One thing the audience made sure to make clear last night was Chicago really enjoys the classics. Every time Timberlake would figuratively pull one out his back pocket, the United Center erupted in cheer and glee – Señorita, Cry Me A River, SexyBack, Rock Your Body, and My Love (with the inclusion of a new drumpad intro) received some of the loudest reactions of the night.
JT never stopped moving as he made his way to stage to stage to stage all night. He took a moment to kick it with the crowd for a bit, displaying in his comedic talent, while having fun and complimenting on a expecting couple. During this time, Timberlake was surrounded by his band mates. He took the time to announce it was a member’s (bass player, who is also from Chicago) birthday and asked everyone to sing Happy Birthday. Watching this portion of the show live, you definitely get the feeling there is a great bond with everyone on stage and everyone involved with this tour.
The final moments of show saw Timberlake close with a huge dance party to the tune of “Can’t Stop The Feeling”. Before making his final bow, JT let Chicago know that Chi-Town was the “best crowd we had all fucking tour”.
The entire night was a two-hour long melody of hits from front to back and then back to front again.
Check out photos from The Man of The Woods Tour Below
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