JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: Learning to Expect the Expected
2007 FutureSex/Love Sound World Tour @ the Ipayone/San Diego Sports Arena
review and photos by Cat Dirt
Method of assembly of set list: I'm pretty well unfamiliar with all of Timberlake's oeuvre save the singles, so what I did was write down his entire catalog in album order and then I numbered each song in the order it appeared on the theory that he really doesn't have that many songs. Happy to report the method was sound.
Set List for San Diego Justin Timberlake Concert (1st show on the FutureSex/LoveSound World Tour so expect this set for the next six months and maybe longer!)
Like I love you
Heartbreak Hotel(*) MP3 ALERT!!!
Until the end of time
What goes around
Chop Me Up
TIMBALAND MASH UP INTERLUDE
Rock Your Body(*)
Gone(*)(Nsync) MP3 ALERT!!!
Take it from here
Losing my way
Cry me a river(*)
Phew! Did I discharge my duty? I think so. The asterix's denote songs that I actually recognize. He played every song from Futuresex/lovesounds except track 12- all alone again. He skipped basically the whole "b-side" of justified- nothing from tracks 9-13. Two non-solo joints: elvis's heartbreak hotel and nsync's "gone".
Having satisfied the foremost critical requirement of indie blogger nation (the set list), I will now offer my pithy critical observations in the style of the conventional daily/weekly concert review - I am accepting assignments!
Justin Timberlake is very popular with people of all ages. His fan base is not limited to screaming teenage girls. There are plenty of 20 and 30 something screaming women. Judging from the reaction to the inclusion of his N'sync hit "Gone" - he has managed to maintain his fan base over time. The energy of the show was highest prior to the cumbersome, awkward and unfulfilling Timbaland mash-up/dj session - which I suspect was actually a Timbaland stand in monitoring a cd player. If you had told me that my primary criticism of a Justin Timberlake concert would be the inclusion of Timbaland, I would have told you were nuts - but here I am. Also, the video images that played during interludes and the mash up set were "underdetermined" and boring - a mélange of horror clips and kung fu clips. "1996 called, they want their cultural influences back!" Justin Timberlake should fire his video imagery co-coordinator. The energy level never quite recovered from the mash up/interlude.
The merchandise at a Justin Timberlake concert is expensive- but people buy it anyways. Shirts are $65. Booty Shorts- $35. Programs- $25(that one tempted me- anyone pick up a spare copy they can send me). Buttons- $3. Ok the buttons were pretty reasonable. CDW may have picked one up.
Justin Timberlake's fans are adorable. I was taken by all the home made t-shirts and matching outfits. It was cool to see DIY creativity in such an unusual venue. There is something simple and honest about the love of a Justin Timberlake fan for her Justin Timberlake; it's hard to really denigrate such efforts- I wish Fifty on Their Heels had fans that were so passionate. How that passion is created is really the million dollar question, but that will hold for another day.
Ok that's all for the pithy observations- that kind of journalism really bores me to tears, but what are you going to do? Finally, I bow to convention by placing some open ended questions and musings at the end of the piece- most people won't read this far, and even fewer will think about any of it- but I wanted to put it in the review, and if I was braver I would lead with this stuff:
Does the amount of video footage a Justin Timberlake fan sees of her idol influence the experience of seeing Justin Timberlak live? Does it intensify or diminish the emotional reaction? Does it heighten or lessen the subjective pleasure experienced by the patron?
Isn't the "Situationist" critique of capitalist "spectacle" rooted more in a failure of imagination on their part then any failing of the cultural product itself? "(this particular 60s French theory, authored by Debord, was fundamental in the thought of the punk and post-punk movement in England in the 70's, so you have some understanding of what I'm talking about if you think of the "philosophy" of the sex pistols, factory records and read Lipstick Traces by Greil Marcus)
The clumsy 60's style consumer capitalism that Debord was critiquing in 1968 bears little resemblance to the cultural free for all that Google and Fox(via myspace) have unleashed on the world.
It is hard to ignore the irony in the fact that fox and google have done more to liberate cultural expression from the vice grip of the established "culture industry" then a thousand French Marxist could achieve with a million pages of critique, and maybe the lesson we need to draw from this specific development is that capitalism is not inherently evil, and neither is the cultural industry and it's products. Maybe we all just need to chill the fuck out and enjoy a Justin Timberlake concert, and buy the shirt for $65. Maybe Fox Corporation and Google Corporation are all right, and maybe Justin Timberlake is all right too.
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