Justin Timberlake and Jay Z Concert Review

Review and Photos by Lauren Barthold | @bylaurenb


Justin Timberlake (JT) and Jay Z (JZ) made their mark on Detroit at Ford Field on Tuesday, August 6th with their short but certainly sweet Legends of the Summer North American tour.


The nearly three hour long show was jam packed with hit after hit, alternating between the two.  The ticket start time read 8pm, but they did not take the stage until 9:30pm.  I am not sure whether or not the new NFL Committee on Stadium Security policy (no bags larger than your hand unless they are see-through and a mandatory wand search) had anything to do with this, but seeing as it is an entire stadium tour, it should have been worked out.


Once the duo did finally hit the stage, they came out together with ‘Holy Grail’ as graphics of gargoyles flashed behind them.  If you are a fan of Lifetime’s ‘Dance Moms’, you would have recognized the drummer as the professional dance choreographer who assists Cathy of Candy Apple’s Dance Center.  The show was divided into five sections.  Section one included both entertainers going back and forth.  JZ owned section two, JT the third, and back to JZ for the fourth.  By the fifth, the two reunited on the mammoth stage.

After ‘Grail’ was one of my personal favorites, ‘Rock Your Body’.  They surprised the audience for the fourth song with a cover of The Jackson 5’s ‘I Want You Back’.  Every time it was JZ’s turn, JT would play the piano or guitar.

For JZ’s first section, he played ‘Jigga What, Jigga Who’, ‘U Don’t Know’, ’99 Problems’ (SO GOOD), Kanye West’s ‘Clique’, ‘Public Service Announcement’, ‘Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)’, and finished with ‘Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)’.

JT took the stage with a song from the first part of ‘The 20/20 Experience’ (part two to come out this fall), ‘Pusher Love Girl’.  He then went into four of his classics, ‘Summer Love’, ‘LoveStoned’, ‘Until the End of Time’, and ‘Cry Me a River’ before the brand new single from part two, ‘Take Back the Night’.  He finished it off with ‘What Goes Around… Comes Around’ and sent it back to JZ.  There was a small mistake in ‘Take Back’ when JT got to the part of the song where he says ‘And the horns say…’ and the horns, you guessed it, play.  He pointed to them to play, and they did nothing until the following measure.  However, I forgot all about it after JT pelvic thrusted to the audience (me).


JZ took the stage one more time with ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’, ‘In Paris’, and ‘Tom Ford’ before JT joined him singing Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’ which the audience immediately knew would send JZ into ‘Empire State of Mind’.  By song 34 of the evening, JZ did ‘Encore’, this time sending JT into ‘SexyBack’.  The encore was the long-awaited ‘Suit & Tie’ with the gentlemen dressed accordingly while sipping champagne.  Some of the horn parts were replaced with the saxophone melody from JZ’s ‘Show Me What You Got’.  I would have liked to hear the full song, but I thought the mix was unique nonetheless.  For the second encore, the two dedicated JZ’s ‘Forever Young’ to Trayvon Martin and Detroit as fans waved their lit phones back and forth in the air.


Overall, I give this show four dicks in a box out of five.  JT only did five songs total from his new album, including one with JZ.  This is most likely because he will be world touring his complete album solo after the second part is released, which was not announced until May, three months after I purchased these expensive tickets.  They went on late and played even later, finishing at 12:30am.  It was exhausting, but I would expect nothing less when you have two major acts together in one show.  Ford Field is my least favorite concert venue, but the two still managed to leave me an even bigger fan than I was walking in.  Justin Timberlake and Jay Z are, without a doubt, the legends of my summer.