TORONTO — In perhaps his most memorable cameo since donning a furry dolphin suit at a Flaming Lips performance, Justin Timberlake joined Mick Jagger and the rest of the Rolling Stones onstage during the veteran rock band's set at the concert for Toronto on Wednesday night.
The afternoon kicked off on a low point for Timberlake when a concertgoer's sign questioning the singer's sexuality made it to the jumbotrons for about 15 seconds. Timberlake took to the stage with an obvious awareness of audience cynicism, beginning his set with a small attempt to mitigate the crowd's frustration: "This will be over before you know it."
During his mini-set of "Cry Me a River," "Senorita" and "Rock Your Body," Justin gracefully dodged water bottles flung by anti-pop audience members, and winced slightly at their less than playful jeers. After quietly thanking the city of Toronto for generally being welcoming to him and his tour crew, Timberlake left the stage to make way for more crowd-pleasing acts including the Guess Who, Rush, AC/DC and headliners the Rolling Stones.
Justin got his sweet revenge, though, when Jagger invited him onstage for what appeared to be an unrehearsed performance of "Miss You," in which Timberlake mimicked Jagger's signature sways and echoed his vocals. In a clearly forced but effective fusion of classic rock and bubblegum pop, Jagger even sang the words "cry me a river" for several repetitions with Timberlake. And though the audience still managed to sling a few bottles Timberlake's way, guitarist Keith Richards exhibited remarkable tenacity, as he angrily motioned to the crowd to show the pop star a little respect.
Timberlake hugged Jagger and thanked each Rolling Stone by his first name, then humbly (or perhaps strategically) made a quick exit.
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"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." - Ben Franklin, 1759
I was at the big concert, and it was beyond amazing. The highlight of the show was far and away AC/DC, who blew the crowd out of their shoes.
I am no Justin Timberlake fan, but I'm embarassed that there were idiots in front throwing water bottles at him. That guy has a serious set of balls on him for going through with his show and joining the Stones later on(and doing a pretty decent job singing on "Miss You").
The feeling around our camp and in the city afterward is that Timberlake earned a lot more respect for putting up with the shit that he had to put up with, and he didn't even whine about it. Good for him.
Over the last 12 months or so I have found myself being slowly swayed into the "maybe there's something to Justin" camp. First he gets on my good side by mocking Britney. Then making the creepy stalker video about her. Then he does the Flaming Lips cameo. Then he works with Black-Eyed Peas. I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't a really good album bubbling up somewhere inside young Mr. Timberlake.
"There is a commotion in one of Glastonbury's backstage Portakabins. It is being caused by The Flaming Lips, who have invited me, and around 20 others, to dance onstage dressed in outsized animal costumes. You get to take part in one of the band's remarkable live shows and also see what the Glastonbury audience looks like from the Pyramid stage. Tensions run high as the costumes are doled out. One hack ends up with the body of an owl and the head of a chicken. He looks like an anti-GM food protester divested of his placard.
I snatch a pink pig costume and begin airily announcing that I'm a dab hand at this sort of thing, having joined The Polyphonic Spree's choir last year for a feature - an experience evidently still fresh in the memories of some Polyphonic Spree members, who have spotted me backstage, and are now casting what can only be described as concerned glances in the direction of Flaming Lips vocalist Wayne Coyne.
As we climb the ladder to the stage, the noise of the crowd turns the atmosphere stark. Even Coyne, a man whose ebullience would shame a children's TV presenter, looks grave as he passes among our fluffy ranks. "We're gonna be good," he mutters. Frankly, I'll settle for making it to the end of the set alive. The pig costume is proving to be both unbelievably hot and a little snug around the neck. When I bend down to tie my shoelaces, my face goes purple and I lose the feeling in my legs. Suddenly, Race For The Prize begins. We're off.
With my pig head on, my view is severely restricted. The only way to see the crowd is to lift the head off slightly, an action I fear will cause consternation among the more chemically altered audience members. In addition, I can hear virtually nothing except my own voice gamely singing along. I sound horrible.
Still, I'm fairing better than the person dressed as an inflatable sun, who has to be deflated and led offstage after a couple of songs. I jump up and down. I shake my curly tail. I hear the audience singing along to Do You Realize?, the band's most affecting song, and can stand the suspense no more. I lift the head up. A sea of waving arms stretches off into the distance. Fires dot the surrounding hillsides. Suddenly I understand why the world's biggest bands allegedly play Glastonbury for peanuts: the money might not be great, but the view is wonderful. Then I put my pig's head back on and start dancing again."
...full of energy. Multi-orgasmic, if you will, in a cosmic sort of way."
The club thing isn't new. After one of the JT/CA shows in Chicago, he did a 21+ midnight show at House of Blues, where in this case Black Eyed Peas were the special guests for "where is the love" and some assorted jamming. The boy is trying his damndest to gain credibility by getting the rub from anyone and everyone he can. And hey, the Lips thing sure did work for me on that front.
THIS WEEK'S TOTAL LISTINGS: 1093 4AD RECORDS My Maudlin Career - Holiday Edition [DOUBLE CD] [SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION] (The W at Amazon) | Camera Obscura The Blizzard [SINGLE] | Camera Obscura | (Vinyl)