Australia reviews give SexyBack singer the thumbs up

With just over 48 hours to go until Justin Timberlake's first Auckland concert, we look across the ditch to see what reviewers made of the SexyBack singer's Australian performances.

Sandra Bahbah, The Sunday Times
(Perth)
A consumate showman, Timberlake mixed it up with beat-boxing, breakdancing and moves that gave Usher a run for his money. He also played bass guitar, guitar keyboard and the piano.

The set list was all a devoted fan could hope for, with a mix of old and new tracks including Like I Love You, Rock Your Body, Cry Me a River, Senorita, Sexy Back, My Love, Lovestoned and his latest single, Summer Love.

With his impressive falsetto, sleek moves and tailored suit, Timberlake proved you dont have to strut your six-pack to be sexy.

Sean Sennett, The Australian
(Brisbane)
Emerging from the boards, Timberlake looked immaculate in a dark three-piece suit and white trainers. Manhandling the microphone and busting moves like Michael Jackson and James Brown's illegitimate offspring, his show opened with the bump n' grind of FutureSex/LoveSound.

Reaching early for his acoustic guitar, Timberlake showed off his versatility and impressive falsetto with Like I Love You.

Damn Girl was highlighted by a dance routine best described as 1930s burlesque with a modern twist. The extravaganza showed no sign of slowing. Cry Me a River was arguably the highlight of the night, while Love Stoned and SexyBack kept up the momentum, before Timberlake re-appeared solo for a well-deserved encore. An impeccable mix of music, dancing and staging, Timberlake's return to Australia was masterful.

Andrew Murfett, The Age
(Melbourne)
Amid an eye-popping stage setting, the US popstar ticked all the musical boxes. His exceptional dancing was not unexpected. Yet his vocal performance, as well as his competence on a range of instruments - guitar, electric piano, synth, and, to the crowd's delight, keytar - was surprising and impressive.

The common gripe for shows of this size - that they lack intimacy and personality - could occasionally be levelled. But that's missing the point.

Timberlake has achieved excellence by combining pop music, dance and spectacle. And with a show of this calibre, there is little room for spontaneity. Regardless, it will take something extraordinary to top it.

Lauren Novak, Adelaide Advertiser
(Adelaide)
The sound was deafening when the heart-throb appeared, sillhouetted on stage, opening with title track FutureSex/LoveSounds.

Backed by an awesome 14-piece band and team of gansta glam dancers, Justin pumped out the expected mix of old and new JT - with all the hits from 2002 album Justified and last year's release FutureSex/LoveSounds.

A multi-talented performer, Timberlake picked up a number of guitars and hit the keyboard during the two-and-a-alf hour show, including a piano solo for new ballad Until the End of Time.

A special highlight was a jam session between a beat-boxing Timberlake and one of his band members on the bongos.

A gospel rendition of Losing my way was an almost religious experience while old favourites Cry me a River, Rock Your Body and Senorita still caused a stir.

Whether crooning or rocking out, Timberlake's voice was record quality and his falsetto almost unbelievable.

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