The US singer headlined the main stage at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, just moments away from the Olympic Stadium, which was the site of the spectacular opening to London’s 2012 Olympic Games. Appearing on stage 20 minutes earlier than his advertised 9:20pm stage time, Timberlake was backed by his band, The Tennessee Kids, and performed a career spanning set including brand new material and a number of cover versions.
Taking to the stage following performances by Snoop Dogg, Trey Songz and Frank Ocean, Timberlake kicked off his set with his debut solo single ‘Like I Love You’ before moving into ‘Rock Your Body’ and ‘Cry Me A River’ from his first solo album ‘Justified’. The latter included an excerpt of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s track ‘Niggas In Paris’, a teaser of what was to come later on.
Dressed in all black, including a black fedora hat, Timberlake donned his best British accent to tell the sold-out audience that he had been drinking and was “a bit pissed”. Nevertheless, the hits continued with ‘Senorita’ joining new album tracks ‘Pusher Love Girl’ and ‘Tunnel Vision’ on the setlist.
“Have y’all been here all day?” asked Timberlake shortly before playing new song ‘Take Back The Night’ for the very first time, a track which will feature on his next album and was unveiled online the afternoon of the performance. “Have you been on iTunes today? Or have you just been drinking?” he added to cheers for the latter. “That makes two of us then.” The debut performance of the track was bookended by covers of ‘Need You Tonight’ by INXS and The Jackson 5’s ‘Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)’.
Returning for an encore, Timberlake donned a black suit jacket for the start of ‘Suit & Tie’, the lead single from his 2012 album ‘The 20/20 Experience’. Jay-Z then joined the show, causing the audience to rush nearer the stage to get closer to the action. The rapper will headline the second day of Wireless today (July 13) before returning for a joint ‘Legends Of The Summer’ performance with Timberlake on Sunday (July 14).
Timberlake closed his set with a performance of his single ‘SexyBack’ before wishing the audience a safe journey home.
Justin Timberlake played:
‘Like I Love You’
‘Cry Me a River’
‘Pusher Love Girl’
‘Let the Groove Get In’
‘Need You Tonight’ (INXS cover)
‘Until the End of Time’
‘Take Back The Night’
‘Rock Your Body’
‘Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)’ (The Jacksons cover)
‘What Goes Around… Comes Around’
‘Suit & Tie’