Update: We found the selfie! See below.
Justin Timberlake delivered a TKO in Boston on Thursday night.
"The 20/20 Experience Tour" visited the Hub for its first of two 2014 stops (the second is on July 19), and Timberlake put on a spectacle that puts his former tours to shame. From having a flying stage, to performing some classic hits, here are the five times that he left us speechless during the show.
Spoiler alert: If you're going in July and want to be surprised, don't read further.
1.When he floated over our heads
When we sat down, our super sweet Section 13 usher told us that the stage would be going right over our heads. He wasn't kidding.
After a 10-minute intermission, Timberlake kicked off round 2 of performances by boarding a moving bridge (above). The massive, arena-spanning structure was guided by two motorized bases that moved along roped-off paths bordering the coveted floor seats. On either end was a hovering platform that extended over the loge seats.
After Timberlake and his back-up singers worked their way to the opposite end of the arena on the bridge, he performed some of his more mellow tracks, took a shot of some liquor (toasting "Boston strong") and shook hands with tons of VIPers.
He even posed for a selfie with Will Maich, left, and Alex Bain while performing.
2. When he paid tribute to Elvis and Michael Jackson
While he was on the far side of the Garden, opposite the main stage, Timberlake played a pair of songs by musical kings Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. First came his rendition of Presley's legendary "Heartbreak Hotel," and later Jackson's "Human Nature." We're pretty sure he performed "Human Nature" when he was in Boston during his 2007 tour (which he recalled as the time he drank blueberry beer and passed out), but we loved it either way.
3. When he introduced "SexyBack"
At approximately 10:59 p.m., Timberlake introduced "SexyBack" in a rather ... lascivious manner. Behold:
"Do you want it baby? Say please." That's how he segued into "SexyBack." No words. #2020experience— Emily Wright (@MissEmilyWright) February 28, 2014
4. When he played "Until the End of Time"
It's easy to imagine why Timberlake had to postpone a couple of his tour dates in order to perfect all of the elements (we forgive you for postponing the Nov. 4 show to July 19). One of the magical elements consisted of a white baby grand piano coming up out of the floor. Timberlake sat at it to play one of his most beautiful love songs, "Until the End of Time," and we wish there was more room in the jam-packed set list for more ivory keys. He did play the keyboard later for "Senorita," but it just didn't have the same luxe, romantic appeal.
5. When he gave his Boston monologue
During part one of the evening, Timberlake paused (probably to let his dancers and band, The Tennessee Kids, get a drink) from playing, dancing, singing, etc., and gave a monologue a la "Saturday Night Live," and it was all about Boston.
"It's cold as f*** here," he told the Garden crowd. "I'm sorry, but there's really no other word to describe it ... I woke up this morning and looked outside and saw sunshine and thought like Ice Cube, 'today was a good day.' And then I saw one snowflake, two snowflakes."
And then came this gem.
"It's like dangling sex in front of me. It's like the sun's outside, and then it's like 'no, I don't feel like it.'"
He also touched on how Bostonians are his favorite people because they're the best drinkers, and "on a more serious note," brought up how touched he was to meet the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing when he was here in August 2013 with Jay Z.
Did you make it to the show? What was your favorite part? Let us know in the comments.
About Sound Effects
ContributorsSarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Julian Benbow is a staff writer at the Boston Globe, covering sports and music.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.