Justin Timberlake Brings Minneapolis Into The Woods

Man of The Woods Tour Review

Justin Timberlake Live Minnesota performance Man Of the woods
Photo by Sara Fish

Last updated on September 30th, 2018 at 08:33 pm

My earliest memory of music came in 1998. My sister and I watched rising boy band Nsync perform on the Disney channel; the performance that brought them to stardom. From that day forward, I was hooked on Justin Timberlake.

I believe Justin Timberlake is the modern king of pop. You haven’t seen anything until you have seen JT destroy the stage. Say what you will about his most recent album, Man of the Woods, but this man knows how to perform.

Photo by Sara Fish

Timberlake is no stranger to Minnesota. His halftime show performance at last year’s Super Bowl was iconic in its own right. On his first night of a two night run at the Xcel, Timberlake pulled out all the stops and brought a Super Bowl level performance and then some.

The goal of this tour was to bring the outside in. Timberlake and his band achieved this through building a completely immersive stage experience. From the runway stages to the incredible lighting with drop-down screens, this in-the-round experience made every seat the best in the house.

Photo by Dylan Novacek

Timberlake is a machine. He hardly broke a sweat throughout his nearly 2-hour set. Effortlessly mixing songs from different eras in his career, Timberlake presented a cohesive performance with flawless transitions. There was never a dull moment in this show. Every song JT performed was a hit.

His backing band and contemporary dancers were equally on point as they kept the crowd on their feet. JT played double duty as singer and dancer, showing off his classic boy band moves to the audience of mostly 30-year-olds who fell in love with him as a teenager.

There were many highlights of the night. My personal favorite chunk of the show was when JT played “Cry Me a River” and “Mirrors” back to back. It should be illegal to play so many hit songs in succession because I was absolutely destroyed.

Another high was when the crew got a quick break to sing around a literal campfire; it was very intimate and allowed for the backup singers to get solos.

Justin Timberlake Live Minnesota performance Man Of the woods
Opening act Francesco Yates. Photo by Sara Fish.

Opening for Timberlake tonight was Francesco Yates, a Canadian singer who reminded of a young Timberlake. Alongside him was the generically named DJ Free Style Steve who, if given enough time, could’ve easily made the wait for Timberlake unbearable.

JT was my first love in music. Growing up, my sister exposed me to Nsync and would later neglect to take me to their 2001 show. She has made it up to me over the years, as this was our second time seeing the king together. Justin proves time and time again why he is the best there is.

Photo by Dylan Novacek


  1. Filthy
  2. Midnight Summer Jam
  3. Lovestoned
  4. Sexyback
  5. Man of the Woods
  6. Higher Higher
  7. Señorita
  8. Suit & Tie
  9. My Love
  10. Cry Me a River
  11. Mirrors
  12. Drink You Away
  13. Until the End of Time
  14. Campfire Solos
  15. Morning Light
  16. What Goes Around…Comes Around
  17. Say Something
  18. Montana
  19. Summer Love
  20. Rock Your Body
  21. Supplies
  22. Like I Love You
  23. Can’t Stop The Feeling!

Written by Dylan Novacek

Photographer, graphic designer, and multimedia storyteller from St. Paul. Most likely listening to CHVRCHES, Of Monsters and Men or Fall Out Boy. Once featured in the New York Times for using the bathroom during Avengers: Endgame.


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