Justin Timberlake brings “Man of the Woods” tour to Rupp

Justin Timberlake performs for his The Man of The Woods tour at Rupp Arena on Wednesday September 19, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Olivia Beach | Staff

Jade Grisham

Last night, Justin Timberlake, one of the most famous male pop singers and entertainers of the 21st century, performed in Lexington. Timberlake and his band, The Tennessee Kids, put on an incredible show that left the audience cheering for more.

The “Man of the Woods” world-tour just returned to North America from Europe, and Lexington was the first stop since they came home.

The stage spread all across the floor of Rupp Arena, and took the form of an “S” shape. There were faux trees and grass aligning the stage, and a bar in the middle of the stage for those who had VIP access. In addition to this, the main stage rotated so that all 18,000 attendees could feel the hype and be involved with the concert.

Timberlake started the concert with one of his more upbeat songs on his new album “Man of the Woods” titled “Filthy”. It got the audience engaged immediately. He had six backup dancers, and their “N-Sync” dancing got everyone on their feet; not one person was in their seat.

“The concert was incomparable to anyone I have ever been to. From Bruno Mars to Mumford and Sons, Justin Timberlake has definitely topped the list for me,” UK sophomore Peyton Miller said. “It felt like no matter where you were sitting in Rupp Arena you were having a good time.”

The stage and lighting were entertaining, but after a few songs, Timberlake wowed the audience once again. From the rafters of the arena came down about 35 clear, holographic sheets that displayed scenery, visual effects, and live video of the concert.

In the middle of the concert, Timberlake paused in awe of the crowd. He said, “So is this how they do it in Wildcat Country?”; Rupp arena roared after he made that statement.

Timberlake fulfilled many dreams and had the audience nostalgic by not only playing songs from his latest album, but by playing most of his classics like “SexyBack,” “Mirrors,” “Suit and Tie,” “Cry Me a River,” “Summer Love,” “My Love” and “What Goes Around… Comes Around,” among many others.

“I’ve been a fan of JT since the early 90s, following his movies and his music. I’ve been to 4 of his concerts, including his Super Bowl Half-Time performance, and this concert was great,” an attendee said.

Towards the end of the concert, Timberlake lead a toast to the crowd saying, “Here’s a toast to southern hospitality!” He then had an acoustic set and sang “Drink You Away” and had the crowd singing right along with him.

“Last night was truly one of the best performances I have ever seen,” UK sophomore Kate Grattan said. “Justin was not only so talented but captivated the audience 100% of the time. One of the best nights of my life.”

Then there was a campfire scene where Timberlake along with his backup singers, sang covers of the famous songs, “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, “Ex-Factor” by Lauren Hill, “Come Together” by The Beatles, and “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” by John Denver. It was special to hear each of the backup singers’ true voices stand alone.

“I think my favorite part was when his band and singers all sat around a campfire and just jammed out… it seriously gave me chills,” UK sophomore Regan Martin said. 

The “Man of the Woods” Tour was full of nostalgic hits, new music and happy energy.

The last words Rupp heard from Timberlake before leaving the stage were, “Lexington, I love you! Goodnight.”