Justin Timberlake had something special up his Tom Ford-stitched sleeves at Wednesday (February 20) night’s BRIT Awards: the first-ever live performance of his new song “Mirrors.”
Yes, though JT released the song last week — sometime in-between his Grammy performance and his memorable post-Grammy concert — he waited until the BRITs to actually perform it, taking the stage in London’s O2 Arena and wowing an audience packed with the best and brightest of British music (and, uh, Taylor Swift too).
He started the performance solo, standing beneath a spotlight, decked out in his now ubiquitous suit and tie (not that one ). While his backing band worked their way into the song, Timberlake began working the catwalk, clutching a mic stand and crooning for all in attendance. When he finally joined his musical mates on stage, “Mirrors” truly took shape, rolling out on muscled-up guitars and horns … and sounding every bit like the retro-tinged follow-up to “Cry Me A River” that many have already dubbed it (for the record, it also recalled UB40′s take on Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”)
And as the song reached its crescendo — thanks to Timberlake’s lean voice and some stirring string stabs — spotlights scanned the O2 Arena and JT sang for the rafters, before finally bringing things back to a boil and leading the audience in a clap-along of the chorus. Unlike the album version, this take on “Mirrors” didn’t stretch to eight minutes — that surely would have bothered BRIT producers — but it still managed to work in much of the same dramatics. And hey, why would Timberlake give the whole thing away right now? There’s still plenty of time before he drops The 20/20 Experience, and, one could assume, even more opportunities for surprise performances like this one.
What did you think of Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” performance? Let us know in the comments below.