Closing out a night filled with star-studded performances at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Justin Timberlake gave fans quite a show to end this year’s iHeart Radio Music Festival.
The 2013 MTV VMA Video Vanguard Award winner was brought to the stage by Floyd “Money” Mayweather, who packed the same arena just a week prior in his championship bout against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. “I was once told to save the best for last,” Mayweather said. “I’m honored to introduce the heavyweight champion of music, Justin Timberlake.”
Backed musically by the Tennessee Kids, he began his energetic set with the fan favorite “Sexy Back,” much to the delight of the crowd. In an interview last Thursday, Timberlake revealed that he’d be pulling the covers off of some new music during the set, and wasted no time, as he immediately segued into “True Blood,” off of his September 30 release, The 20/20 Experience — 2 of 2. The up-tempo, horn-laden track garnered a great response from the audience, including Jessica Biel, who looked on from her seat.
Grabbing a guitar to play along with the band for “Like I Love You” and showing off some of his fancy footwork during a solo dance routine while performing “My Love,” the singer breezed through hit after hit, making it all look effortless. Channeling a bit of Katy Perry’s special guest Juicy J, Timberlake incorporated “Bandz a Make Her Dance” into his performance of “Cry Me a River,” a move that got the crowd even more turned up during the high-energy set.
Though his Legends of the Summer Tour co-headliner, Jay Z, wasn’t in attendance, Timberlake still passionately belted out his vocals from his title track collaboration with Hov, “Holy Grail,” from Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail. Once again making good on his promise to perform new music, JT then went into “TKO,” which got overwhelming approval from all those in attendance.
Riding the momentum of his seamless set, the Memphis-native eased into the dance-friendly “Take Back the Night,” a smooth transition into the tail end of his set, which included a performance of “Mirrors” and “Suit & Tie.”