Justin Timberlake and Jay Z love Boston, and Boston loves them back

Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z were amazing this weekend! Now, please stop using the word "amazing" in your songs.   (Credit: Lester Cohen/WireImage)
Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z were amazing this weekend! Now, please stop using the word “amazing” in your songs.
Credit: Lester Cohen/WireImage

With their Legends of the Summer tour, Justin Timberlake and Jay Z brought more local love to Fenway Park than any other tour in recent memory.

Normally a performer will give a “What’s up, Boston?” or wear some sort of sports team paraphernalia — the worst offense in recent memory was Wolfgang Van Halen putting a red sock on the headstock of his bass guitar— and Jay Z and JT did express their love for Boston in these ways, (Jay Z began the proceedings by announcing, “Boston’s ready to party, tonight, I see!”) but they continued to lay it on thick throughout the evening.

In most instances it worked, and it showed a dedication to making each city special on the tour. During Timberlake’s “Lovestoned,” the singer amended his lyrics from “She looks like a model, except she’s got a little more ass” (a great line, by the way) to “except she’s got that Boston ass.” During Jay Z’s “99 Problems,” the DJ worked in a sample of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way.”

In the “a bit much” category, Timberlake gave a few too many 617 area code shout-outs (a friend in his contact list must still have a Boston phone number?) and more than one of his leather guitar straps had “Boston Strong” imprinted on it.

Together, they tastefully dedicated the final song of the evening, Jay Z’s “Young Forever,” to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. The only irony of all of this is that Jay Z let his “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)” pass without commentary. Or is it just obscure knowledge that alleged bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev quoted that track in a tweet on the day of the bombings? Or heck, maybe he was quoting the song that Jay Z sampled: Bobby Bland’s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City.”

But this city-specific love was just a backdrop to what was undoubtedly the show of the summer. For the most part, these two disparate performers overcame the biggest obstacles of a show like this: pacing and integrating types of music that don’t always work with each other. The only instance where it didn’t quite work was during a seven-song stretch where Jay Z left the stage (does it really take that long to change into another Novum Praecepta T-shirt?) During this time, JT totally owned the stage, his million-piece band giving him plenty of room to showcase his dance moves. Sonically, the band have a lot in common with Prince’s New Power Generation. But the tangent meant a shock to the system when Jay Z returned to the stage for “Dirt Off Your Shoulder.” Jay Z’s absence was probably felt because JT often stayed on the stage and made himself useful during Jay Z’s solo material.

But for the most part, the pair played well together, JT often singing the vocal lines that would have otherwise been samples during Jay Z’s songs, and Jay Z rapping on Timberlake’s hits. As JT sings in the brilliant show opener, Jay Z’s “Holy Grail,” “It’s amazing I’m in this maze with you.” He could have well been singing that to Jay Z. Because it really is amazing that this all works. (Sidenote: Dear all contemporary pop singers, please stop using the word “amazing.” It worked for Bruno Mars, but that adjective has an expiration date.)

Other show highlights included a rock version of JT’s “Sexy Back” and Jay Z’s “Run This Town,” the latter of which could have proved to be the defining anthem for the pair’s two-night stint in Boston.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Drive charged in fatal hit and run, police…

The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for a fatal hit and run in Manhattan last weekend. Doohee Cho, 33, was hit…

Local

Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…

National

3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."

Money

Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

Entertainment

Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 'Selfie,' 'Utopia'…

'Selfie' This modern day take on the "My Fair Lady" story stars John Cho in the Henry Higgins role. Perhaps instead of "the rain in…

Music

Can't-miss weekend events continue to attract the masses

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Earlier this summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware.…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

MLB

Joe Girardi not confident David Robertson will return…

David Robertson was as seamless as anyone could be replacing Mariano Rivera as he converted 39 saves, with a 3.08 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings.

Wellbeing

Bees' stingers hold new hope for cancer cure

A promising new lead in the search for a cancer cure has turned up in a place that most people naturally avoid. A team from…

Home

Emily Henderson on small space design

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us how to upgrade our cramped quarters.

Home

Emily Henderson's pet-friendly style tips

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us to live with pets in style.

Education

At one university, college students get to study…

We all know that college students love coffee. Widener University is taking that love to a new level with its Cultivation to Cup program. Inside…