photo At the Justin Timberlake concert: left to right, Marie Samuels, Karen Mehiel, Olga Palladino, Anastasia Ganias.

After an impulsive bid at a New York City charity silent auction, I found myself in possession of four tickets to see Justin Timberlake at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

I have never been a huge fan of Justin’s musical genre—I tend to stay within the vein of U2, Dave Matthews Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the like—but I had just seen Justin take the stage at the MTV Music Awards, and his showmanship had impressed me. That MTV performance was exciting enough to compel me to pick up that pen and sign my name on the auction list.

Fast-forward a few weeks and there I was, crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on a Wednesday night accompanied by three female friends to see his 8 o’clock show. I did not know what to expect. His minimalistic stage backdrop encouraged viewers to focus on the performers. They were smooth, so perfectly in sync (and no, that was not a reference Justin’s previous boy band) that they did not need to incorporate over-the-top acrobatics. Justin stood out. His voice, clothing, and moves were highly debonair.  I found myself standing up and dancing, even though I was unfamiliar with most of his songs. And I wasn’t the only one wrapped up in the music. A group of twentysomething Columbia University male graduates—a group I considered an unlikely sight at this concert—were enjoying themselves.  Before I knew it, I was singing along to “Rock Your Body” and “My Love.”


Justin Timberlake, “SexyBack”

Today, the appeal of various musical genres—pop, rock, alternative, or even EDM—is not limited to a specific age group. Technology enables people to find music of any genre or time period with a flick of a button, encouraging us all to discover and experience more.  The generational gap of music listeners seen with the rise of rock and roll in 50s and 60s has come and gone.  Today, as a woman over 50, I listen to some of the same music as my teenage daughter, just as she does with music from my generation.  In the end, Justin Timberlake’s music is still not for me.  While I appreciate him as a talented, diverse performer, and even with the performance of my favorite song of his,  “Bringing Sexy Back,” the experience was not enough to bring me back.


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