Christina and Justin: Better late than never

Sept. 4, 2003, midnight | By Caitlin Garlow | 17 years, 4 months ago

Opening six days late due to technical problems at a show in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Justified/ Stripped Tour landed at the MCI Center on August 25, promoting pop idols Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera. The show started off with a few disappointments, but ended with a bang.

Black Eyed Peas, the opening act, did not start the show due to the rescheduling, disappointing many expectant fans. Instead, Aguilera opened with an incredibly provocative rendition of her first release, "Dirrty." Wearing an exposing black x-cross shirt and glow-in-the-dark spider webbing over black pants and combat boots, her new look was as far away from "Genie in Bottle" as possible.

Over the past years, Aguilera has undergone many image changes, the most recent being dying her Mandy Moorish- blonde hair coal black. Junior Stephanie Biggs noted that her new hair made her look more Hispanic. "The idea of Christina's new album is that she is more like herself than like the stereotypical pop icon. Supposedly this is the real her and she says she's finally happy to be free of the media's influence," Biggs said.

Aguilera performed many of the hits off of her album, Stripped, as well as several old favorites from her first album, Genie in a Bottle. She wowed crowds for nearly two hours with her ability to dance in four-inch heels and her amazing vocals. Aguilera also got a few gasps for her barely-there jean shorts and her promise that not only the girls, but also the guys would removing their clothes later that night. (This promise was fulfilled when Aguilera sang with a male background dancer suggestively stripping.)

By the time Aguilera ended her segment of the show with a remix of "Beautiful", the innumerable 11-year-old girls in the crowd were starting to get anxious to see the sexy Mr. Timberlake. If Aguilera's program ended with anything less than excellence, Timberlake's intro picked up right where she left off. After a brief intermission, Timberlake opened with "Rock Your Body" and smoothly transitioned into "Gone" and "Girlfriend," two songs from Celebrity, his previous album with *NSYNC. Justin's lyrics and choreography were on target throughout his opening, but the sound technicians seemed a little base happy.

Timberlake and Aguilera are both promoting their albums with the idea that they have set down a more individualistic path. Timberlake's lyrics, however, do not match Aguilera's, except for on his chart-topping hits. Many of the slow songs on the album are disappointingly uninventive (even for a pop album) and were not any better in front of a live audience. On top of that, Timberlake performed for little over an hour, nearly half of Aguilera's stage time, and midpoint through the performance he did a 10-minute beat- boxing presentation while raised on a cherry picker over the audience.

While Timberlake had less time for vocals, the time he spent was enjoyed by the mostly female audience, who clearly lost their voices after he asked if any girl out there would be "his girlfriend." Superb instrumentals, talented back-up singers and dancers, and a fantastic DJ also supported Timberlake.

Though a few mishaps caused the tour to start off shakily, the Stripped/Justified Tour was enthusiastic and sexy and made you want to shake yo' booty.

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Caitlin Garlow. Caitlin is a second-semester senior at last. Her favorite things include making fun of her homeless sister and hunting down her clothes in other people's closets. More »

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