Timberlake promised in a video announcing his new album in January that he would return to his roots. Well, if by roots he meant his chart-topping songs like “Rock Your Body” and “SexyBack,” then he certainly delivered.
He kicked off the show with an intro from Jimmy Fallon, seguing from the Pepsi ad that had aired just before. He began with “Filthy,” and then transitioned into a medley of “Rock Your Body” and “SexyBack.”
Backed by a tuxedo-clad marching band, Timberlake sang “Suit & Tie” from his album “The 20/20 Experience” on a raised white platform.
He sat a white grand piano for “Until the End of Time,” which transitioned into a cover of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U.” As he sang the song, a projection of Prince from “Purple Rain” appeared on a massive purple curtain — not a reanimated hologram, as had been reported, and feared, earlier. The song ended with Prince’s infamous shadow from the 2007 Super Bowl projected on the sheet.
The show concluded with “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”
Timberlake had performed twice at the Super Bowl. For Britney Spears’ halftime show in 2001, Timberlake joined the pop singer with his boyband NSYNC. Then, he returned in 2004 to briefly share the stage with Janet Jackson, which resulted in the now-infamous wardrobe malfunction seen ’round the world.
Timberlake released singles “Filthy,” “Supplies,” and “Say Something” to build anticipation for his Super Bowl performance, but only sang “Filthy” off his most recent album.
Timberlake will begin his “Man of the Woods” tour in March.