Music

‘Ladies & Gentlemen, We Are *NSYNC’: Inside Justin Timberlake’s Historic One-Night-Only LA Concert

It finally happened.

Following all the rumors and cryptic memes last fall that led to an MTV VMAs appearance and a red-carpet group photo thanks to *NSYNC’s new song for the Trolls Band Together soundtrack, fans were left desperate for a live performance from the boy band. After all, it was a band that made its name with performative music videos, blockbuster stadium tours and iconic choreography, so when fans think “*NSYNC,” they think performance. Fans were clamoring for a full tour, sure, but they really would have settled for the band singing live together just one more time.

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Well, on Wednesday night (March 13), we got that one more time. More than a decade after they last performed together at the 2013 Video Music Awards as part of Justin Timberlake’s VMA Vanguard Award medley, they once again hit JT’s stage, this time for a one-night-only concert at The Wiltern in Los Angeles ahead of the Friday (March 15) release of his sixth solo album, Everything I Thought It Was.

It all started with a trip down memory lane, when DJ Andrew Hypes played a series of hit Timberlake features, including Timbaland’s “Give It to Me,” Jay-Z’s “Holy Grail” and 50 Cent’s “Ayo Technology.” Justin had included this segment in his other two pre-release shows as well, at his hometown concert at Memphis’ Orpheum Theatre on Jan. 19 and his show at New York’s Irving Plaza on Jan. 31. Hypes had also played a handful of *NSYNC songs at those concerts, but on Wednesday night, when he dropped the first *NSYNC song — “Gone” from 2000’s Celebrity — the curtains opened behind Timberlake to reveal his four bandmates singing harmony on the chorus.

“Ear-piercing” doesn’t properly describe the volume of the fan reaction in the room. Maybe eardrum-shattering. Or “book an appointment for your ENT to investigate the possibility of shriek-induced hearing loss” levels. This was 15 songs into an already epic concert, which included three of Timberlake’s five Billboard Hot 100 solo No. 1 hits and pretty much every other song that comes to mind when you think of Justin. But there was truly a before and after point of the concert from that moment on.

“I don’t know what to do after that,” Timberlake admitted once he was alone again onstage, before saying, “But this” and giving us one final song (what more could this crowd possibly ask for?), ending the night with 2013’s “Mirrors.”

So let’s take a step back and look at all the highlights from this concert, lest it go down in history as an *NSYNC reunion and nothing more. In fact, there were two other surprise guests who popped up during the nearly two-hour show and a host of other special moments. Below, find all the best moments – yes, of course including the reunion – from Billboard’s vantage point as a lucky crowd member at the history-making show.

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