It was a cover of "Forever Young," a theme that applied to the two artists who have held a long career in the often ADD-addled industries of pop and rap.
Now 43 and 32, Jay Z and Timberlake are veterans in the game, with grown and sexy fans. Yet they still played the hits that gave them the spotlight in their younger years as well as their newer material.
Timberlake indulged fans with "Senorita," "Rock Your Body" and "Cry Me a River," a song reportedly about his time with pop princess Britney Spears, ending it playfully by sticking his tongue out and giving the middle finger. He also brought out Timbaland for "SexyBack." All that was missing was "Where Is the Love," the big hit with Black Eyed Peas.
Jay Z rapped "99 Problems," "Big Pimpin'" and "Hard Knock Life," a single that debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and launched the rapper into mainstream status. He also brought out local rapper Rick Ross for the single " F*ckwithmeyouknowigotit." And he was not backed by a DJ, like stereotypical rap shows, but a live band, and had a flutist add the riff for "Big Pimpin.'"
It was the last show of their tour. At $700 a pop for floor seats, the ticket drew the young and fabulous, decked out in club wear – barely there dresses, fedoras and sparkly stilettos. It was probably one of the few tours that could draw such a diverse crowd – men and women in packs on the hunt and couples in love, packing the stadium and numbering around ten thousand. Some fans even tailgated in the parking lot with barbecue pits.
The concert was a collaboration of the two stars, starting with the two rapping and singing together on their song "Holy Grail," and then giving time for each to shine, before ending together again.
The mash-ups of pop and rap worked and could stand alone as their own hits. For example, Timberlake sang a rendition of Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York," while Jay Z rapped "Empire State of Mind."
The two still had it. There was no need to add unnecessary gimmicks to the two-hour show – well, there were still some sexy dancers and lasers – but the focus was on the two’s talent, not on spectacle.
Timberlake has been criticized in the past for having a thin voice, but the hiatus for movies and "Saturday Night Live" stints must have done him good, because his take on "New York, New York" was Michael Buble-esque. And Jay Z can keep his nickname of Hova, short for "Jayhova," as the god of emcees.
The two didn’t disappoint on the last stop on their tour, and for those who didn’t catch it – these two are sure to keep their game going. There’s no stopping them now.