Monday, January 25, 2010

Timbaland: Shock Value II Tour Live In Toronto Concert Recap

As reported by Jason Macneil at the Toronto Sun

As part of his current Shock Value Tour, producer extraordinaire Timbaland has brought along Justin Timberlake, members of Jet, Katy Perry and Drake among others to bring his collaborative club grooves to the masses.

Unfortunately though, a strong album with so many guest stars can result in a lackluster effort when it’s brought to the stage without them.

And for most of the evening, it was this hit and miss feel that made Timbaland’s gig Friday evening (January 22) at Toronto’s Sound Academy very uneven.

Backed by a full band and with a video screen to his left which would show Drake, Perry, Timberlake and others performing, Timbaland began the night rolling a very high quality wave with Timothy Where Have You Been off the new album Timbaland Presents Shock Value II.

Wearing huge silver headphones and a rather conservative amount of bling for his producing prowess, Timbaland had the audience filling half the venue singing “I love Toronto” back to him during the lengthy, rambling opener.

When not creating beats off the floor, the artist was content to perform most of his new material such as Say Something (featuring Drake) which Timbaland delivered with Auto Tune perfection and the electro-dance feel to The Way I Are which was definitely an early party-starter. This was despite the fact there were occasions when all he could do was bounce and wait for the guest artist’s pre-packaged vocal portions to conclude.

From there, Timbaland perfected that dance club vibe with Morning After Dark as a brief snippet of Twilight – a film which partly inspired the new record – was shown on the video screen before Katy Perry appeared onscreen.

The first 45 minutes of the show was red hot, but a forerunner of what would ensue came during Oh Timbaland. Here Timbaland gave each of his band members their own miniature solo before reining things in again. It was a slight lull but would seem like pure bliss compared to the next half-hour.

Following another strong dance-friendly nugget entitled Can You Feel It (and featuring vocals by Canadian singer Esthero), Timbaland plowed into If We Meet Again with purpose, something that couldn’t be said for Ease Off The Liquor.

Breaking the tune down and then basically filling time, Timbaland started asking fans in the crowd how they were feeling and if they’d like to have drinks with him. He also spent this time telling some 19-year-olds how he couldn’t let them drink and would buy them Kool-Aid, unaware of the legal age north of the 49th.

After this filler, Timbaland then left the stage for another 15 to 20 minutes while a deejay played snippets of various Timbaland-related hits. The rather inane absence had more heading to the exits before he finally reemerged with Carry Off featuring Justin Timberlake.

The show definitely had its moments, both terrific and terribly tedious.

Getty Images

Timbaland Shock Value II Tour dates:

1/26 - Denver, CO - Gothic Theatre
1/28 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues
1/29 - Los Angeles, CA - House of Blues
2/02 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
2/03 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues

(video courtesy of jDiggz TV & Hailey248ilyjb)

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