In perhaps his most memorable cameo since donning a furry dolphin suit at a Flaming Lips performance, Justin Timberlake joined Mick Jagger and the rest of the Rolling Stones onstage during the veteran rock band’s set at the concert for Toronto on Wednesday night.
The afternoon kicked off on a low point for Timberlake when a concertgoer’s sign questioning the singer’s sexuality made it to the jumbotrons for about 15 seconds. Timberlake took to the stage with an obvious awareness of audience cynicism, beginning his set with a small attempt to mitigate the crowd’s frustration: “This will be over before you know it.”
During his mini-set of “Cry Me a River,” “Senorita” and “Rock Your Body,” Justin gracefully dodged water bottles flung by anti-pop audience members, and winced slightly at their less than playful jeers. After quietly thanking the city of Toronto for generally being welcoming to him and his tour crew, Timberlake left the stage to make way for more crowd-pleasing acts including the Guess Who, Rush, AC/DC and headliners the Rolling Stones.
Justin got his sweet revenge, though, when Jagger invited him onstage for what appeared to be an unrehearsed performance of “Miss You,” in which Timberlake mimicked Jagger’s signature sways and echoed his vocals. In a clearly forced but effective fusion of classic rock and bubblegum pop, Jagger even sang the words “cry me a river” for several repetitions with Timberlake. And though the audience still managed to sling a few bottles Timberlake’s way, guitarist Keith Richards exhibited remarkable tenacity, as he angrily motioned to the crowd to show the pop star a little respect.
Timberlake hugged Jagger and thanked each Rolling Stone by his first name, then humbly (or perhaps strategically) made a quick exit.